A Minnesota Vikings player was recently accused of possessing marijuana in his home. He now faces a felony charge as a result. However, individuals who are accused of committing felonies are always presumed innocent until and unless their guilt can be proved in a court of law.
Police reported that they obtained a warrant to search the apartment of Roc Thomas in mid-January after allegedly receiving complaints about the smell of marijuana coming from his apartment. At that time, they reportedly found several glass jars that contained marijuana along with marijuana wax. These jars held over triple the quantity of marijuana necessary for someone to be charged with a felony.
If the Vikings running back is convicted on his felony charge, he may be sentenced to five years behind prison bars. In addition, even if the football player decides to plead guilty to less severe charges or is ultimately acquitted, he could be suspended per the National Football League's disciplinary rules. This suspension would remain with him even if he were to join another team.
Individuals in Minnesota who are charged with felonies have the right to go to trial to fight these charges. At trial, they cannot be convicted until and unless the prosecution can prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt -- a high standard aimed at preventing innocent people from being convicted of crimes they did not commit. However, sometimes, it is expedient for a defendant to seek to negotiate a plea agreement rather than going to trial, as this may result in lesser charges and therefore a lighter sentence than what may be imposed following a guilty verdict at trial. In either scenario, an attorney will take the necessary steps to protect the defendant's rights and best interests in the criminal justice system.