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Do Professional Athletes Get Special Treatment in Criminal Courts?

As an attorney who occasionally represents "high profile" clients in Northern Kentucky, the simple answer is generally NO; unless the special treatment is getting a worse deal or more punishment than the average defendant.  The first problem is often both Prosecutors and Judges are fearful of giving the appearance of special treatment even though the treatment is very standard. In representing professional athletes there is a concern that if he doesn't get the same resolution as the others that there will be an assumption that he got a better deal because he is an athlete. This is seldom the case as there are many other problems that arise because the defendant has some degree of fame. Another but equally important question should be, "Do people with attorneys get special treatment?"  I hope that the answer is obvious as that is my entire basis for employment.  Attorneys can generally negotiate a much more favorable resolution to a criminal case than the defendant who simply pleads guilty.  A good criminal attorney should point out to the prosecutor the weaknesses in the case.  The attorney may also point out the numerous reasons that the individual case should not be treated like every other case.  In representing corporate executives, the loss of a six figure income may be an unfair punishment for a minor misdemeanor.  Similarly, while a nominal fine might not be much punishment for a professional athlete, losing his job or a multi-game suspension is not "the same punishment" as Joe Barfight who may get a $200 fine and returned to work on Monday. Professional atheletes suffer from the negative publicity which accompanies an arrest.  This can cause the coaching staff and especially potential sponsors to look at them differently.  Even an arrest and acquittal can cost a professional athlete thousands, if not millions, of dollars in fines, suspensions and loss of sponsors. Each case is unique and each defendant has their own set of concerns. If you need an attorney in Northern Kentucky, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or [email protected]

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