Rashee Rice faces multiple potential charges from street-racing crash

Rashee Rice faces multiple potential charges from street-racing crash

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Chiefs receiver Rashee Rice has a problem. More than one problem, actually.

He has multiple problems that span multiple court systems and concerns. The biggest problem — potential loss of liberty due to incarceration — could begin to take shape soon.

Via the Dallas Morning News, attorney Royce West said he expects Dallas police to file charges soon against Rice.

Given that West has said Rice admitted to driving the car, Rice’s first problem flows from Texas laws against street racing. Because the six-car crash triggered by the obvious race between the Lamborghini that Rice was driving and the Corvette registered to him resulted in injury to one or more people, Rice faces a potential third-degree felony charge, which carries a possible sentence of two to 10 years in prison.

Leaving the scene creates a separate issue for Rice, especially since the accident involved injury. It’s a one-to-five-year potential if the injuries are not regarded as “serious,” and two-to-ten years if the injuries are deemed “serious.”

The recent news that less than an ounce of marijuana was found in the Lamborghini potentially creates another issue. As noted by the Dallas Morning News, the local prosecutor previously has said minor marijuana possession cases won’t be prosecuted at all. The current policy is to review each case individually and apply “discretion in charging and in the final disposition of the case.”

Discretion is the key word here, on all fronts. Some think the rich and famous get preferential treatment in the criminal justice system. Often, those folks face greater scrutiny and tougher punishment in order to advance the general goal of widespread deterrence. By prosecuting Rice to the full extent of the law, everyone in Texas (and beyond) will learn the cost of racing cars on public streets — and of leaving the scene of an accident.

Beyond the specifics of any prosecution Rice faces, he’ll have to contend with discipline from the league under the Personal Conduct Policy. A first-offense DUI currently results in a two-game suspension. Felony charges arising from street racing and/or leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries could result in a stiffer punishment.

Although Rice likely was in checkmate on the question of whether he was driving the Lamborghini, his decision to take public responsibility for the situation could help him, both as it relates to the charges pursued, the sentence imposed, and eventually the suspension levied by the NFL. He basically needs to throw himself at the mercy of the court and the Commissioner, hoping that contrition creates a better outcome.



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