The bad news for Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard is that he could be sentenced to up to six years in prison after he was convicted of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest. The good news is that other people convicted of the same crimes typically get much shorter sentences than that.
Dennard’s prosecutor, Lancaster County Attorney Joe Kelly, told the Omaha World-Herald that defendants who are found guilty of third-degree assault of an officer typically get sentences ranging from probation to up to 180 days in jail.
So if Dennard gets a typical sentence when he next appears before a judge on April 11, even if it’s on the high end of the typical sentence, he would be available for most of the regular season. At least, he would be if the NFL doesn’t suspend him: The NFL says it is still reviewing Dennard’s case and could suspend him under the league’s personal-conduct policy, even though Dennard committed the assault before he became an NFL player.
The prosecutor’s office said it will not recommend a specific sentence to the judge, while Dennard’s lawyer said he will work hard to convince the judge not to go too hard on his client.
“That’s the jury verdict, and we’ll deal with it,” attorney Terry Dougherty said. “Our work is not done. We need to prepare for the sentencing hearing, to make sure there’s a sentence that is appropriate.”
From Dennard’s perspective, an appropriate sentence would be one that allows him to play for the Patriots all season.