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Lenny Dykstra

Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison

3/5/2012 12:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

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Baseball legend Lenny Dykstra has been sentenced to three years in California state prison in his grand theft auto case.

The former New York Mets outfielder had asked the judge to allow him to change his plea last week -- from "no contest" to "not guilty" -- but the judge refused to allow it today.

Lenny entered the "no contest" plea back in October as part of a plea deal -- copping to three counts of felony grand theft auto and one count of submitting false statements to a financial institution. 21 other charges against him were dismissed.

Lenny wanted to change his "no contest" plea because he felt it was "not knowing and intelligent" -- meaning Lenny wasn't provided with all the available information in the case before he made his plea decision.

Lenny was accused of leasing luxury cars from an L.A. dealership with fraudulent paperwork. Drug charges were also filed in the case.

But Lenny won't actually serve a day in prison -- due to overcrowding, he'll begin serving his sentence in jail ... and will likely be released long before the 3-year mark.

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