Henry Ruggs III seems to have it all. As a first-round draft pick of the Las Vegas Raiders, he had a $16.67 million contract to play as a wide receiver in the NFL. Now, the 22-year-old is facing close to 40 years in prison.
How did one night lead Ruggs down such a different road, and how likely is he to spend much of his life behind bars?
The High-Speed Crash That Changed Everything
As reported by People Magazine, in the early hours of Tuesday, November 2nd, Ruggs was driving his Chevrolet Corvette through the streets of Las Vegas at an extremely high speed.
Just as he was hitting a speed around 156 mph, Ruggs ran into the back of a Toyota Rav 4 with a driver and her dog inside. The car burst into flames, killing the 23-year-old driver, Tina Tintor and her dog.
Ruggs wasn’t alone inside of his car. His girlfriend, Rudy Washington was in the Corvette and was seriously injured in the crash. Both Ruggs and Washington were taken to a nearby hospital.
Ruggs had non-life-threatening injuries — and a blood alcohol level of .161, which is more than double the legal limit.
An investigation of the scene also found that Ruggs had a loaded firearm in the vehicle. Since his injuries weren’t serious, Ruggs was immediately arrested for a DUI.
What Charges Does Ruggs Face?
The accident happened in Las Vegas, so the case will fall under the jurisdiction of Nevada state law. A judge set Ruggs’ bail at $150,000. The conditions of the bail include that Ruggs cannot drive, he had to surrender his passport, and he must wear a device to monitor the consumption of alcohol.
Ruggs now faces serious charges.
He initially faced two felony charges related to the death of Tintor. He was charged with DUI resulting in death and reckless driving resulting in death.
Three additional charges were later added, as reported by Fox News.
Since Ruggs’ girlfriend also sustained serious injuries, two additional felony charges were added: DUI resulting in substantial bodily harm and reckless driving resulting in substantial bodily harm. Plus, because a loaded gun was found in the vehicle, Ruggs also faces a misdemeanor charge related to gun possession.
Facing multiple charges, the Las Vegas Raiders released Ruggs from the team.
What Consequences Does Ruggs Face?
As previously mentioned, Ruggs’ accident happened in Las Vegas and will abide by Nevada law.
In Florida, DUI laws are directed under Florida Statutes 316.193. Under these statutes:
- A DUI that results in death is considered DUI manslaughter. It is a second-degree felony that comes with a mandatory prison sentence of four years. The maximum sentence is 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- A DUI leading to serious bodily harm is classified as a third-degree felony. It can come with penalties of up to five years in prison, up to five years probation, and a $5,000 fine.
This is Ruggs’ first offense DUI. In Florida, penalties may be higher if the person is a repeat offender.
In Florida, gun possession can also lead to consequences. Being in possession of a loaded firearm without a proper license is a third-degree felony with punishments of up to five years in prison, five years probation, and a $5,000 fine.
The mix of charges against Ruggs means he will be facing strict consequences in Nevada. Under Nevada law, the charges presented mean Ruggs could face more than 40 years in prison.
DUI Charges Are Serious. Get Legal Assistance Right Away.
Ruggs was driving at an incredibly high speed, his blood alcohol was more than double the legal limit, he was in possession of a gun, his girlfriend was injured, and a woman and her pet died as a result of his action. He faces serious charges for serious crimes and will likely spend many years in prison.
While no person has the right to drive recklessly while impaired, everyone deserves fair due process of the law when facing charges against them related to DUI.
If you have been charged with a DUI, whether it involves someone being injured or not, talk to a DUI attorney who can help you navigate the legal system right away. The legal process can be complex, but it is much easier to manage with a trusted attorney by your side. If you have questions about a DUI case, contact TJ Grimaldi today. We’re here to help you through your case and lead you to the most fair outcome. Request your consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.