Judge refuses to dismiss DUI case against Marshawn Lynch

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When Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch found himself charged with DUI in July 2012, Seattle fans and fantasy owners feared a suspension during the coming football season.  Midway through the 2013 season, the charges are still pending.

On Friday, a judge in Alameda County Court denied a motion to dismiss the case against Lynch, and to exclude certain unspecified evidence, according to Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com.

Attorney Ivan Golde contends that the arresting officer has changed his story regarding the circumstances leading to the initial stop of Lynch.  Golde claims that, in 2012, the arresting officer claimed he watched Lynch driving for only one-fifth of a mile.  Golde contends that the officer now says he watched Lynch for a full mile.

“The officer drastically changed his story on that critical piece of information,” Golde said.  “The impression the DA’s office seems to be making is that they are singling him out to show that high-profile players can’t get away with these things.  After all of what Marshawn does for this community, for the police to lie and change their story to prosecute him is inexcusable.”

Regardless of the reasons for the initial stop, Lynch reportedly provided a breath sample that was measured in excess of the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Trial remains set for December 27, but Golde believes yet another continuance is likely.

Even if Lynch is found guilty, a suspension is unlikely.  Although he has had prior incidents under the personal-conduct policy, Lynch has never before been charged with DUI.  The standard penalty for a first-offense DUI is a two-game fine.

46 responses to “Judge refuses to dismiss DUI case against Marshawn Lynch

  1. Funny how marshawn can’t get a case dismissed, when officers change the story, but niners can have gun charges, pill charges, battery and assault, sexual abuse charges dropped almost immediately. Or at minimum take them awhile to arise within the National media.

    I don’t care what’s happened suspend him a game or two, I’m fine with that in considering it’s his first offense of this kind probably won’t happen. Point is any idiot who later compares this to Aldon is a complete and udder moron.

    One dude is addicted to drugs and alcohol another got a dui, hours before his charity football camp in the off-season at his home. Not saying it’s okay but as states before lynch gives back regularly. Take him out for a game or so,but this has been his only slip up in about 4 years.

  2. Even if the cop stated two distances, why does distance matter? Lawyer scumbag. Is 1/5 of a mile just too short a distance to tell if someone is in danger of killing someone with their car due to inebriation?

  3. 1/5 mile … 1 full mile … what difference does it make if he still blew over the legal limit ?? Typical lawyer tricks to defend their client. All that $$$ that Marshawn makes, he should be able to afford a cab or a limo to get himself home.

  4. NFLPA:

    Work on stricter punishments for DUI violations! The Josh Brent tragedy should be a wake up call, don’t let this go unpunished! Other members you try to protect could be the victim and you’d be protecting the players from themselves too!

  5. Whether found Guilty or Not Guilty; when this is all done, I hope he has learned that drinking and driving, even if 1/5th of a mile, is wrong and has consequences.

  6. “After all of what Marshawn does for this community, for the police to lie and change their story to prosecute him is inexcusable.”

    I would say he owes the community a whole lot more for putting their lives in danger by driving drunk.

  7. I dont condone drinking and driving in any way, but to say “Regardless of the reasons for the initial stop” is irresponsible. There MUST be probable cause. Just the same as the police cant break into your house without a warrant, they cant randomly pull anyone over to “see” if they are drinking and driving. MHO

  8. The act of DUI is not excusable. Too many innocent lives are at risk every time someone drives while under the influence. There is no way around it, legal or otherwise. It is wrong.

    That said, Lynch’s results were right at the .08 limit. So from a legal standpoint I would think it is a tough case to win for the state.

    But looking at the bigger picture, why not negotiate an outcome that serves both the accused and the accuser? Why not agree to come together and have Lynch and other NFL players in similar situations take time in the offseason to go around to some of our communities and speak to the young people of this nation. Speak to them from the heart about choices and consequences.

    Do something that can actually have influence beyond league suspensions. Take the fines these players would get from both the NFL and the states and pool those funds to create some good in those communities.

  9. What difference does it make how much he has done for the community, you do not bank merit points that can be used to erase a violation of the law. This statement is typical of the mentality of these players and those surrounding them. They think that they should be allowed to do whatever they want because of who they are and what they feel they bring to the city they live in. He was driving while under the influence and tested above the legal limit. He should be punished for this the same way any other person would be punished, there should not be two different laws, one for the rich & famous and one for the rest of society.

  10. Several things:

    It’s kinda weird that multiple offenses only gets you a suspension if it’s the same offense. Reminds of the Simpsons joke about the three strikes law: “first you torched that orphanage, then you blew up that bus full of nuns, and now smoking!”

    If there is evidence he blew a .08 other than the arresting officer’s testimony, unlikely he’ll get around the charge.

    If I was Lynch, idk if I’d want to drag this out. If he’s suspended for the 49ers game, or worse, the post season, that would really be tragic to the team. I’d push to just take my one gamer against the woeful Bucs (he’d probably sit out the second half anyway).

  11. “Regardless of the reasons for the initial stop”
    I beg to differ MF. The grounds for the stop are vital to his defense. The state, at a motions hearing, must establish Probable Cause for the stop( e.g.. speeding, reckless driving, etc.) if no probable cause for the stop, the test results are excluded under the 4th amendment. You can tell from the reports, that is the direction his attorneys are going.


    A lot of people who do many good things for their communities make the mistake of drinking and driving.

    These people pay their fines, do their time and move on.

    Marshawn Lynch should be treated no differently regardless of his notoriety.

  13. Why the hell should it matter that the cop said he followed him for a mile or a fifth of a mile? If he was drunk, which he definitely was, being over the limit, then he should have to pay extra court costs too!

    Get the drunks off the roads!

  14. Talk about a guy that won’t learn.

    This guy is so ugly though, no one will want him on network TV, so his behavior off the field doesn’t mean a thing.

    Good football player, takes beast moding to the streets though, with a car.

  15. Funny how you say he would be a first time offender! He hit a lady crossing Chippewa street in Buffalo while driving his car after leaving the bar, and then took off! That’s why he wanted out of Buffalo, because he was getting charged with hit and run. He took off so the cops couldn’t give him a breathalyzer. Call him beast mode all you want, it’s disgusting that if you or I did something like that we’d definetly end up in jail or with a record, but because lynch is on TV every week it just disappears!

  16. That quote by his attorney is an instant classic… It’s okay to drive drunk if you help the community. Judging by Marshawn’s rap sheet he appears to have helped himself a few times… Ivan Golde. (nice name) lmao!

  17. What happens if you are I get a DUI?

    In most companies you very well may lose your job.

    And no trial postponements either.

    No reason for an NFL player to ever get a DUI.
    Throw the damn book at him for just plain stupidity.

  18. Shouldn’t changing the story essentially wipe the case out. Since it kills credibility.

  19. DUI is no suspension despite the fact it can easily lead to killing people. But a fricking arm stomp gets a two game suspension. What a joke

  20. This is one of the problems with the NFL’s feeble rules and enforcement. Alcohol related incidents come under this policy, PED’s come under this policy, Roid’s come under another policy, beatin’ on your baby’s mama comes under a different policy, and so on and so on. Gives the player multiple chances to break multiple rules without ever having to be suspended……………and then, if a player ever should get suspended, they get to appeal it and a couple ex-players get to decide that it’s too harsh and they overturn it or reduce it to a fine. In real life, multiple offenses whether related or not will get a person thrown in jail. NFL players get more chances to “misbehave” than a 5 yr old kid does before his parents will spank his azz.

  21. This “lawyer” is truly some piece of work.

    Playing the my-client-is-a-pillar-of-the-community defense serves neither the legal profession or his client well. Here’s hoping that it’s not the lawyer’s kid that’s injured next time he decides to go booze-mode ERRRRRR, I’m sorry – beast mode.
    As long as Lynch is convinced that he can drink and drive with impunity, there’s really nothing else to stop him from doing it.

  22. If the lawyer can drag it out long enough, the arresting officer might move to another police department, retire or even die. Then there is no case. Hang in there Lynches lawyer. Pffft.

    Lynch should just take his lumps on this one. Hopefully he learned from the incident and be lucky enough to never put himself in that position again. Work out a plea deal for a fine, probation and a restricted license and move on.

  23. @bunjy96,

    You’re very wrong about court matters being continued it happens all the time.

    I was arrested years ago in a case of mistaken identity and the case was continued 3 times before it was finally dropped. Why? Because the cops realized within a day or 2 of arresting me that they had the wrong guy and never bothered showing up for the hearings to say so. And the court was unwilling initially to dismiss the charges because the person they wanted had serious charges against them and the judge wanted to hear the cops say I wasn’t the guy.

    Cases are continued for issues like I had, conflicts in the schedule of attorneys or prosecutors, and 100 other issues.

    I’m not defending Lynch I don’t like the guy at all, just pointing out that a continuance is nothing unusual.

  24. Time to nail the Seattle Seahags – they think they play by another set of rules.

    Lynch should be suspended from the sport for a year without pay and then immediately go into one step before lifetime ban.

    DUI is a disgraceful act, and if he is convicted, the penalty above should be implemented without any concern for him.

  25. Can’t believe the idiots that jump on the lawyer’s bit about “officer changing his story”….how freakin’ weak minded and stupid are you people. 1/5 of a mile, or 10 miles has nothing to do with whether a person was drunk driving. Kudo’s to the judge for not being as stupid as some posters, who are obviously seattle fans. I don’t think Josh Brent drove much more than a 1/5 of a mile before he killed his passenger. With Lynch’s lawyers b.s. not flying with the judge, I can just see his next feeble excuse……..”Lynch wasn’t drunk, he had just taken cough medicine” or “he didn’t willingly drink the alcohol, Richie Incognito forced it down him”. Lynch and his lawyer should be required to pay all of the legal and court costs for dragging this out and then trying to b.s. the judge in such a stupid time wasting manner.

  26. Up front, I do not condone drunk driving.
    However, the officer did change his story, and by a considerable margin. Either he followed his suspect in observation for about 12 seconds, or over a minute. That’s not really a hard distinction to make, I think we can all tell the difference in those time frames. So to say he made a “mistake” when saying “a fifth of a mile” would be ludicrous. So the lawyer is trying to establish the officer is being dishonest now, by claiming the full mile of observation. Discrediting the officer means discrediting his reason to stop the driver, and thus any evidence gained as a result (the breathalyzer) should not be admissible.
    I don’t like the tactic, as it sidesteps that the infraction DID occur, but police officers, by the nature of their jobs, must be accurate and honest in all that they do and report, because their word alone can cause serious consequences for other citizens.

  27. I’m a Seahawks fan, but driving under the influence is terrible, and should be punished swiftly–not a year and a half later. (And it’s not whether or not the officer watched him for a mile or a fifth of a mile, it’s that he changed his story and rather significantly.)

    There is an important part of the story that got left out: The judge in the case wants the two parties to settle before this goes to trial. I don’t blame the judge. Can you imagine a trial taking place in California right about playoff time, with Seattle’s key offensive player on trial? There can’t be a good outcome. Find him guilty or not guilty and fans on the other side will scream, “Fix!”

  28. aldavismustdie1108 | Nov 2, 2013, 9:59 AM CDT
    Smoking weed=getting kicked off team
    This country thrives on hypocrisy

    Not exactly. From the standard league discipline perspective, First offense DUI = fine, first offense testing positive for weed means we’ll never hear about it because there is no immediate penalty for stage 1 and it’s not even announced publicly that a guy got caught the first time. You gotta get multiple positive test violations for weed to even get suspended four games.

    But, say, breaking team rules on a road trip including smoking pot might make your team decide to cut you, if you are a backup or scrub player. But if you are a star player, a team will probably find a much less harsh punishment. THAT’S the hypocrisy.

  29. There is only one question – was Lynch driving while drunk or not?

    Twice in the last week, in the Seattle area, a car full of high school students was hit head-on by a drunk driver that crossed the center line. Young people died in both cases.

    I have no tolerance for drinking and driving, nor should anyone. For Lynch to be fighting this over a technicality makes me lose respect for him.

  30. “I still don’t understand why it takes over a year (or almost 17 months) to get to trial? would a normal citizen get the same type of treatment?”

    My cousin was arrested in 2005 for murder in California (he was in a gang). He sat in jail without a bail or a trial until this summer when he was released because all of the witnesses were dead.

    I always thought we had a right to a speedy trial…but I guess I was wrong. 17 months is nothing compared to 8 years.

  31. Lynch had a civil sexual assault case filed against by an ex girlfriend in college who stated she was slapped, choked and sexually assaulted… fought that with high paid lawyers. Plead guilty to misdemeanor weapons charges, fought the NFL suspension with high paid lawyers. Got caught drunk driving A YEAR AND A HALF AGO and is still fighting that with high paid lawyers… yea, all you pathetic hawk fans pointing at Aldon Smith… yea… your running back is a real standup guy…..

  32. Oh yea, lets not forget about that hit and run case that the DA couldn’t prove in Buffalo. He leaves a bar hits a woman in the street and LEAVES HER FOR DEAD. The cops find the car and can prove that it was the car that hit the woman, it is registered to him, but couldn’t place him behind the wheel that night. Yea, I always lend my car to strangers to go out drinking….. OMG. If there is a player who deserves to lose his job… it is most definitely is Marshawn Lynch. You a s s wipe cheathawk fans gonna make an excuse for that too? You do about virtually everything else that is ugly about your team….

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