Earlier this week, Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd entered a guilty plea in his drunk driving case. As many New Jersey residents may recall, Kidd was arrested in July of last year after crashing an SUV into a telephone pole in the Hamptons. The NBA all-star was apparently on his way home from a charity event, at which he had consumed a few drinks.

On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunk driving charge, and in exchange for the plea he has agreed to speak to area high school students about the risks of drunk driving. As long as he completes that community service, the charge will be lowered to the violation of driving while ability impaired.

Some people might say that Kidd got off pretty easy in this case — especially after admitting to a judge that he drank three or four beers before crashing his SUV in a residential area that night. However, the district attorney in Suffolk County, New York, has noted that although Kidd could have been given three years of probation, having him use his influence to make a positive impact on youth is more beneficial for all parties.

In many DWI cases, even those that do not have superstars as defendants, it is possible to negotiate a plea bargain that minimizes negative consequences for the defendant. However, a suitable plea deal is not automatic, nor is accepting a plea offer always the best option.

New Jersey is very tough on drunk driving defendants, and those who face DWI charges should seek personalized legal advice.

Source: Press of Atlantic City, “Brooklyn Nets coach Kidd gets probation for DWI,” July 16, 2013