A football player at Texas A&M was recently suspended from participating in team practices or games, but it wasn't for the theft citation that he was issued. Instead, the charge that garnered him the suspension was for failing to identify himself to an officer. Although the charge could have been a felony, authorities decided that only a misdemeanor charge was sufficient.
The initial incident that led to the charge occurred at Wal-Mart. One of the employees at the store believed that he saw the football player take a bottle of lotion without paying for it. He subsequently notified the police. The bottle of lotion in question retailed for less than $15, and the responding officer determined that issuing him a citation for a theft of less than $50 was the appropriate course of action. However, when asked his name for the citation, authorities claim that the man gave his brother's name rather than his own.
The man later disclosed what had occurred to a campus officer, citing that he was frightened by the police officer. Following the issue of a warrant for his arrest, the man chose to turn himself in to the authorities. It's possible that this is not the first incident of this type that the police have handled, as one of the officers involved with the case did state that it is common for college-age students to become frightened following a possible mistake.
A conviction for failure to identify could put the young man behind bars for six months and knock his college and football goals at Texas A&M off course. With so much on the line, he may be well-advised, alongside his legal counsel, to begin working on a solid defense foundation. Anyone accused of a misdemeanor charge will typically want to choose the manner in which to proceed in order to reap the most favorable outcome possible. While some may find that fighting the charges to the fullest extent is most appropriate, others may decide that the best result hinges on negotiating an acceptable plea agreement with the prosecution.
Source: theeagle.com, "Texas A&M WR Iheanacho arrested on failure to identify charge at Bryan Wal-Mart", March 12, 2015