A Nebraska judge set New England Patriot Alfonzo Dennard's sentencing for Dec. 5 -- a month before the NFL playoffs begin -- after he admitted he violated probation by drinking and driving.

Dennard and his attorney, Alan Stoler, declined to comment as they walked out of a Lincoln courtroom late Monday morning.

Inside, the 24-year-old admitted to Lancaster County District Judge Stephanie Stacy that he violated the probation she gave him in April for assaulting a Lincoln police officer and resisting arrest during a scuffle at bar close a year earlier. That was just before the former Husker cornerback was chosen in the NFL Draft. 

Now in his second NFL season, Dennard had an interception last week as the Patriots (2-0) defeated the New York Jets.

Without a continuance, he could be back in a Lincoln courtroom twice more this season.

He faces two misdemeanor charges in the drinking-and-driving incident and is set to appear in court Oct. 8.

On Monday, Stacy accepted his admission of violating his probation and set sentencing for that for Dec. 5, when she could give him as many as six years in prison.

Until then, Dennard remains on probation.

At trial on the assault charge in February, Officer Ben Kopsa said Dennard threw a punch that hit his jaw as he tried to handcuff him. Dennard denied it, but he admitted he resisted, backing away and swatting at Kopsa's hands after he came at him from behind.

In the end, the jury found Dennard guilty, and Stacy sentenced him to 30 days in jail -- to start March 31, 2014 -- and 100 hours of community service that must be law enforcement-related.

Exactly three months later, a Lincoln police sergeant stopped Dennard on suspicion of DUI after his car drifted outside his lane, Deputy County Attorney Chris Turner said at Monday's hearing.

Turner said the sergeant noticed Dennard fumbled with paperwork in the car and had bloodshot, watery eyes. He denied drinking but showed signs of impairment, and police found alcohol in the car, Turner said.

Dennard gave insufficient samples for breath and chemical tests, he said. Even with a partial sample of breath, his blood alcohol tested at 0.153 percent, Turner said. The legal limit is 0.08.

Dennard said Monday he had two beers that night and was driving his girlfriend's car when the police car came out of nowhere and stopped him.

When he had trouble finding the vehicle registration, the officer told him to recite the alphabet backward, something Dennard said would be hard for him to do today.

Reach Jonathan Edwards at 402-473-7395 or jedwards@journalstar.com.