In November, Jerome Simpson, wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. As we covered in an earlier blog post, the athlete's vehicle stalled on the highway and the police officer who arrived on the scene believed that he was driving while intoxicated. After submitting to a preliminary breath test, Simpson later refused a breath test at the Hennepin County jail.
Just recently, the football player's trial came to a close. Simpson decided to accept a plea bargain that ultimately prevented time behind bars. In exchange for pleading guilty on two charges, Simpson received one year of probation.
According to reports from the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Simpson admitted guilt in relation to a third-degree DWI charge. This charge was filed for breath test refusal. In addition to that charge, Simpson also pled guilty to careless driving, a misdemeanor.
The judge assigned to the case put a stay on the sentence for the DWI charge. As a result of this, Simpson is only serving a sentence for the careless driving charge. He will be facing probation for a year, so another similar charge would likely result in very serious penalties. Not only that, but the football player will also have to complete 120 hours of community service in public schools.
Plea deals can be a way to positively resolve drunk driving charges. However, it's important to note that individuals shouldn't necessarily accept a plea bargain just because it's offered. Although such agreements generally result in reduced charges and sentences, they will still leave a mark on a person's record. Knowing this, it's useful to determine if a plea deal is truly the best option before reaching an agreement with prosecutors.
Source: Star Tribune, "Vikings' Simpson pleads guilty, avoids jail time," Chris Miller, Jan. 2, 2013