Ex-Cowboy’s player, Josh Brent, who was arrested on charges of drunk driving following a fatal car accident that killed one of his teammates, was recently sentenced. The Texas football player did not pass a field sobriety test, and although he continued to deny the DWI charge of intoxication manslaughter, he was recently convicted of the charges. He was sentenced to half a year in jail and a decade of probation.
During the trial, the athlete’s lawyer argued that his client had not been drunk. Rather, he said that his client made unwise driving decisions. He also argued it would have not been possible for the athlete to have drunk the 17 drinks he was accused him of drinking that night. Nevertheless, prosecutors disagreed.
Prosecutors pointed to evidence of a blood test that indicated the man had a blood alcohol level of .18 percent — more than double the legal limit. Prosecutors also pointed to the fact that the man had a prior DUI conviction in Illinois, to which he had pleaded guilty in 2009. Still, the 6 month sentence (and 10 years probation) can be seen as a success for the linebacker’s defense, especially considering that could have spent as much as 30 years behind bars for the crime.
Considering the threat of jail in this Texas case, the defense focused their strongest efforts on getting the DWI charge of intoxication manslaughter dropped or dismissed. The defense team was successful in preventing the linebacker from having to serve two decades behind bars. Essentially, there are a variety of legal strategies that may be employed to improve the ultimate outcome of cases like this. Even though the athlete did not achieve the verdict of not guilty he fought for, the benefits that he did reap from his criminal defense cannot be underestimated.
Source: Sporting News, Josh Brent sentence: Former Cowboys player gets prison time, No author, Jan. 24, 2014