Breaking down Kareem Hunt’s latest altercation and legal situation

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 6:Running back Kareem Hunt
KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 6:Running back Kareem Hunt /

A look at the legal side of Kareem Hunt’s recent altercation and what’s at stake for the Kansas City Chiefs.

As I’m sure you know, Kareem Hunt has been involved in another offseason altercation. The question often asked is what does this mean for him legally?

I will never say I am a source of all knowledge on “legal issues,” but I am an attorney. so I’m going to try and provide a little insight on the legal side. Additionally, do not take any of the information I have written here as legal advice. If you are in trouble, hire a lawyer. Don’t rely on information found in a Chiefs blog to attempt to represent yourself in court.

Now that my legal disclaimers are out of the way, we’re going to break it down with what we know, what everything means, and what could still happen. So let’s get started. Here’s what we know:

According to TMZ, the resort confirms that there was an “incident” involving Hunt. This is pretty vague and probably the only information the resort could provide at the time. Clearly something happened.

Second, the alleged victim states he was “punched in the face by Hunt…hard”, but was not seriously injured and didn’t seek medical attention. From a legal standpoint, even if the alleged victim was uninjured, Hunt could still face legal action.

Third, Hunt was not arrested. Again, simply not being arrested does not mean that Kareem is entirely off the hook yet.

Finally, the alleged victim is not pressing any charges. I will reiterate again, not pressing charges does not mean that this is over. If there is one thing I know about the legal system, it is that it moves slow. Things do not happen quickly like portrayed on TV. There is still time for charges to be filed.

So what does this all mean?

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TMZ has reported that the alleged victim is not pressing charges. This does not mean that criminal charges will not be filed. It is unlikely they will be, but the state has an independent duty to investigate criminal actions and decide whether there is reason to file charges. Criminal charges arise out of crimes against society and are independent of disputes between, say, neighbors. It sounds like the victim will not be pursuing a civil case (like a dispute between neighbors) and will not be a cooperating witness if the state were to file charges against Hunt.

So why the difference? There are criminal cases and civil cases. Criminal charges are brought by the state, and civil cases are generally disputes between individuals. It seems like the alleged victim is not going to pursue a civil case (the dispute with Hunt). We don’t know what the state will do. It will depend on what evidence the state has. If the state believes there is enough evidence to support a case against Hunt, they can file criminal charges.

Up to now, there have been no charges filed.

So what could happen from here?

First, simply nothing. The state could say there is not enough evidence and choose not to file charges against Hunt. This seems to be the more likely path at this point. It does not appear as if the state is going to pursue charges because it seems murky at best as to what happened. Couple that with the fact that the alleged victim isn’t pursuing anything and it probably won’t lead to any criminal charges.

The state, on the other hand, could decide to file charges. This would result in Hunt potentially being arrested. He would probably be charged with a misdemeanor (a lower level criminal offense). It is unlikely he would have jail time to serve, but he would be placed on probation and have a fine to pay.

How something like this would play out in the league is unclear. I would bet that Big Red might have some words for the running back about his actions off the field this season. Either way, Hunt should learn that he is in the spotlight now. He is an incredible athlete with a very bright future ahead of him. He should learn not to place himself in situations that could result in these types of reports.

Next: The Chiefs and the Supplemental Draft

Here’s hoping the Chiefs star learns a lesson and we don’t see these reports anymore.