It’s important for New Jersey residents to know that being charged with a serious crime is not the end of the world. Even in the face of seemingly definitive evidence, with the right legal advice, people facing serious criminal charges may be able to avoid a jail sentence — and, in some cases, have their arrest record fully expunged if they meet certain conditions.

Take, for example, the case of Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice. Back in February, Rice — who played college football at Rutgers — was arrested and charged with aggravated assault against his then-fiancée; the incident was recorded by video cameras at a casino in Atlantic City and was shown on TV and was widely available online.

Since that time, Rice and his fiancée got married, and this week, prosecutors in the case allowed Rice to enter a pretrial intervention program. If he meets all the terms of the program, which is expected to last at least 12 months, then Rice’s record will show no convictions. His attorney said that he would move to have the record of his arrest expunged, as well.

While this is good news for Rice, the NFL could still choose to fine or suspend him, even though he will not have been convicted of any crime. If he stays out of trouble with the law, however, his legal troubles regarding this matter will be concluded.

This kind of resolution to a case may not be expected, but it is possible. Experienced attorneys can work with people facing serious charges to help guide them in their cases.

Source: NJ.com, “Ray Rice accepted into diversion program, assault arrest could eventually be expunged,” A.J. Perez, May 20, 2014