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NFL free agent Greg Hardy charged with cocaine possession

Illinois football fans may find it interesting that former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy has been indicted on a felony cocaine charge, according to court records. The charge stems from the 2013 Pro Bowler's arrest in Texas on Sept. 26.

Authorities say Hardy, 28, was pulled over by police in a suburb of Dallas. A search of his car yielded a baggie of a suspected drugs, which Hardy claimed he had no knowledge of. It was later determined the baggie contained 0.7 grams of cocaine. He has been charged with a single felony count of cocaine possession, which is punishable by up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Hardy has had trouble with the law before. In May 2014, he allegedly threw his ex-girlfriend into a bathtub and dragged her around by the hair. The NFL suspended him for four games in 2015 over the incident, but prosecutors dropped criminal charges after his former girlfriend refused to cooperate with the investigation. Hardy played with the Carolina Panthers for five seasons before signing with the Cowboys. He became a free agent after the final game of the 2015 season and remains unsigned.

Illinois residents facing drug charges could face harsh consequences, including significant jail time and heavy fines if they are convicted. However, a defendant may be able to protect their future by retaining a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Legal counsel could use a number of legal strategies to cast doubt on the prosecution's version of events. It may also be possible to negotiate a plea bargain that reduces the most serious charges and penalties if the defendant agrees to plead guilty.

Source: CBS Sports, "Ex-Cowboy Greg Hardy indicted on felony count of cocaine possession," John Breech, Nov. 7, 2016

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