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Greg Hardy's charges formally expunged

Over the past few years, numerous athletes have faced domestic violence charges and have had to deal with intense public scrutiny. NFL defensive end Greg Hardy is one of these athletes. The Dallas Cowboys star, who was previously a member of the Panthers in neighboring North Carolina, was charged last year after a domestic assault incident involving his former girlfriend. He was convicted by a North Carolina judge in May of 2014.

Criminal charges can result in consequences both in and out of court. The case forced Hardy to miss most of the 2014 season with the Carolina Panthers. In March of 2015, he was signed to a one year deal with the Cowboys, who have stood behind him throughout the ordeal. Unfortunately, he was given a 10-game suspension shortly after signing the deal. The suspension was later reduced to four games.

It is important to remember that being found guilty of a crime does not mean you are out of options. Hardy appealed the guilty verdict in his case and it worked to his advantage. When the former girlfriend failed to cooperate with prosecutors, the case was dismissed. It has been reported that she agreed to a settlement.

Expungements allow for criminal convictions to essentially be erased from a person's record. In April, Hardy requested to have the assault claims cleared from his record. Hardy's lawyers have confirmed that the judge granted his request earlier this month and that the domestic violence charges against Hardy have been formally expunged.

The case continues to be in the news as pictures recently surfaced showing alleged injuries suffered by Hardy's girlfriend during the alleged assault. While this may damage Hardy's reputation, he can take some comfort in knowing that his case has been dismissed and that his record is clear of the charges.

Source: New York Times, "Domestic Violence Charges Against Greg Hardy Are Erased," Agence France-Presse, Nov. 6, 2015

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