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Odom DUI plea suggests value of knowing legal options

When someone is brought up on criminal charges in Tennessee, regardless of the type, the first reaction they may have to the situation is one of hopelessness. It can be easy to start imagining the worst, and that can be made even easier to do if you presume too much.

What the average person may not realize is that there are typically a number of different legal options available to them. Learning what those options are, particularly in the context of charges of driving under the influence, is something that should be done by consulting with an attorney.

The case of former NBA player Lamar Odom might serve as a good example of what we are talking about.

The one-time power forward was picked up by the California Highway Patrol back in August. Authorities said the 34-year-old one-time power forward was observed swerving on a stretch of freeway, which prompted the stop.

Odom didn't say much at the time of his arrest. But early this week, an attorney representing him appeared in court and entered a plea of no contest on his behalf to a charge of drunken driving.

Prosecutors revealed that as part of a plea deal, Odom agreed to go on probation for three years, undergo alcohol abuse treatment for three months and pay just over $1,800 in fines and penalties.

The action in criminal court isn't likely to do much to help Odom's aspirations of getting back onto the basketball court, but things could have been much worse. By exploring all of his options with an attorney, he was able to avoid a possible six-month jail sentence.

Source: WTVF-TV, "Odom pleads no contest to DUI, gets probation," AP, Dec. 9, 2013

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