Gilbert Arenas Charged With Felony, Wizards Make Official Statement [UPDATED]
Statement from Washington Wizards:
“We are aware of the charge filed against Gilbert Arenas today and will continue to follow the ongoing legal process very carefully. We will also continue to cooperate fully with the proper authorities and the NBA. Beyond our previous statements on this serious and unfortunate matter, will have no further comment at this time.”
Not much here.
And right now, the felony charge (specifically, “Carrying a Pistol Without a License [Outside Home or Place of Business], in violation of 22 D.C. Code, Section 4504(a) (2001 ed.)“), doesn’t mean much until we become aware of further developments. Of course, it’s certainly worse that a misdemeanor charge, but remember these important things:
- A charge isn’t a conviction.
- A felony charge doesn’t mean Arenas can’t plea down to a lesser charge, or plea to a felony and not receive jail time.
- A felony charge isn’t necessarily a step toward being able to void Arenas’ contract — that likely comes as a result of Arenas being convicted of a felony or him pleading guilty to a felony.
- Stephen Jackson pleaded guilty to a felony charge of criminal recklessness for firing a gun in the air in June of 2007. Jackson was fined $5,000 and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service. The NBA suspended him for seven games. His contract was not voided.
- For what it’s worth, in 2001, Ruben Patterson entered a modified guilty plea in Washington state to third-degree attempted rape. He made his children’s nanny perform oral sex on him. He was only suspended five games.
- The “moral turpitude” thing in terms of voiding Arenas’ contract is still in play, but many say that would be very tough to accomplish, unless there is a felony conviction or felony guilty plea.
- The Washington Post reports that Arenas will appear in D.C. Superior Court on Friday.
- So, hold those horses and whatever else you must hold. There’s a lot more to develop.
Worth mentioning via official court document below: 1) there are no “Co-Defendants,” but I don’t imagine Arenas and Crittenton would/could be charged together anyway; 2) the document doesn’t get into specifics, so it’s hard to tell, but it uses the singular form of “pistol”, which would seemingly indicate that Arenas is only facing one felony gun charge and not four, which is purportedly the number of guns he laid out. But still, it’s hard to be 100% sure of the details.
- “Wizards lawyers told team officials that Arenas being charged with only one count means the charge was prearranged with Arenas’ attorneys.”
- “The charges were filed in D.C. Superior Court in an “information,” a document that generally signals a plea deal.”
This is Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton starring in a pretend movie: