Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/17/13
Patriots cornerback Alfonzo Dennard is in a difficult situation with the law now that Nebraska prosecutors have alleged he violated the terms of his probation. The Lancaster County attorney filed a motion claiming Dennard violated his probation last week when he was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence and cited for refusing a breathalyzer test and straddling the lane lines. Dennard’s probation hearing will be July 31, before his Aug. 12 court appearance for the arrest. The Patriots open training camp July 25. The DUI case and alleged probation violation will use the same evidence from last week’s arrest. However, one local law expert noted it’s more difficult for a defendant in a probation case. “It’s a lot easier for the government to prevail in a probation surrender hearing than it is at a trial,” said David Frank, who is the managing editor for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and previously worked as an assistant district attorney for Suffolk County. “At trial, the prosecution has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. At a probation surrender hearing, it’s a much lesser standard of evidence that’s required, so it’s a lot easier for the court to find somebody in violation of probation than it is for a person to be convicted at trial beyond a reasonable doubt. The idea when you’re going in front of a court for a probation violation hearing is you’ve already been convicted of something, and the only issue is whether or not you violated the terms of your probation. “It’s a different analysis, but at the end of the day, it’s a lot easier for a person to be found in violation of probation than it is to be convicted in trial.” If Dennard is found to have violated his probation, the judge could revoke his probation and send him to jail, or could continue his probation with new terms. Dennard is serving a two-year probation after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer outside a Lincoln, Neb., bar in April 2012. He was also sentenced to 30 days in jail to be served in March 2014 and 100 hours of community service. “You don’t need a lawyer to know that it’s not a good thing to be in front of a court on a probation surrender hearing,” said Frank, “because it means you’ve already been convicted and there’s an allegation from the probation department that you’ve violated one of the conditions of your sentence.”
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