In the eyes of the NFL, Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy committed in 2014 an act of domestic violence. In the eyes of the state of North Carolina, Hardy did nothing at all.
Via Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, the domestic violence charges filed last year against Hardy have been expunged.
Hardy had been charged with communicating threats and assault on a female following an altercation with Nicole Holder. A judge found Hardy guilty at a bench trial, which many in the media presumed was the equivalent of an official finding of guilt.
It wasn’t; North Carolina law gave Hardy a trial before a judge before he received a trial before a jury. And before the trial by jury, Hardy reportedly reached a civil settlement with Holder, which prompted her to not show up for the jury trial.
She could have shown up at the jury trial, testified against Hardy, and then sued him separately. She chose not to, which ended the case against Hardy.
As a practical matter, especially given his suspension by the league, everyone knows Hardy did something. But the expungement of the charges will help him if/when he gets into trouble in the future, since what otherwise would have been a prior offense won’t be.