|ESPN.com: FMX||[Print without images]|
|James Stewart is happy to have his legal troubles behind him so he can focus on the 2012 season, which he'll be competing in aboard his new Joe Gibbs Racing-backed Yamaha.|
Stewart will perform 75 hours of community service in the plea deal. Pronouncement of guilt was withheld because Stewart is a first-time offender. He was also fined $500 and will be on probation for a year.
|Stewart gets in some practice at the private Joe Gibbs Racing testing facility in North Carolina.|
Stewart did not return messages to ESPN and he declined comments to reporters outside of the Osceola County Courthouse. The night before the hearing Stewart Tweeted to his 62,000 followers: "Glad this is getting behind me. Looking forward to getting back on the track racing. Thanks everyone for your support. 2012 Season."
In an unpublished June 1 interview with ESPN, Stewart was asked if he was optimistic with how the case would turn out. "I'm always optimistic," he said. "All I can do is try to move forward and at the end of the day it was a mistake on my part I guess. For sure it was a mistake on my part but we will handle it and move forward."
Impersonating an officer is a felony. Stewart, represented by attorney Dan Cogdell, pleaded no contest to a first-degree misdemeanor charge of using flashing or rotating lights on a motor vehicle.
In the March incident, Stewart was on his way to the Orlando airport, with a friend, in his 2008 Toyota Tundra when he tried to pull over another vehicle using blue flashing lights he purchased at a flea market. The vehicle he pulled over happened to contain two off-duty highway patrol officers. When trooper Kevin O'Quinn, driving the vehicle Stewart was accused of trying to pull over, identified himself as a police officer, Stewart sped off. He was met by authorities at the Orlando International Airport.
Stewart recently signed a three-year deal with Joe Gibbs Racing where he will compete in the AMA Supercorss and make a return to the AMA Pro Motocross Championship aboard Yamahas.