Legal Analyst Says Jon Jones Could Face Three Years in Prison

April 30, 2015
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Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ legal troubles stemming from his alleged involvement in a felony hit-and-run accident that resulted in injuries to a pregnant motorist could carry serious consequences.

The April 26 incident in Albuquerque, N.M. has already cost Jones his belt, a suspension, and endorsement deals, but the legal aspect of the situation could be far worse than what he’s already faced from a career standpoint.

The universally considered top pound-for-pound fighter in the world appeared before Judge Maria Dominguez in an Albuquerque court on Tuesday, but wasn’t required to enter a plea to the charges against him.

Fox Sports 1 legal analyst Rob Becker outlined a bleak prognosis for the 27-year-old’s court case during a recent edition of UFC Tonight.

Jon Jones UFC 182“The next step is up to the prosecution. They have to decide whether to go in front of a Grand Jury and try to get an indictment. But given that it seems clear what this guy did, and there are so many witnesses to it, I think it’s inevitable that there will be an indictment,” he said.

Becker believes Jones’ legal team is likely trying to seek a plea bargain behind closed doors.

“I think behind the scenes what could be happing is his lawyers are trying to get a plea bargain with the prosecution,” said the legal analyst.

RELATED > Jon Jones Identified as Fleeing Accident, Marijuana in Vehicle

The seriousness of Jones’ alleged crimes became crystal-clear when Becker was asked what punishment the athlete can expect.

“I think he’ll get three years. Now, the judge could knock it down to two years for mitigating circumstances, but in order for that to happen he’s going to have to show that when he left the scene of the crime he didn’t think there was any reason why there would be a serious injury,” he said. “And considering he knocked the victim’s car into another car, that’s going to pretty difficult to do.”

The charge against Jones is Knowingly Leaving the Scene of an Accident Causing Bodily Harm or Death, which is a Third Degree Felony in New Mexico. A Third Degree Felony conviction can include sentencing of up to three years imprisonment in a state prison.

If Becker were representing Jones, he’d try to get a plea deal for as little times as possible and have Jones present his best case for why he allegedly left the scene of the accident.

“I would suggest that he try to get a plea bargain for as few years as possible, maybe a year, or a year and a half. And I would try to get him to stress whatever reasons he has for trying to say, ‘hey, I left the scene because I just didn’t think there was a big deal here.’”

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  • System

    “I didnt think it was a big deal, however I decided to literally run away.”

  • Crackhead bone jones

    Mark my words! he will get 1 week jail time. Get luxery food to eat and stays in a nice cleaner cellar! Blah.. i’m being generous hes prob not going to get any jail time. Because hes “Famous”

    Let see if jail time helps him like how he went to rehab for cocaine for a “few days” lol.. being a celebrity get him special treatment!

    • Groinstrike

      He’s getting at least 3 – 6 months. Prior accident while dui. Injures a pregnant woman, and runs… Drugs in the car… The prosecutor has got him by the balls.

  • Mikesbikes

    I think he was drinking as well, why would he run with only a little bit of pot and a pipe in the car, .. my guess is that he was liquored up , nobody seems to have touched on that at all

    • Piotr

      It makes sense that he was drunk driving again, because 1) He fled the scene then returned to get money. 2) Even though he came back for money, forgot there was pot and a pipe still in the car. 3) Hid all night so his Blood Alcohol Content would go away when he eventually turned himself in. 4) He’s been convicted of a DWI once already with no real consequences so he obviously didn’t learn any lessons from that. I’m actually surprised he’s not still on some sort of probation for that incident.

      So, it doesn’t look very good for Jon here. Like Stann said, he’s very lucky he didn’t kill anyone in this wreck. With his history, I think a judge is going to want to teach him a serious lesson this time.

  • Darin

    He has the money for good lawyers, but he has a couple things going against him. His history of driving drunk, cocaine use, hiding from the police, and eye gouging opponents. If he gets a judge that decides to use this high profile case to make an example, Jon may have problems. Or maybe he’ll get a greedy judge that will allow him to just pay a huge fine and be free.

    I have to think that when this is all said and done and Jon is in a position where he can return to making a living scratching eyes and elbowing dudes in the back of the head, he’ll probably be quite broke. I wonder if he doesn’t already have money troubles given the fact that he ran back to his rental Buick to fetch a wad of cash.

    • Jay

      I am sure he went back to get other things besides cash. He is worth 10million dollars.

      • Darin

        Probably true

    • Big Al

      “but he has a couple things going against him. His history of driving drunk, cocaine use, hiding from the police, and eye gouging opponents.”


  • Mark McDowall

    The only positive out of alll of this is that he will get out when he’s 31 or so…still young enough to fight if he can get a contract somewhere. If not he can hopefully figure out something to do so his life wont be a complete waste…

    • TRT-rex

      His contract will get frozen by the UFC. So they will ultimately decide his future

  • Jack Donovan

    Rampage actually caused the death of an unborn kid and what did he get?

    • Darin

      He got to bitch about being treated unfairly and run to Bellator. Now he’s back and bitching about Bellator. He’s a dick too, but at least he didn’t run away from the accident and hide. And I’m pretty sure he was just on a 3 day Red Bull bender when that happened, not on anything illegal.

      Not that I’m saying he didn’t deserve to be punished for it. He did. But Jones faces a felony charge because he ran away and hid, not because he hit and hurt someone.

    • Groinstrike

      Based on the type of person he is? Probably Karma eventually. Guys like him usually meet a sticky end

    • Timothy Malone

      The rumor that he caused that woman to have a miscarriage is untrue.The District Attorney said so in that case.

  • TheCerealKiller

    Welcome to reality. He with get nothing and be champ again soon. I look forward to his PPV with the champ Rumble.

    • Groinstrike

      Not this time. The prosecutor will probably make a statement that just because you’re famous you can’t get away with a crime. If he didn’t have a prior driving under the influence crash and it hadn’t been a pregnant woman injured he’d have a much better shot. No way he doesn’t get some prison time.

      • Hugh Shakeshaft

        That’s true. I forgot he already has a DUI. Hatin’ it!

    • Hugh Shakeshaft

      Jon won’t do any time, but he probably won’t fight for a year either. He’s going to have to settle a civil suit. This unborn child will probably have a free ride to Harvard in about 20 years.

  • fedor

    Everytime a famous person gets in trouble with the law, media and legal pundits always say “the judge might make an example of them” but it never happens. And Iam not a lawyer but this lawyer is on glue if he thinks he will get 3 years. And it’s not because he’s famous and lets face it, the vast majority of people who aren’t mma fans couldn’t name a mma fighter, it’s because the 3 year sentence is reserved for serious injuries. Of course Jones has aggravated circumstances that could increase his punishment(mainly dwi, legally his positivE coke test is inainadmissible for 2 reasons (tired typing, figure it out for yourself). He will get max yr and a half, and he plea for suspended sentence, worst scenario he does 5 months.ufc licking their chops cause they will sell boat load ppv, come spring 2016, when he comes back and schools present champion. U can just see fat Dana promote the S— out of his return. I just hope rumble f’s up DC that smug bastard

  • KJK

    I think it will be very easy for the Judge to determine if he’s lying….all he has to do is listen and if Jones says one single word it will obviously be a lie….of course it’s probably only a 50/50 a judge will ever get a say. I hope they throw the book at him….stick his butt in a jail for 3 years….and he never comes back…he’s a disgrace to the sport, the ideal of martial arts, and just simple human decency in general….he wants to lead the thug hood criminal life…I say give him a soap on a rope and lock him up with his kind….good riddance!

    • DC

      His kind? what exactly would that be??? Racist much?

      • KJK

        Stupid Much?…..I must have missed it where people who lead “thug hood criminal lives” implies racism….it’s racism on your part idiot if that makes you think of a particular genetic branch of the human evolutionary tree!

        • Sadie Legrande

          Then explain what “his kind” means then? Because your explanation carries little to no weight.

          • KJK

            There is only 1 race….the human race….to think racism is intended by “his kind” being those who lead “thug criminal lives” implies that you too think only a certain genetic branch of the human race could possible fit. A certain former football player for the team from New England led a thug hood criminal life and I’m glad he gets to spend the rest of it with his kind also! Oh and the football player is from a different genetic branch that our prodigal former LHW champ… if having a negative feeling about thug hood criminals makes me racist in your opinion I would say you are ignorant which of course can be helped through education.

          • Sadie Legrande

            How am I ignorant? Because I don’t share your views? What if I had said, “typical of men, that’s what their kind does” wouldn’t that come off as sexist? Same thing. I can’t stand people like you, they talk as though everybody else is wrong but them. It’s people like you that are ignorant. Perhaps it’s you that need to be educated.

          • KJK

            If you don’t understand the difference between being defined by one’s “actions” as opposed to one’s “physical” or “genetic” make up I’m afraid my point is self evident.

          • Sadie Legrande

            I know the difference. I don’t need an irrelevant lesson from someone on the Internet with a superiority complex. All I said was I can see how the last bit of your comment can come off as racist. You’re the one twisting it into some kind of bullshit debate.

          • KJK

            There’s a difference between a debate and a reply…to debate implies a recognition there is an alternate point of view…to reply implies either an agreement or disagreement with one’s statement. We can’t have a debate because your point is that actions define “race” where as mine is that actions define “kind”. So far as I know it’s impossible to determine race from actions so therefore there is not an alternate point of view to be debated….just a reply for the purpose of edification. It’s ignorant and demeaning to label someone a racist because your unable to understand the point.

          • Sadie Legrande

            I think it’s pretty funny that you incorrectly assume that I don’t understand what you’re saying. It’s not rocket science dude. You’re not speaking in codes. I’m done here, it’s clear that no matter what, you think you’re always right and any other person is wrong if they say anything different from your specific viewpoints. All I said was I could understand how your comment can come off as racist. Stop calling other people ignorant if you yourself are condescending and ignorant.

          • KJK

            To passively accept an accusation of racism is to be racist…to which I will defend myself as I find racism to be another unacceptable expression of ignorance. Ignorance is defined as “not knowing”. To logically point out the truth of a statement and present the “known” in the face of the “not known” is neither condescending nor ignorant…’s informative. If your going to call someone something that is a pretty nasty thing then you should expect a response and be able to defend your statement…..if not then stop judging people on personally held misconceptions and stop commenting on things which you do not fully understand.

          • Sadie Legrande

            I’ve proven my point. But unlike you I don’t talk down to people who disagree with me. When did I call you something nasty? You’re the only one insulting people. You’re right about the definition of ignorance, you’re wrong however on its placement. You call people ignorant for not agreeing with you the same way people use racism for not agreeing with you. Did I call you a racist? No. I pointed out that what you said could come off as racist. Come off. You haven’t pointed out anything truthful. You made a statement based on personal feelings and views. Those aren’t facts. Using personal feelings as tools for an argument are by default non arguments. I respect your opinion even though it’s slightly misguided.

          • KJK

            I could do this all day but enough is enough….”You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” comes to mind.

          • Sadie Legrande

            Actually that quote applies more to you than it does to me. Perhaps if you weren’t so stubborn you’d understand that. Perhaps it is you that needs to learn more and educate yourself.

          • Sadie Legrande

            Also type in the synonyms for kind and it’ll have race listed. So my point was proven. As I said, I’m done.

          • Sadie Legrande

            I mean I actually agree with everything you said. Even as a Jones fan, I am disgusted by his behavior. I actually agreed with you up until the “his kind” comment.

      • clem wilson

        his kind refers to the low bred abnormal race

        • Robert Seed

          well with a name like clem I would be surprised if you weren’t an racist

      • Sadie Legrande

        Don’t mind him. He’s the type that thinks everyone else is wrong but him. That’s what his kind does. If he doesn’t agree with you he will insult you. You know it’s typical of his kind.

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    • MikeMcK

      Why do you think there’s only a 50% say?

      • KJK

        Because high price lawyers are high priced for a reason and I’d guess there’s a 50% chance a deal of some sort gets made to avoid trial.

        • MikeMcK

          Unless the DA decides to drop the charges, a judge will get a say. Plea deals are signed off on by a judge. The judge can reject any plea deal as they see fit. There are rules to how these deals can be made as well.
          Just remember it this way. No one can be sentenced to any punishment by anyone other than a judge.

          • KJK

            Not trying to get into a sparring match regarding the legal system….the point is I think there’s a 50/50 chance a deal get made or it goes to trial……very few judges are going to reject a deal made by the DA. Personally I would like to see no deal made or a judge reject the deal….but I think thers only a 1 in 2 chance of that happening.

    • Robert Seed

      and you’ve never made a mistake or been the cause of an accident, or panicked and made a really poor decision?

      you spew nothing but hatred and prejudice and you have the nerve to talk about human decency

  • Big Al

    Jon’s Lawyer didn’t do him any favors with his comment about how “Jon would rather not be dealing with this right now”… You know, with that fight coming up and all… I’m sure that the woman he smashed into feels the same way, you know, with what she has coming up and all. Unfortunate for Bones, it does not look like the UFC and Reebok have decided that they don’t want to deal with this either; you know, with the bad publicity and all…

  • MikeMcK

    I love how every news outlet mentions that the girl was pregnant like it’s relevant at all. I’m pretty sure jones didn’t stop and give her a pregnancy test before he ran off.
    There’s also little chance of his positive test being introduced to the court. That to isn’t relevant to the situation at hand. There’s even a decent chance that the DUI doesn’t get introduced.
    With that being said it seems like the days of “stars getting special treatment” from law enforcement are gone. At least after they get arrested. I don’t think people realize how often people get to walk on crimes they have committed. Seems like people of fame have been getting nailed just so it doesn’t look like they’re showing favoritism.

    • billycruz81

      How is her being pregnant not relevant? Would the baby be relevant if it was not inside her and instead in the back seat? But wait, he didn’t stop to ask if she had a baby in the back seat either so I guess that wouldn’t be relevant. He didn’t stop to ask any questions, guess the whole thing isn’t relevant. Case closed.

      • MikeMcK

        No it’s not really relevant if there was a kid in the back seat. Why should it matter who is in the car? Whether is a 40 year old man, or a 5yr old girl, jon’s character isn’t any greater, or less depending on who was in the car.
        This doesn’t appear to be a crime of intent. If Jon targeted the girl because she was pregnant then yes, it would matter. However, he was likely fleeing regardless of whom was in the car.

        • billycruz81

          Yeah, I can agree with that.

        • Gerald N Linz Manlapaz

          Ok, Mr. Litigator, but that doesn’t excuse him from fleeing the crime scene, and it’s true that he didn’t know she was pregnant. He either wanted a way out of the fight against Johnson, or he seriously has problems in life and away from UFC that he needs a lot of attention.

      • Sadie Legrande

        Because it resulted in broken bones to her arm. Nothing done to her fetus. It would have to have been a serious collision and I’m talking about SERIOUS! Like the lady ending up in a coma or something from the result of the accident. I wouldn’t say it’s irrelevant, just not the most important factor to this situation. I think people are blowing this whole “the lady was pregnant” card up way too much. The most relevent point is the fact Jones fled the scene, came back, got his money and then left again.

        • Gerald N Linz Manlapaz

          And that’s what f—ed everything up.

      • Robert Seed

        It’s completely irrelevant who was in the car, pregnant woman, a bunch of orphans, Hitler…
        There was no way Jones could predict who was in the car or that he was going to hit it that day. It’s not a crime to be in a car collision.

        He did commit a real crime though, he fled the scene which has no excuse. He should be punished accordingly but he shouldn’t have bogus charges added to it because they are sensationalized. Be rational people!

  • Happynormalbigman

    Take the man out the ghetto but you cant take the ghetto out of the man.

    • Guesty

      You sound like a bigot. A sanctimonious and holier than thou one at that.

  • clem wilson

    If the injured pregnant ladies baby dies it is now murder. Jones deserves prison of at least 5 years and a permananet ban from all MMA.

    • Robert Seed

      you should try looking up the definition of murder Matlock

    • Gerald N Linz Manlapaz

      The baby didn’t die and was perfectly fine, they just don’t know if the baby will be born with a mental or stress disorder, possibly anything. The only thing Jones needs to worry about is getting his s— together. He needs to focus on himself before apologizing to the world and his fans.

  • billycruz81

    How is Jones gonna try and say ‘hey, I ran away because I didn’t think there was big deal here’? Who runs away from an accident because they think it’s no big deal? Isn’t fleeing the scene something someone does when they say to themselves ‘holy sh*t! I’m in a lot of trouble’?

  • drkdisciple

    Money buys freedom. Bones has enough money too buy a good enough lawyer where he will get off with probation and no jail time. UFC will do their pr job and suspend him for a year.When all that is taken care of Bones will be champion again. Unlike what Dana White said Mighty Rat JOhnson is not the best p4p fighter its Bones.

    • Gerald N Linz Manlapaz

      Yeah, but his pockets could be rinsed from hitting a pregnant woman. We don’t know if the child will have permanent problems in future. Also, he fled the scene with drugs and paraphernalia inside the vehicle. Why couldn’t he just stick around and wait or attempt to help the pregnant woman? He would have been dismissed by a lot with doing the simplest things. He did an inhumane thing, and that’s leaving a pregnant injured woman who he hit. He needs to really change a lot in his life, not only obstacles that are surrounding him; drugs or family problems, but whatever is eating at him in UFC and outside of the dojo/gym. A fighting star can endure so much hate and love, that it will really get to their head and create conflict and spiral emotions. This isn’t his first incident either, so whatever he has to offer for the fans, he needs to do it for himself before anybody else and especially for his family.

  • Jon Doe

    probation, community service and a cash settlement to the victim. Jon Jones will get back all of his endorsement and will fight for the title within 1 yr. UFC PR machine will be on full blast “explaining” to us how Jon Jones is a changed man bla bla bla.. America…

  • Sadie Legrande

    He won’t get 3 years. Not even 2. At the most, probation and community service.

  • Greg Brown

    Yes probably probation 3 years. Agrees to pay to compensate pregnant woman

  • Greg Brown

    with the legalizing of weed more an more now drive with it in their cars and smoke prior to driving. Jones went bk to get who knows what in the vehicle. Didn’t care !

  • Like so many before, Jon just flushed his career down the pipes.
    Some only learn the hard way…

  • Michael Blackson

    This really made me sad. Jon was a big role model in my life and he let me down. I don’t want him to come back with bs apologies he just needs to get his life together. I believe his true fans want to see him get better more than anything.

  • gridwerk

    I wish, just once, that a celebrity would go to jail like the rest of us mere mortals.

  • VoiceofReason14

    If Plaxico Burress served two years for shooting himself in the leg on accident with his own gun. I think Jones will serve time in jail. Honestly, I think 1-3 months would teach him his lesson. But we over punish people in this country so I think he’ll serve like 1 year.