A domestic violence conviction in Virginia can lead to life-altering consequences for those accused of such serious crimes. However, many of those accused of these crimes get their charges dismissed for a variety of reasons. Greg Hardy, defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, had recently been charged with domestic violence after an alleged incident involving his ex-girlfriend.
In July of last year, a District Court Judge found Hardy guilty of threatening and assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Hardy appealed his conviction, and under state law in Hardy's state, this appeal set aside the guilty verdict. Prosecutors spoke with the ex-girlfriend a few months later and she reported that she did not want to go through another trial. Hardy's appeal trial was supposed to start earlier this month, but the ex-girlfriend did not show up in court. Prosecutors have not been able to locate her to issue a subpoena to require her to testify at trial.
The district attorney's office decided to dismiss Hardy's trial based on information that Hardy and his ex-girlfriend have reached a settlement and that she purposefully made herself unavailable to assist with the case.
While Hardy may have been cleared criminally, but he may still be facing penalties with the NFL. Hardy was put on the commissioner's exempt list early last season and will remain on the list while the NFL continues to review the case. Facing domestic violence charges can be difficult on those accused and their loved ones. However, it is important to remember that there are many cases where the charges are dropped and the accused can go back to their regular lives.
Source: ESPN, "Greg Hardy charges dismissed," David Newton, Feb. 9, 2015