NBA player and reality TV star Lamar Odom pled ‘no contest' to misdemeanor DUI charges this week. Odom was arrested in August after police allegedly saw him weaving in and out of traffic in his vehicle in Los Angeles. The police officer believed that he appeared intoxicated but refused to submit to a chemical blood, breath or urine test. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. In October, he initially pled guilty to these charges.
On Monday, Odom changed his plea to ‘no contest' in court. He was then sentenced to 3 years of probation, a $1,814 fine and to undergo 3 months of alcohol abuse treatment. He could have been sentenced to up to 6 months in jail so most people probably can agree that three years of probation is a much better sentence. This sentence was made possible by a plea bargain arranged by his DUI lawyer and the prosecution involved with his case. A plea bargain is when a suspect agrees to plead guilty or no contest to a charge in exchange for a previously agreed upon sentence or reduced charges.
Pleading ‘no contest' is essentially pleading guilty without admitting guilt. The term no contest means that the offender is not contesting their charges but is not agreeing that they did, in fact, commit the crime either. No contest pleas are often used in plea bargains or in cases where admitting guilt of a crime could result in civil lawsuits.
Just because Odom is a celebrity does not mean that he received better treatment than a regular person. DUI attorneys work every day to get their clients plea deals. This seems to be a very fair sentence and will hopefully help the athlete to overcome the demons he has recently admitted to be facing.