Legal Expert Says Morgan Wallen May Face 6 Years In Prison…But Likely Won’t Serve It

(Inlay) Metro Nashville PD / X / (Main Photo) Christopher Polk / Penske Media via Getty Images

Morgan Wallen Was Arrested On April 7 After Allegedly Throwing A Chair Off The Sixth Floor Of Eric Church’s Downtown Nashville Bar

A legal expert is weighing in on the potential prison time Morgan Wallen could face after his April 7 arrest.

Wallen was arrested late on Sunday evening (April 7). The singer allegedly threw a chair off the sixth floor of Eric Church’s newly opened Chief’s bar in downtown Nashville.

The chair landed on the ground near two Metro Nashville police officers. Thankfully, the chair did not hit the officers or anyone else.

Wallen was charged with three felony counts of reckless endangerment. He also received a misdemeanor charge for disorderly conduct.

The singer’s attorney released a statement about the charges, saying:

At 10:53 p.m. Sunday evening, Morgan Wallen was arrested in downtown Nashville for reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. He is cooperating fully with authorities.”

Will Morgan Wallen face prison time following his April 7 arrest?
Metro Nashville PD / X


Videos taken after Wallen’s arrest appear to corroborate the attorney’s statement. Wallen smiled and interacted with the officers in a friendly manner. He also smiled in his mugshot.

Will Morgan Wallen Go To Prison? A Legal Expert Weighs In…

Wallen, who recently earned six ACM Award nominations, has his first court date set for May 3. This coincides with his shows at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium on May 2 and May 3.

As Wallen awaits his day in court, a legal expert has offered some insight on the consequences he could face.

Nashville-based criminal defense attorney David Raybin spoke with PEOPLE about Wallen’s potential fate. He said the singer could technically face up to six years in prison for the three felony counts of reckless endangerment.

However, Raybin believes Wallen stands a “very remote” chance of serving the maximum penalty for his charges.

I seriously doubt how he would get consecutive time. It’s based on prior record and extreme dangerousness of the offense … Generally speaking, this would not be consecutive. [Wallen’s] is a serious offense — I don’t want to minimize it, but still, he probably would not be eligible for consecutive sentences. It’s probably a maximum of two years assuming he was not put on probation.”

Morgan Wallen attends the 57th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 08, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Leah Puttkammer / FilmMagic / Getty Images


Raybin continued:

“The question is going to be, because he’s a celebrity, should he be treated differently, either too lightly or too harshly?” Raybin said. “The prosecutor tries to steer a middle course in these cases. You don’t want to just say, ‘Well, we’ll give you a $10 fine.’ And on the other hand, you don’t want to say, ‘Well, because police officers, country music guy, we’re going to toss you in prison for two years.'”

Raybin Says Morgan Wallen’s Charges Are “Darn Serious”

However, Raybin feels uncertain about Wallen’s case due to the severity of his actions.

“Throwing a chair off a building and in proximity of police officers, that’s a darn serious thing,” Raybin said. “It’s very serious because the officers could have been severely hurt. What you want to do is you want to deter that kind of behavior.”

Because the case involves police officers, Raybin feels Wallen could face a “harsher sanction.” 

That chair could have fallen on them, and they could have been killed,” Raybin said.

Morgan Wallen performs the song "'98 Braves" at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia. The show airs on November 19, 2023 on BBMAs.
Christopher Polk / Penske Media via Getty Images

Raybin didn’t want to speculate on the outcome of Wallen’s case. But, he did explain how he’s seen cases when a person’s sentences are split. This means the offender may serve ten days in jail and the rest of their sentence on probation.

“Sometimes they require split confinement, which is some modest amount of incarceration to say, ‘This is just wrong,’ and then the rest on probation,” Raybin said. “I don’t see him going to jail for two years, but I don’t see him getting a completely probated sentence either. They may want to have some degree of incarceration — this is a really serious thing. It’s the risk that’s punishable, not what actually happened.”

Raybin also mentioned that Wallen could go on diversion if he pleads guilty and completes probation. This would expunge his record.

However, Raybin emphasized the complicated nature of Wallen’s situation. “[Diversion] is usually how those cases are disposed of, except for the fact that you’ve got police officers involved here, which aggravates the case a lot,” he said.

Stay tuned for any developments in this story.

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