Antonio Brown pleaded no contest Friday to a felony burglary with battery charge and two lesser misdemeanor charges related to a January incident with a moving truck company outside his home in Hollywood, Florida.
Brown will face no jail time, though he will have two years of probation and 100 hours of community service as part of the plea. The free agent wide receiver will also have to undergo a mandatory psych evaluation and attend a 13-week anger management program as part of the plea. He was also ordered not to have contact with the victims in this case.
The no-contest plea means he’s accepting the punishment without formally admitting guilt in the case.
His lawyer, Carson Hancock, says the case was a civil dispute that led to an overcharged criminal case. He had been working with Broward County prosecutors for an acceptable conclusion to this case, and it would have been settled earlier if not for the coronavirus pandemic slowing down court proceedings.
Hancock says adjudication was withheld in the case, meaning Brown will not have a felony record as a result of the plea.
“Antonio’s case resulted from a misunderstanding concerning the payment of costs for the moving of Antonio’s family from California to Florida,” Hancock said in a statement Friday.
Hancock says that after Brown paid the fee, the moving truck driver demanded an “extra time” fee, and while they were discussing that, Brown’s friends started unloading boxes from the van, including some that were not Brown’s goods. Hancock says they put them back but were still charged with burglary and battery. Hancock says that Brown decided to resolve the matter quickly rather than have it be a “protracted legal case.”
Jeremy Fowler breaks down what Antonio Brown’s no-contest plea in his Florida case means for his future in the NFL.
Brown wants to return to the NFL in 2020, and he’s been working out with several NFL stars in South Florida this offseason in preparation for if/when a team calls him.
An NFL spokesman said Brown’s conduct remains under review and is still being investigated. He could still be subject to league discipline in the form of a fine or a suspension.
Brown, 31, will be allowed to travel around the country for work purposes, provided he checks in with his probation officer. He last played for the New England Patriots in September 2019, before he was accused of sexual and personal misconduct. The Patriots released him one week later, and he hasn’t been signed by a team since.
The seven-time Pro Bowler appeared to hint at a return Thursday with an Instagram post that read, “big 4x soon.”
Brown was accused of throwing a rock at the driver’s moving truck, then later forcing his way into the driver’s side of the main cabin of the truck and striking the driver after a disagreement over payment escalated outside of Brown’s home. The arrest warrant obtained by ESPN says Brown “physically pulled and grabbed” the victim, causing multiple abrasions and a ripped shirt.