The elevator video has now been made public.
Ray Rice knew what he was doing in the elevator. Ray Rice and his legal team knew what they were doing when he rushed to the Courthouse and took a very quick plea. The questions now are will Ray Rice have to go back to Court, and can they charge him with a felony?
The quick answer seems to be yes and no! In the United States of America, the U.S. Constitution, and every State Constitution protects its citizens from being charged twice with the same crime. See Colorado Constitution Article II, Section 18 that reads, “No person shall be compelled to testify against himself in a criminal case nor shall any person be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.”
Double Jeopardy appears to be why the Baltimore Ravens terminated his contract. The NFL suspended him indefinitely.
No New Felony Charge:
Let us assume that the District Attorney’s (DA’s) Office did not have the video of what occurred inside the elevator. The District Attorney’s Office offered Mr. Rice a plea deal without all, which he accepted. When he accepted the deal, jeopardy has attached. The deal was to a diversion sentence, which avoids a conviction. This is a consistent plea offer on a first offense of an alleged misdemeanor or an alleged municipal ordinance violation of domestic violence. This would NOT be consistent plea offer on a first offense of an FELONY allegation of domestic violence. The fact that any new evidence, in this case a new video, would not allow the People to reopen the case. As a former prosecutor, it was very typical to have new evidence come up AFTER the person was arrested, typically in the form of a recanting victim. The fact that jeopardy attached does not allow them to now add a felony assault charge.
NEW CONTEMPT CHARGES? :
In a typical case, the Judge will ask the defendant to state on the record (in open Court which is recorded) what the facts are. Every person charged with a criminal offense is given the right of allocution. If Ray Rice made a statement that was a knowing and intentional false statement to a Judge in open Court he could then be charged with contempt of court at the very least. He could be brought back in front of the Judge. I was not his attorney. I do not have a recording of what was said on the record on this case.
As an experienced criminal defense attorney who has dealt with many high profile cases, sometimes the best job we do is to simply protect the client from himself or herself when we do not let them say anything. My point is this, if you are hiring “an expensive mouthpiece” is may be best to let them do the talking.