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Compromise reached, criminal charges dropped against NBA player

NBA player Terrence Jones just secured a crucial win in a Portland court, and not the court you might think of. The player, who had a storied amateur basketball career peppered with championships, recently won a legal contest held in a courtroom. Jones, who plays for the Houston Rockets, a team which is embroiled in a hotly contested NBA playoff series with the Portland Trailblazers, recently had criminal charges against him dropped after a civil compromise was reached.

Jones, a Portland native who played basketball at Jefferson High School, was accused of harassing a homeless man in his hometown last year. The NBA player allegedly stomped on the man's leg and yelled at him. The homeless man sustained a minor injury to his leg, which did not require medical attention.

Jones, a high NBA draft pick, pled not guilty to the charges. A civil compromise was eventually reached, but details of the agreement were unavailable.

In Oregon, a civil compromise involves remediating the damages such as paying for an injured plaintiff's medical expenses, in exchange for dismissal of charges. In this type of agreement, a plaintiff must indicate in writing that an injury or damage has already been satisfied.

Depending on state laws, harassment can be categorized as either criminal or civil. Consequences for harassment charges can also vary from misdemeanor charges, to serious felony charges.

When a person is facing criminal charges, it can be damaging to one's career, personal life and reputation. Forming a solid defense may be helpful in reducing or dismissing charges, like Jones' case. If a civil compromise can be reached, the results can be much less devastating than being convicted of criminal charges.

Source: WKYT, "Charges against former Wildcat dropped," April 22, 2014

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