As MDS pointed out, authorities in Lincoln, Nebraska already have set a hearing for July 31 on the question of whether Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard’s recent DUI arrest constitutes a violation of his probation arrangement arising from a conviction for assaulting a police officer.
That’s bad news for Dennard, for several reasons.
While the Dennard camp (like Aaron Hernandez, Dennard is represented by Athletes First) leaked to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network Dennard’s obviously self-serving view of the latest incident, the presumption of innocence, the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and all other constitutional protections go out the window when the question is whether the defendant violated the terms of his supervised release. In most jurisdictions, the civil standard applies, which means that, if the judge believes it’s more likely than not that Dennard violated the terms of his probation, he’ll be found to be in violation of it.
Further complicating matters for Dennard is the strong possibility that the terms of his probation prevent him from using alcohol. So it won’t matter whether he was driving drunk. If it can be proven by a preponderance of the evidence that he consumed alcohol, he could be in trouble.
It doesn’t automatically mean he’ll be thrown in jail. And if the judge decides to give him a second chance, he should remember to simply tell his lawyer “good job” without any slaps to the buttocks.