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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Professional football player arrested on suspicion of DWI

In the offseason, many professional football players use their time to continue training or recover from injuries sustained while they were playing. Jerome Felton, a football player who might be familiar to fans in New York, recently suffered a major setback this offseason.

Instead of receiving press coverage for his accomplishments on the field, the player made the news after he was after he was stopped by police and arrested on charges of drunk driving. In this case, Felton is facing a second-degree charge of DWI, because law enforcement officials found a reason to increase the severity of the charges.

The 25-year-old professional athlete refused to submit to a chemical test during the traffic stop. Such a test could have provided the prosecution evidence concerning his blood-alcohol content. Instead, prosecutors will have to rely on the police testimony of why they stopped and arrested Felton.

It is important to remember that prosecuting DWI charges is not always a simple task. Due to the presumption of innocence established in every criminal trial, the burden of proof is placed on the prosecution. Did the police have probable cause to pull Felton over? What evidence was the arrest based on? Were all procedures followed during the stop and the arrest? These are all questions that must be addressed in the criminal case against Felton.

Interestingly, Felton is one of six players on his team to have been arrested on criminal charges in the past year and half. He is also one of three players on his team to be arrested for DUI, and some of his teammates worked to resolve their drunk driving charges in a favorable manner.

Aside from the possibility that Felton could lose his driver's license or spend time in jail, Felton's public reputation could be seriously tarnished. Maintaining a solid reputation could mean the difference between staying on a team's roster and being forced out of the game. This is just one more reason why it's important to examine a DUI arrest from all angles in order to build a strong defense.

Source: ESPN Radio, "Vikings fullback Jerome Felton arrested on 2nd-degree DWI charge," Tom Pelissero, June 2, 2012

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