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Hines Ward pleads guilty to lesser charge in DUI case

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Seven months after he was arrested for drunk driving, Hines Ward has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge to end the case.

Ward pleaded guilty to reckless driving this morning and pleaded no contest to failing to maintain his lane, and in return prosecutors in Dekalb County, Georgia, agreed to drop the driving under the influence charge against him. Ward will get probation, a $2,000 fine and 80 hours of community service. He’ll be allowed to check in with his probation officer via phone or e-mail, so if he’s playing in the NFL this year the probation won’t interrupt his practice or game schedule.

We are grateful for the outcome,” Andrew Ree, Ward’s attorney, said in a statement to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “By dropping the DUI charge it is clear that the prosecution did not have sufficient evidence to proceed. Hines has always maintained that his ability to drive was in no way impaired and we are pleased that the facts support his innocence. He is thankful to his legal team and to all who stand by him. Hines has a great respect for the legal system and is also grateful in particular to the state for the professional manner in which they handled this manner.”

Ward was arrested in the early morning of July 9 when an officer saw him hit a curb in his Aston Martin. He claimed he was not drunk. The arrest became fodder for the Ravens-Steelers rivalry when Ravens running back Ray Rice said he expected Ward to be suspended, and held firm to that comment when some suggested it was unseemly for one NFL player to weigh in on the off-field issues affecting another.

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32 Responses to “Hines Ward pleads guilty to lesser charge in DUI case”
  1. haileli says: Feb 22, 2012 12:44 PM

    Unfortunately, this is standard practice in DUI cases. Plead guilty to a lesser charge, pony up some cash, and give a few hours to the community. No wonder it happens so often with athletes.

  2. bengalsown says: Feb 22, 2012 12:47 PM

    Is Hines’ attorney a recent graduate? They almost always plea down first time DUI offenders. The outcome proves nothing.

  3. ampats says: Feb 22, 2012 12:47 PM

    What is it about Georgia that leads Steeler players to committ crimes there?

  4. metalhead65 says: Feb 22, 2012 12:52 PM

    well thank god it won’t interfere with his job because you know that might actually let him know what he did was wrong. can someone tell me how the average person can get a deal like this? I am pretty sure if I got caught doing this the last thing the judge would worry about is if the punishment might affect my job.but then again I am not a rich athlete so would be looking for a new job if that did happen.

  5. gtthom86 says: Feb 22, 2012 12:53 PM

    dayum thats a ton of community service hour right ther

  6. vahawker says: Feb 22, 2012 12:56 PM

    Dancing with stars winner, NFL receiver can’t stand still, can’t do heel to toe, can’t recite the alphabet, failed an non-admissible breath test at almost twice the legal limit, refused the Breathalyzer test….yeah he was in no way impaired.

    Of course his attorney is “grateful” the d-bag should be in prison and he knows it.

    Another classic example of what name recognition and money will do for you in this country’s “justice” system.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/pdf/201107/20110711incidentreport_hinesward.pdf

    Hey, wasn’t Big Ben in Georgia when….never mind

  7. thatobnoxiousguy says: Feb 22, 2012 12:57 PM

    “By dropping the DUI charge it is clear that the prosecution did not have sufficient evidence to proceed. Hines has always maintained that his ability to drive was in no way impaired and we are pleased that the facts support his innocence. He is thankful to his legal team and to all who stand by him. Hines has a great respect for the legal system and is also grateful in particular to the state for the professional manner in which they handled this manner.”

    *****************************************

    Umm , common practice for a 1st timer is to drop the DUI and for the offender to plea to a reduced charge. For this attorney to go public and accuse the D.A. of not having sufficient evidence on such a routine procedure is seriously misleading, incorrect, and sure to pi$$ off the prosectors office. I would not want to be a client of that attorney in ANY future case in that county.

    With all that being said, the statement prepared seems like it could have been written by our favorite gal herself……..Deb.

  8. whatnojets says: Feb 22, 2012 1:03 PM

    ” Hines has always maintained that his ability to drive was in no way impaired and we are pleased that the facts support his innocence. He is thankful to his legal team and to all who stand by him. ”

    If he was no way impared, then why plead guilty to a lesser charge?

    Also “he is thankfull to his legal team’. WHAT!??! What did you do for him?? He pleaded down!! Big deal!! A one year law student could have done that, and for free!!!

  9. illiniftw says: Feb 22, 2012 1:04 PM

    Wish I was famous too so I’d never have to be accountable for my actions

  10. southcakpanther says: Feb 22, 2012 1:06 PM

    Ben and Hines should start a law firm after they both retire. DUI, Rape, and Motorcycle Accident experts.

    PS – Nobody cares about your 6 rings

  11. gtthom86 says: Feb 22, 2012 1:21 PM

    “Of course his attorney is “grateful” the d-bag should be in prison and he knows it. ”

    jesus man now everyone that gets a DUI should be thrown in jail???

    he didn’t get off lightly, 80 hours of community service and two grand, and probation certainly seems harsh for “reckless driving” in which no property was damaged or people were hurt. thats much more than first time DUI offenders get here in new ork.

    yeah, he doesnt have to carry around the stigma of having a DUI or nor have his license suspension, but hes certainly paying the price.

  12. thingamajig says: Feb 22, 2012 1:24 PM

    The link to the Incident and DUI report by vahawker pretty much says it all. As usual no reason to listen to the lawyers speech.

  13. quittsburghstoolers says: Feb 22, 2012 1:24 PM

    In a way that’s too bad that Hiney got off
    with just a fine and community service.

    If the law had thrown old drunky into the calaboose
    where all drunk drivers belong, ‘maybe’ he could
    have gotten a job as a WR on the prison football team.

    MAYBE…

  14. citizenstrange says: Feb 22, 2012 1:30 PM

    Life is a crap sandwich. The more bread you have the less crap you eat.

    I hope the prosecuter at least got a good whiff of Ward’s jock.

  15. Steeler's Will says: Feb 22, 2012 1:33 PM

    Standard operating procedure, even for you commoners. It’s common for a first time DUI to get the wreckless driving alternative, even without a lawyer.

    According to the PG:
    “He was sentenced to serve 12 months probation, 80 hours of community service and a $2,000 fine. He also must undergo alcohol evaluation and participate in a risk reduction program, the newspaper reported.”

    The only difference between this and the dui penalties is he’ll be able to continue driving. It’s the same bargain a public defender or a nice chat with the prosecutor will get you.

    That being said, drinking and driving is for losers IMO.

  16. steelcurtains says: Feb 22, 2012 1:41 PM

    @Vahawker…Prison?? Really…for a DUI?? You’re an idiot.

    Plea deals in DUI cases happen all the time…to normal, everyday Joes too. So Hines did not get a favorable deal because of who he is. But of course the haters will think he did.

  17. numberoneinthehoodg says: Feb 22, 2012 1:49 PM

    How embarrassing. Who curbs an Aston Martin when sober? He should be punished heavily for that alone. Jackass.

  18. effedinLA says: Feb 22, 2012 1:56 PM

    Famous athlete, legal team, DUI = minimal fine.
    He would have been fined more if he had hit someone with his helmet!
    Innocent until proven broke in this country.
    This POS makes me sick.

  19. jeb7524 says: Feb 22, 2012 2:13 PM

    It’s not just big time athletes that get this deal for a first offense. I see it all the time with people making 35-85k per year too.

  20. haileli says: Feb 22, 2012 2:17 PM

    southcakpanther says: Feb 22, 2012 1:06 PM

    Ben and Hines should start a law firm after they both retire. DUI, Rape, and Motorcycle Accident experts.

    PS – Nobody cares about your 6 rings

    ———————————————

    Considering that it isn’t part of the story and nobody is talking about it, clearly you care very much. Jealousy will do that.

    Thanks!

  21. themonster49 says: Feb 22, 2012 2:31 PM

    “By dropping the DUI charge it is clear that the prosecution did not have sufficient evidence to proceed.” Really? Oh, ok. Thankfully part of free speech is being able to say what you want in public so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, so… lying? Protected. Enjoy it, Lawyer.

    “Hines has always maintained that his ability to drive was in no way impaired and we are pleased that the facts support his innocence.” But he had been drinking? And he was driving? Awesome. ‘Yes, technically the ‘facts’ constitute that under the exact ‘definition’ my client ‘may’ have been operating a motor vehicle while under the the influence of alcohol, but I don’t have to say that, I can paint any picture with whatever colors I want.’

    Ok… Didn’t like the guy before, now I really don’t like the guy. Good Job Hines Ward. Real Class Act.

  22. hedleykow says: Feb 22, 2012 2:37 PM

    And Big Ben is thinking, “maybe I should have pleaded down to DUI in my rape case.”

  23. upyoursnfu says: Feb 22, 2012 2:45 PM

    He should have hired Ray Lewis’ limo driver.

  24. imasturbate says: Feb 22, 2012 3:12 PM

    This is the case for most big cities. Get a lawyer and they’ll push the case back until the dust settles and then the DA will offer a plea deal. This is done because in most big cities the courts are tied up in murders, rapes, assaults etc…and they’d rather not see a DUI in the courtroom.

    @Steeler’swill

    Driving and not driving is a big difference but what’s even bigger is if he gets caught again and having 1 DUI charge against him rather than facing his 2nd DUI

  25. haileli says: Feb 22, 2012 3:18 PM

    hedleykow says:
    Feb 22, 2012 2:37 PM
    And Big Ben is thinking, “maybe I should have pleaded down to DUI in my rape case.”

    There was a rape case?

  26. blackqbwhiterb says: Feb 22, 2012 4:03 PM

    Ain’t nothing, I pled down one of those my damn self….and I can’t play football, only write about it!! Hic…..

  27. steelersmichele says: Feb 22, 2012 4:04 PM

    ray rice is against drunk driving because a family member was killed by a drunk driver. he spoke out again hines ward and made some very public comments about the arrest. yet, when teammates asked him if he was okay with dante stallworth joining his team, he was okay with it. hmmm.

  28. rcali says: Feb 22, 2012 4:05 PM

    Lindsey Lohan thinks he got off easy.

  29. gavinmac says: Feb 22, 2012 4:34 PM

    “By dropping the DUI charge it is clear that the prosecution did not have sufficient evidence to proceed.”

    Or, one could say that by agreeing a $2,000 fine, probation, and 80 hours of community service, it is clear that Ward and his lawyer knew that the prosecution had ample evidence to proceed.

    I’ve never heard of a $2,000 fine for an improper lane change before.

  30. dexterismyhero says: Feb 22, 2012 4:37 PM

    @steelersmichele says:Feb 22, 2012 4:04 PM

    ray rice is against drunk driving because a family member was killed by a drunk driver. he spoke out again hines ward and made some very public comments about the arrest. yet, when teammates asked him if he was okay with dante stallworth joining his team, he was okay with it. hmmm.
    ==================================

    Nice try b.i.t.c.h. He killed a guy who jaywalked in front of him on a highway early in the morning. They were even saying that a sober person couldn’t have avoided the man. He also served two years house arrest, 1,000 hours of community service and will be on probation for eight additional years. He showed complete remorse for the tradgedy.

  31. steelcurtains says: Feb 22, 2012 5:40 PM

    dexterismyhero says:
    Feb 22, 2012 4:37 PM
    @steelersmichele says:Feb 22, 2012 4:04 PM

    ray rice is against drunk driving because a family member was killed by a drunk driver. he spoke out again hines ward and made some very public comments about the arrest. yet, when teammates asked him if he was okay with dante stallworth joining his team, he was okay with it. hmmm.
    ==================================

    Nice try b.i.t.c.h. He killed a guy who jaywalked in front of him on a highway early in the morning. They were even saying that a sober person couldn’t have avoided the man. He also served two years house arrest, 1,000 hours of community service and will be on probation for eight additional years. He showed complete remorse for the tradgedy.

    ————————————————-

    Make excuses much?? Was Stallworth drinking? Yes. Was Stallworth driving? Yes. Did Stallworth kill someone? Yes. But yet it’s ok for Rice to play with him….sounds like double-standards to me.

  32. northsidesteel says: Feb 22, 2012 9:13 PM

    who cares

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