Former Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent is scheduled to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as he seeks reinstatement into the league. The 26-year-old Brent is finishing a 180 day sentence after being convicted of intoxication manslaughter stemming from a December 2012 car accident that killed his friend and teammate Jerry Brown.

Brent’s accident was one of a few startling off-the-field criminal events that marred the 2012 season, but after being released from an addiction rehabilitation facility last week, he sent a letter to the commissioner seeking reinstatement. He spent the last 45 days of his sentence at the facility. 

In addition to the jail time he served, Brent is subject to 10 years of probation. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated that if Brent were reinstated, the team would clear a roster spot for him. However, Brent still may be subject to suspension under the NFL’s personal conduct penalty. Given precedent from other players in Brent’s position, he could be suspended for the entire 2014 season even with reinstatement.

Nevertheless, the sentence, and the length of probation, is an example of the benefit that having an experienced criminal defense attorney when charged with drunk driving. A skilled lawyer can help the accused understand the strengths and weaknesses of their case (as well as the state’s) and help in making informed decisions about how to proceed.

In the meantime, Brent’s process of reinstatement could be bolstered with the support of the Cowboys, as well as Jerry Brown’s mother, Stacey Jackson. Additionally former Cowboys Michael Irvin and Nate Newton have offered to serve as mentors.

Source: ESPN.com “Josh Brent, Goodell to meet Thursday,” Todd Archer, August 5, 2014