Hooplaw: Game Time vs. Jail Time

Below is legal analysis of Kyle Lowry’s predicament according to a local criminal defense attorney, Joel Hayter:

Kyle Lowry’s misdemeanor battery charge in Nevada will likely not seriously interfere with his game time.  Although he faces up to six months in jail if convicted, this does not necessarily mean he will be out for the season.  Sure, this would happen if he were to plead guilty at his court date in February and get sentenced to the full six months right then and there.  But he will no doubt spend some money on a good criminal defense lawyer.  Besides the possibility of having a misdemeanor conviction on his record, missing game time will be a concern that Lowry and his lawyer will take into consideration.

I initially note that my opinion is based on what goes on in Harris County; Nevada may be a different story.  But generally, cases in the criminal justice system take time.  Regardless of whether Lowry wants to fight his case at trial or decide to plead guilty, his lawyer can do his best to stall a resolution by continually getting his case reset until the season is over.  That way, he would only miss a few games at a minimum for his required court appearance for those dates and may not miss any games at all.  Of course, the best case scenario would be that he gets his case dismissed, or perhaps they could strike a favorable deal with the prosecutor that would not include jail time.  I just hope the prosecutor is a Rockets fan.

Other than missing games, it is quite possible that Lowry could be convicted and face jail time.  I’m not an expert on criminal law in Nevada, but under Texas law, the prosecution would likely have a case against Lowry for assault.  Assuming what the media is reporting is true, the odds appear to be against him.  Also, the fact that the referee is a woman would not work in his favor in front of a jury.  More importantly, he apparently confessed to his actions, which is detrimental to his case.  However, there is probably more that went on than what we are hearing in the media, and it is up to his lawyer to investigate and gather favorable evidence that we are unaware of.  As discussed above, there are many possible outcomes to his case, and his lawyer will no doubt be exploring all options.

Joel Hayter, Criminal Defense Attorney, The Schaffer Firm, Houston Texas, [email protected]

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