R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
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NFL running back facing criminal charge in Houston court

Houston resident and NFL running back Adrian Peterson appeared with his attorney in a Houston court to answer a criminal charge related to an incident last month outside a local club. According to police, Peterson shoved an off-duty police officer when he was asked to leave the club. Peterson said the arrest would have no effect on the upcoming season with the Minnesota Vikings.

Criminal defense attorneys know that facing misdemeanor charges or felony charges can be an unsettling, anxiety producing experience. The penalties imposed by a judge at sentencing may include a fine, probation, community service or imprisonment. The effects on a person's life of a criminal record continues beyond when the penalties imposed by the judge end. Conviction of in a criminal case can make it difficult for a person to get a job. Relationships with family and friends may become strained.

According to his attorney, Peterson's case was postponed until September to allow the state to complete its investigation of the incident and Peterson's claim that he was the victim. Prosecutors file criminal charges on the basis of the information they obtain from the police. Further investigation will often reveal additional witnesses or evidence that casts doubt on initial accounts of the incident.

Peterson took to Twitter to proclaim his innocence and express optimism that the case would be resolved in his favor. It is questionable whether this is a good strategy for most defendants, but Peterson's case has been public fodder as soon as the incident took place.

Source: KHOU.com "Adrian Peterson appears in Houston court, says arrest will not affect season," Aug. 6, 2012

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