Is Mark Grace's DUI sentence too soft?

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- After years of seeing baseball legend Mark Grace in the Diamondbacks broadcasting booth, we've come to see him, often, in court.

Thursday morning, he pleaded guilty to reduced charges tied to his felony DUI arrest in 2012, telling the judge he's owning his mistake.

"One thing I've always taught my children is to be accountable and now it's time for Dad to be accountable," Grace said to a Maricopa County Judge.

Grace originally faced four felony counts, but as part of his plea deal, a judge sentenced him for one felony and a misdemeanor. The maximum he could have faced was more than 12 years in prison, instead the judge ordered four months in jail.

DUI attorney Scott Maasen isn't on the case, but he said Grace's attorneys negotiated a good deal.

"You know, it's a pretty exceptional result," Maasen said.

Especially with the State granting Grace's work release.

"He gets to be released for up to about 12 hours a day. So in essence, he's going to be sleeping at a county jail for the next four months," said Maasen.

The Diamondbacks say during his jail time, Grace will continue coaching during spring training and working with the minor league team.

In a statement, staff said "He has a lot that he can teach our young players, both on and off the field, and he's part of the D-backs family."

But did those family ties lessen his legal trouble?

"Certainly some people would look at it that way. Whereas, somebody else had a certain set of circumstances and they were going to prison for a period of time and think 'Why does Mark Grace get the result that he has?' So, that will certainly be up for debate and people will be talking about that for a long time," said Maasen.

The Judge put Grace on two years probation. He's due to turn himself in to authorities Feb. 10, 2013.