Athlete Cites Self-Defense In Assault Case, Found Not Guilty

When a person is caught in the heat of the moment, he or she may have a momentary slip of judgment. Although this can happen to almost anyone, the unfortunate reality is that legal trouble can emerge from these incidents.

This seems to be what happened to Bengals football player Adam “Pacman” Jones. According to a report from the New Jersey Herald, Jones was at a nightclub when he became involved in a heated exchange with a female patron. Eventually the situation escalated to the point that police were called. Jones was arrested and charged for assault after the woman claimed he punched her.

In response to the charges, Jones said that the woman was actually the aggressor in the situation, so he was simply defending himself. The woman poured beer on his arm and video footage from the nightclub showed that she pointed the beer bottle at Jones’ face, which was perceived as a threat.

When the trial began, Jones waived his right to have the violent crimes case heard before a jury. In the end, the judge assigned the case determined that the football player was not guilty of assault, since he was not the one who provoked the altercation. However, the judge did make a point to state that both parties involved in this case demonstrated a “lack of civility.”

Major legal decisions, such as waiving the right to a trial by jury, should never be taken lightly. Making an ill-advised or hasty choice under these circumstances could have a lasting impact in terms of a sentence or a person’s professional reputation. As such, it may be helpful to discuss the situation with an experienced attorney. At this point, it will be possible to weigh the available options and move forward with what’s best.

Source: The New Jersey Herald, “Judge: Bengals’ Pacman Jones not guilty of assault,” Lisa Cornwell, Oct. 8, 2013