Babineaux gets probation for pot charge

July 19, 2010

One of the Atlanta Falcons' best players received good legal news on Monday. Now, defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux is hoping for the same from the NFL.

A felony charge of marijuana possession was reduced in Gwinett (Atl.) County Court to three misdemeanor counts of marijuana possession, Babineaux’s attorney Pat McDonough told on Monday. McDonough said Babineaux pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 12 months of probation and a $1,500 fine on one count. The other two counts were suspended and will not be prosecuted if Babineaux completes the probation without incident, McDonough said.

“I think instead of fighting the charge, he wanted to get it behind him and focus on the season,” McDonough said in a telephone interview.

Babineaux still faces NFL discipline that could include a suspension, but the punishment might not be as harsh with the reduced charges. Babineaux and a passenger were arrested last December after police found three bags of marijuana inside the former’s car during a traffic stop.

Babineaux, 28, logged career highs in tackles (47) and sacks (6) last season. He signed a five-year, $25 million contract extension in 2008.