Washington Redskins defensive tackle Jermaine Haley would play the 2003 season without suspension if yesterday’s court continuance is the first in a lengthy series, as the Florida state attorney’s office expects.
Haley, arrested for DUI over Memorial Day weekend in Miami Beach, Fla., had attorney Adam Swickle appear on his behalf yesterday for his first hearing in Miami-Dade County Court. A joint continuance (one requested by the prosecution and defense) was issued and the case will be set for report in about a month.
An official at the state attorney’s office said a series of defense continuance requests now are expected for the duration of the season.
NFL vice president of public relations Greg Aiello then confirmed that Haley would receive no penalty until his case is decided.
“The penalty is based upon a violation of law, and it’s up to the court to decide whether there had been a violation of law,” Aiello said.
Swickle would not confirm the plan of continuance requests, declining comment through a woman in his office.
If convicted, Haley probably would be suspended for at least one game because it would be his second DUI conviction since entering the NFL in 2000. The league’s substance abuse policy dictates “likely” suspensions for second convictions.
The NFL also takes into consideration aggravating factors, which could hurt Haley. While driving he crossed the center line, struck a 1995 Honda and did not stop. Police said he then denied being in an accident, became belligerent en route to the police station and ultimately refused to take any sort of sobriety test.
The availability of Haley, who signed a four-year, $4million contract in April, is considered significant to Washington because defensive tackle is a precarious spot.
Haley is slated to be the third defensive tackle behind Dan Wilkinson and Brandon Noble. The Redskins want Wilkinson to take a pay cut and could threaten to cut him, while Noble is considered more of a role player. Behind Haley, the top option is Del Cowsette, who has some promise but is undersized and coming off wrist surgery.