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Michigan football player acquitted of assault, set to rejoin team

A star football player for the University of Michigan was acquitted last month of three criminal charges including domestic violence, assault and illegal entry. The player, who had been suspended from the team pending the outcome of the case, was reinstated to the team earlier this month.

The player had been offered a potential plea bargain in the case which would have included the player pleading guilty to the domestic violence charge. However, the player rejected the deal because Michigan's football program has a prohibition on having players on the team who have committed "assaultive behavior."

This turned out to be a wise move on the player's part, as the judge in the case ruled that none of the charges was able to be proved in court beyond a reasonable doubt. The two women that the player was accused of assaulting testified that they did not feel threatened by the player's actions.

The young man had a big decision to make when he was faced with accepting or rejecting the plea agreement. A guilty plea might have been eliminated from his record had he gone through the procedures of the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which applies to people between the ages of 17 and 20. However, the player elected to take his chances with a trial, and his decision was proven right in the end.

The player was acquitted despite evidence that showed redness on the chest of one of the women the player was accused of assaulting. However, in the end, the judge ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

If you have been charged of domestic violence and other related charges, and your future is on the line, it is imperative that you retain an experienced defense attorney who can protect your interests and present a solid defense.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Michigan safety Josh Furman not guilty of assault charges," Mark Snyder, April 26, 2012

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