Chad Johnson pleads no contest, avoid jail time at ex-wife’s request

Chad Johnson appeared in a Broward, Florida, courtroom this morning and entered a plea of no contest to misdemeanor domestic battery, avoiding jail time in an agreement with prosecutors and his ex-wife.

Instead of jail time, Johnson was sentenced to probation and required to attend anger management classes, which Johnson has said he started doing even before the court ordered it. Although the maximum penalty for misdemeanor domestic battery is 364 days in jail, the prosecutor told the judge that Johnson’s ex-wife, Evelyn Lozada, did not want to see Johnson go to jail.

“She did not wish to proceed with the prosecution and certainly did not wish that Mr. Johnson be incarcerated as a result of this incident,” prosecutor Sarahnell Murphy said.

Johnson agreed to have absolutely no contact with his ex-wife, and the judge told Johnson that meant not just not seeing her but, “No e-mail, no Twitter, no text.” Johnson has said he wants to reconcile with Lozada, but he promised the judge today that he won’t be in touch with her at all, and the prosecutor made clear that that’s what Lozada wants.

If Johnson ever returns to the NFL, he will be subject to discipline under the league’s personal-conduct policy — which is one more reason NFL teams may think he’s not worth the trouble.