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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Chris Simms found not guilty of DWI

Professional football player, Chris Simms, was arrested in New York City last July on DWI charges. The arrest took place in the early morning after Simms was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint in the West Village. The 30-year-old football player was driving a 2009 Mercedes Benz when he was arbitrarily stopped.

Chris Simms has denied any guilt involved in the charges. A jury recently heard his case in a Manhattan court. The police officer who arrested him testified at trial that Simms' car smelled of what he suspected was burnt marijuana. The officer also claimed that Simms was slurring his words, and allegedly admitted that he had been smoking pot. Simms' lawyer, however, explained to the jury that the police officer must have simply misunderstood Chris Simms at the time of the incident.

In addition, a friend of Chris Simms refuted the police officer's testimony during the trial. His friend testified that he was the one smoking pot, and not Chris Simms.

Prior to the arrest, Chris Simms had willingly submitted to a breathalyzer test and passed. However, he refused to take a urine test, and prosecutors argued that such evidence could have proven that the accused had been smoking pot prior to his arrest.

Without any evidence that Simms' was in fact driving under the influence of marijuana, aside from the police officers' testimony, the jury found Chris Simms not guilty of the serious charge of DWI. It only took the jury about one hour to make their decision.

Chris Simms is the back-up quarterback for the Tennessee Titans, and the son of famed New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms. Although it is still possible that Simms will face disciplinary action from the NFL, the not guilty verdict on the misdemeanor charge means that he will avoid the penalty of jail time, which would have had a serious effect on his professional football career.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Simms Acquitted of DWI," Sean Gardiner, 5 May 2011

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