Domestic Violence Charges Derail Pro Career

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 24, 2023 | 0 Comments

“One thing I've learned over many years of working on these cases is not to assume anything here, to not just rely on headlines, but to try to truly understand what's happening here. We're still now in the process of gathering information.”

- Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner

Only a few weeks after Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Julio Urías was arrested for domestic violence, Houston Rockets point guard Kevin Porter Jr. faces domestic violence charges in New York. The basketball player reportedly assaulted his girlfriend.

Initial reports state that the assault took place in a hotel room and ended only when the victim went into the hallway. Reports indicate she had a fractured neck vertebra and a cut over her right eye.

Porter now faces assault charges in New York and the loss of his NBA career. Subsequent reporting demonstrates how initial reports of domestic violence can influence perception and negatively impact the accused.

The Lento Law Firm's Criminal Law Team helps our clients navigate domestic violence allegations. We help our clients fight these accusations and protect their lives. If you're facing domestic violence charges, call us or contact us online to learn how we can help you.

First Impressions

The initial accounts of the incident are sobering. The victim sustained serious injuries. In the arraignment, the Assistant Manhattan District Attorney stated that this incident was not the first time Porter abused his girlfriend. Porter was also arrested, although not convicted, of a felony gun charge in 2020.

One of the challenges of our legal system is that past behavior does not mean automatic guilt. Initial reports can be wrong or contain incomplete or incorrect information. Anger over reports of injury and abuse can override logic.

Support for the victim can sometimes translate into not giving the accused a chance to respond to allegations. Even if the accused is guilty, they still deserve a chance to present their evidence and not be tried by a jury of first impressions.

Professional Repercussions

In October 2022, Porter signed a contract extension with the Rockets. The four-year deal was unique in that all of the guaranteed money came in the first year. In a rare move for a professional sports contract, the Rockets could choose to release Porter at any point after that first year.

In addition to the above incidents, Porter has had behavioral issues on and off the court. By not guaranteeing his contract, the Rockets hoped to create an incentive for good behavior.

A Narrative Shift

In October, the Rockets traded Porter to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The trade occurred one day after Porter's girlfriend stated initial reports were incorrect, and the prosecutor had dropped one of the charges against Porter.

Oklahoma subsequently took advantage of the non-guaranteed portion of Porter's contract and waived him. As of the start of the NBA season, no other team has signed Porter.

Regardless of what happens with the current charges against him, Porter may have difficulty continuing to play in the NBA. For Porter, part of the problem is these assault charges are one more event in a long string of incidents.

Porter's case highlights how allegations of domestic violence can derail anyone's career. Most people don't have guaranteed contracts in their jobs. Even if domestic violence allegations don't result in termination, accused individuals may find that they don't receive promotions or are otherwise limited in their careers.

For those who need background checks as part of employment or for housing, these charges may make it more difficult for them to go about their daily lives.

Protect Your Reputation and Your Future

If you face allegations of domestic violence, you need an experienced Criminal Law Team on your side. The Lento Law Firm can help you build your case and tell your side of the story. We help our clients navigate criminal charges. Call us or contact us online to learn how we can help you.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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