On Nov. 26, a Florida assistant state attorney released a statement that the office could need up to an additional two weeks to determine whether to press criminal charges against Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston. The state attorney confirmed that a decision would not be made prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. The delay is reportedly due to the fact that the attorney is waiting to receive and analyze evidence related to the allegations.
In December 2012, a former student accused Winston of sexual assault. Through his attorney, Winston stated that his relationship with the woman was consensual and that he did not commit a sexual assault against her. Additional details about the allegations were not provided.
Winston is considered a leading candidate for the Heisman trophy. Unfortunately, ballots are due by Dec. 9, although it is believed that the state’s investigation timeline may allow Winston to play in the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 7, before the ballots are due. The FSU Code of Conduct does not allow any player to participate in a game while charged with a felony. However, it allows exceptions in “extraordinary circumstances,” and Winston has not yet been charged with any crime.
A criminal defense attorney may be able to help persons accused with a crime by attending police interviews and providing assistance on which questions to answer. An attorney could also serve as a mouthpiece for accused persons by deciding whether to release statements in high-profile cases. If charges are ultimately filed, an attorney may be able to help provide a defense that ensures that the person’s constitutional rights are respected.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Jameis Winston inquiry reportedly won’t be resolved for at least another two weeks“, Brendan Sonnone, November 26, 2013
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