Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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NFL star faces uncertain future after DUI guilty plea

Being convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol can lead to severe criminal penalties in Ohio and around the country, but the consequences of a DUI charge can be more profound for those who drive for a living or work in the public eye. Many of America's children look up to professional athletes as heroes and role models, and organizations like the National Football League and Major League Baseball have put strict substance-abuse policies into place to protect the reputations of their sports.

The NFL's policy calls for a two-game suspension when players have been convicted of drunk driving, but New England Patriots wide receiver Michael Floyd could face a far longer ban due to a number of aggravating factors. Police reports indicate that Floyd had a blood alcohol content well over twice the legal limit when he was taken into custody by Arizona police on Dec. 12 when he was still with the Cardinals, and a blood alcohol level of .15 percent or higher is an aggravating factor under the NFL's substance-abuse policy. A previous history of alcohol or drug issues is another factor that can lead to longer NFL suspensions, and Floyd was involved in three alcohol-related incidents when he was in college.

In addition to any disciplinary measures handed down by the NFL, Floyd will spend 24 days in jail and 96 days confined to his home after pleading guilty to an extreme DUI charge on Feb. 16. he will also pay a fine, attend alcohol counseling and perform community service. The Maricopa County District Attorney's Office agreed to drop six other charges against Floyd in return for his plea.

Prosecutors will sometimes agree to reduce or drop charges in return for a speedy resolution to drunk driving cases even when police have provided them with compelling evidence. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may also urge them to show leniency when their clients face additional sanctions from their employers.

Source: The National Football League, "Patriots WR Michael Floyd pleads guilty to DUI, sentenced to jail", Kevin Patra, Feb. 17, 2017

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