Some cases that move through the criminal justice system involve the prosecution changing the charge. That is what recently happened in the case of a National Football League player who was originally charged with a felony charge of malicious wounding. That charge came as the result of a fight that occurred in Virginia Beach on the Fourth of July weekend.
The incident in question started when Tennessee Titans player Jason Hunter interrupted a conversation. That interruption led to an altercation. Hunter allegedly punched the man in the face two times. The bar ended up being cleared. While the man who was punched was on the sidewalk bent over, the prosecutors allege the football star punched the man again.
The prosecutors claim that the man who was punched had a broken jaw that required treatment at the hospital. The defense denies the allegations the prosecution has made regarding the fight. The defense asserts that Hunter and his friends weren't aggressors on the night in question.
The prosecution has reduced the charge to a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery. The Commonwealth Attorney's office notes that after witness interviews, the misdemeanor charge is the one that is better supported. The new misdemeanor will be the focus of the man's trial beginning with the preliminary hearing.
Defendants who face altered charges might have to change up the defense strategy that they were planning. Learning the new defense strategy options after a charge is altered can help defendants to know how they might proceed. It is vital to understand not only the defense options that might change but also the change in penalties that might occur when the charges are altered.
Source: PilotOnline.com, "Titans' Justin Hunter gets Va. Beach bar fight charge reduced," Aug. 29, 2015