Sports

Chad Johnson’s Lawyer: ‘No Legal Grounds’ For Judge to Deny Plea Deal

by Chris Lingebach
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Former Miami Dolphin and NFL star Chad Johnson (L) is escorted into the courtroom at Broward County Courthouse on June 17, 2013 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  The judge is reconsidering the 30-day jail term she imposed after playfully slapping his attorney on the rear end during a court hearing on June 10. (Credit: Cristobal Herrera-Pool/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Getty Images)

Former Miami Dolphin and NFL star Chad Johnson (L) is escorted into the courtroom at Broward County Courthouse on June 17, 2013 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The judge is reconsidering the 30-day jail term she imposed after playfully slapping his attorney on the rear end during a court hearing on June 10. (Credit: Cristobal Herrera-Pool/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - Former NFL receiver Chad Johnson was released early from his 30-day jail sentence, given to him by a Miami judge after denying his pre-arranged plea deal which was exempt of jail time.

Over one week ago, Broward County Judge Kathleen McHugh slapped Johnson with the month-long stay in jail for not taking his hearing on a previous domestic violence charge seriously, after he slapped his lawyer on the rear end, causing the courtroom to erupt in laughter.

Johnson was given a chance to apologize before Judge McHugh on Monday, at which point he was released with a three-month probation extension.

Although his courtroom antics may have been outside the realm of traditional behavior, many still believe the judge overreacted in reprimanding him with jail time.

“There was really no legal grounds other than her own choosing to deny the actual plea agreement that we had negotiated,” Adam Swickle, the recipient of Johnson’s tush tap told 106.7 The Fan’s Holden and Danny Tuesday.

“But I think that she took what had happened in the gallery, and the fact that the gallery had laughed at what had taken place, as somehow that’s Chad not being serious as his case,” he added.

It’s difficult to defend either side, whether it’s the Judge McHugh for throwing out a pre-arranged deal because she felt her courtroom was being mocked – which stings of insecurity – or Johnson, because why in the world would you do that?

“Certainly I would not suggest it to any of my clients to go ahead and do that,” Swickle said. “But to be quite frank with you, during the hearing it was interesting, because the court had actually complimented the work that I had done, and basically told Chad to thank me. And that was Chad’s way of thanking me.”

He felt this particular judge was more put off by the reaction of the gallery, which roared with laughter, than she actually was by Johnson’s gesture.

“In this particular situation it wasn’t really intended to be a joke or any type of mock on the particular court, or any comment on the sentence, it was just the way that the crowd reacted,” Swickle explained. “So I certainly would advise anybody when they’re in court to deal with the process the way that you deal with it, and not bring your own flavor or your own personality to the courtroom.”

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