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Redskins CB Chris Culliver Has Brass Knuckles Charge Reduced to Misdemeanor

The Redskins new cornerback has had his criminal case reduced to a misdemeanor

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Culliver had one of the charges he is facing from a hit and run incident last season reduced from a felony charge to a misdemeanor.  Culliver then plead not guilty to the reduced charge and had a new court date next month.  The alleged incident involved Culliver hitting a bicyclist with his car and then fleeing the scene.  He was then followed by witnessed and allegedly hit one of the vehicles pursuing him, brandished the brass knuckles, and threatened a witness.  Culliver is facing a civil suit from the 15 year old boy and his family that were allegedly threatened with the brass knuckles.

Over the objection of the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office, a judge agreed Tuesday to reduce a felony charge for possession of brass knuckles to a misdemeanor for Culliver, who earlier this month signed a four-year deal worth up to $32 million with Washington. Culliver still faces one count of misdemeanor hit-and-run for the same incident.

Superior Court Judge Shelyna Brown reduced the brass knuckles charge after defense attorney Josh Bentley argued Culliver has no criminal history, cooperated with investigators and is buttressed by a witness disputes claims the athlete brandished the weapon.

The Redskins were aware of his legal troubles when they signed him, and were apparently confident enough in his chances of avoiding jail time that they gave him a 4 year, $32 million contract with $16 million in guarantees over the first two years of the deal.  Even if Culliver avoids jail time, which seems even more likely now with the reduced charge, he could still get suspended under the NFL personal conduct policy.  The NFL had a pretty bad year last season with a series of domestic abuse incidents and suspensions.  If Culliver misses even one game due to a suspension, he will have to pay back some of his $5 million signing bonus and lose his guaranteed money in the deal, making it easier to release him if they choose to without much dead cap money.