By Jeremy M. Evans, Esq.
Managing Attorney at California Sports Lawyer
The Athlete & the American Criminal Justice System: The Basics of the Law, Representation, and Proper Responses for the Accused
Simple and straightforward, the United States Constitution, and the Bill of Rights contained within, provides the basis for American due process and the criminal justice system. Every aspect of criminal law beyond the 1st, 5th, and 14th Amendments is derived or must be in agreement with legal truths above. Every entity in this Country must adhere and provide protection and enforcement of the law to every American Citizen, or Naturalized Citizen, or person physically within a State or Territory of this Country, equally.
However, if life were that simple, this discussion would end here.
It does not. Athletes in this Country are generally held in high esteem as heroes. Athletes in this Country generally have or had a lot of financial wealth (money and/or assets). Athletes in this Country, not unlike other Americans, may find themselves embroiled in some criminal, administrative, or domestic dispute with one person, thing, or another. However, the athletes’ high profile and wealth seem to lead to Athletes constantly being in the media’s newscast and in front of the public’s eye where we might miss or overlook the same or similar situation within the general population.
Despite the above and the related social implications, in this discussion, we will attack, with common sense solutions, the reality of the situation presented. When you, the athlete, get into trouble, what are the steps you need to take to protect your rights? This discussion, is not, however, a study in culture, or why things happen the way they do, but is about how the athlete, in a very practical manner, with his or her representation, can best handle a tricky situation when it arises.
Before we begin the discussion on responding to criminal or administrative allegations and entities, consider who your representation is, and what they can and cannot do for you. Knowing the difference will help determine who you should hire, and more importantly, consult.
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