In April of this year, Conor McGregor was arrested and charged with several felonies and misdemeanors in connection with his tossing of a dolly into a bus with tons of fighters prior to UFC 223. As a criminal lawyer in Brooklyn, where this happened, and as discussed on my show The Fight Lawyer Podcast, this should end in one of several ways. And none of them should include jail time.
On Thursday, Conor will appear in Kings County Supreme Court in downtown Brooklyn to either enter a guilty plea of some sort, or request that the Judge grant an extension so his legal team can continue to engage in plea negotiations with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office.
Now, from my experience having done tons of these cases, we are looking at one of three ways out here.
- Conor will either plead guilty to a “straight misdemeanor,” and he is charged with several of them, so the parties will just choose one.
- He can also enter a “conditional plea,” which means Conor will initially plead to a misdemeanor, then have to satisfy certain conditions, and then be allowed to “re-plead” to a violation (or non-criminal disposition).
- Finally, it is also possible that Conor will plead guilty to the “straight violation,” which would be the best-case scenario here.
By the way, if this case ends with a misdemeanor, in New York State, that would give him a criminal record. But irrespective of which route he takes, certain conditions will likely have to be met before this case is completely over, meaning some combination of community service, course-taking, e.g., anger management, and monetary penalties, such as fines or restitution. So yes, for those of you wondering, Conor will avoid jail time.
The most important thing here is to preserve his immigration status and ability to travel (because he needs that to make money), and all of those pleas would likely satisfy that requirement.
Importantly however, as part of either of the above, he will have to admit wrongdoing in one form or another. If he does that, that will expose him to civil liability. That means that if he is then sued civilly, he will likely have to pay without question. That’s the way that the law works (admitting wrongdoing in a criminal case opens the floodgates if a civil case is commenced). While money may not be the first thing on his mind, it’s important that Conor and his team keep that in mind, which I’m sure they will.
In other words…bring on Khabib!