Earlier today, former NBA star and current Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated. The terms of the plea agreement reached with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office will allow Kidd to plead to a lesser offense of driving while impaired. The plea also includes a license suspension of ninety days and public speaking engagements at area schools arranged by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The DWI charges stemmed from an incident a year ago in which Kidd crashed his vehicle in the early morning hours after leaving a Southampton night club. His car was destroyed, and Kidd appeared to be intoxicated when police arrived on the scene.
Some may assume that Kidd’s celebrity status facilitated this plea deal. It is important to note, however, that often in cases of suspected DWI, similar plea arrangements are reached with the district attorney’s office. By assessing the facts of the charged DWI, as well as the conduct of the arresting officers, an attorney may be able to reach a deal for a lesser offense with prosecutors. Certainly Kidd’s status as a public figure weighed in the aspect of the arrangement since it involved speaking to area youths about the dangers of drunk driving. But a seasoned DWI attorney can, in some cases, reach a similar outcome in matters that do not involve celebrity clients.
Photos of Jason Kidd’s arrest, as well as his day in court, can be found on the New York Post website.