Attorney says prosecution feels obligated to charge Marshawn Lynch

Jul 18, 2012, 3:17 PM | Updated: 5:10 pm

By Staff

Marshawn Lynch is scheduled to be arraigned next month, but the attorney for the Seahawks running back says his DUI case could get thrown out.

“The evidence is fairly clear that we have a strong case
in terms of proving that Marshawn was under .08 when he
was driving,” Ivan Golde told “The Kevin Calabro Show” on Wednesday. “The DA’s office doesn’t want to appear that they’re giving an athlete or celebrity preferential treatment, so they feel almost obligated to charge the case.”

The Alameda County district attorney charged Lynch Wednesday with driving under the influence of drugs and
alcohol and driving while having a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher.

Golde said that Lynch was at .08, which is the California
legal limit, during a preliminary alcohol screening when
Lynch was pulled over in Emeryville, Calif., on Saturday.
Golde said when Lynch was retested at the jail, he blew
above a .08.

“The point is, those preliminary alcohol screening tests,
or PAS tests, are very often .01 or .02 off in terms of
margin of error,” Golde said.

Golde thinks those discrepancies are enough to get the case thrown out or reduced, which would decrease the likelihood of the NFL suspending Lynch, who is perhaps the most important player on the Seahawks’ offense.

ESPN’s John Clayton said right now he doesn’t think Lynch will be suspended this season, even if the DUI charge holds up. Clayton’s reasoning: the league considers a DUI a violation of its substance-abuse policy, which provides that a player will generally be fined and not suspended for his first DUI.

Clayton, however, said commissioner Roger Goodell could decide to discipline Lynch under the guidelines of the personal conduct policy, which Lynch violated twice during his time with the Buffalo Bills. In that case, Clayton said, Lynch could be suspended for 4-6 weeks.

“This all comes down to how commissioner Roger Goodell decides to classify Lynch’s actions,” Clayton told “The Kevin Calabro Show” on Wednesday.

Teresa Drenick, director of communications for the Alameda County district attorney, could not confirm Golde’s claim about Lynch’s blood-alcohol content and said she could not discuss the details of the case.

Lynch has a court date on Aug. 14, which is in the
middle of Seahawks training camp.

He was seen weaving on Interstate 880 in the Oakland,
Calif., area on Saturday morning, leading to his arrest
for investigation of DUI. An incident report released by
the California Highway Patrol described Lynch driving a
Ford Econoline van and having two near collisions with two other vehicles driving in adjacent lanes.

This is Lynch’s first off-field problem since coming over
to Seattle from Buffalo during the 2010 season. Lynch’s
career stalled with the Bills and was highlighted by two
off-field brushes with the law, one of which resulted in a three-game suspension.

He pleaded guilty in March 2009 to a misdemeanor gun
charge in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to 80 hours of
community service and three years’ probation, and was
suspended three games by the league for violating the NFL
personal conduct policy.

That was Lynch’s second run-in with the law with the
Bills. He was also involved in a hit-and-run accident in
Buffalo in May 2008. In the earlier incident, he pleaded
guilty to a traffic violation and admitted to driving away after striking a woman with his car near Buffalo’s
downtown bar district.

The league is aware of Lynch’s latest legal trouble, but
it’s unclear whether his past transgressions could get
lumped together with his current DUI arrest and lead to
yet another suspension.

Lynch signed a four-year contract in March after rushing for a career-high 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns. The contract is worth $31 million, including a guaranteed
$18 million.

AP Sports Writer Tim Booth contributed to this report.

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Attorney says prosecution feels obligated to charge Marshawn Lynch