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Atlanta sports star faces misdemeanor DUI charge

Some of our Atlanta readers may have been in the following situation before. They just played an integral part in accomplishing a great achievement as part of a team effort, they have the next day off of work and they feel like celebrating. They go out, have a few celebratory drinks and then there is the decision on how to get home.

Well, most sports fans in the Atlanta area are familiar with Falcons running back Michael Turner. It is being alleged that, in a situation like the one above, he made the choice to drive. He was arrested in the early morning hours of Sept. 18 on allegations of drunk driving. This was just hours after the Falcons' Monday Night Football win over the Denver Broncos.

Criminal charges for driving under the influence are serious for anyone, but they can be particular damaging for celebrities or famous athletes. Notifications of an arrest are reported almost immediately on the Internet, and the public reaction is usually to presume guilt, rather than presume innocence as called for by the law.

Turner will now face a misdemeanor DUI charge after being stopped by police for allegedly driving 97 mph on Interstate 85 northeast of Atlanta that night. He reportedly spent about two hours in jail before being released on bond.

Turner is obviously innocent until proven guilty, but in today's media-driven world some damage has already been done. An arrest has long-term consequences of its own, but a criminal conviction can make life more difficult for anyone.

It may not help Turner with his employers and the NFL that he has become a part of a string of players who have been arrested for DUI this year, regardless of the ultimate judicial outcome. As with most people who find themselves in this type of situation, the best course of action is usually to immediately contact an attorney and assess the options when it comes to putting forward a criminal defense.

Source: Yahoo! Sports, "Atlanta Falcons RB Michael Turner arrested for DUI," Russ Bynum, The Associated Press, Sept. 18, 2012

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