Ray Rice to enter pretrial intervention program, avoid jail time

Ray Rice will avoid jail time. (USATSI)
Ray Rice will avoid jail time. (USATSI)
Ravens running back Ray Rice has been accepted into a pretrial intervention program, which means that he will avoid prosecution -- and possible jail time -- in his felony aggravated assault case, the pressofAtlanticCity.com reported Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Rice pleaded not guilty to the aggravated assault charge stemming from a February incident involving his then-fiancee (and now-wife), Jenay Palmer. The couple allegedly had an altercation at an Atlantic City hotel, and surveillance footage later showed Rice apparently dragging an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator.

If Rice successfully completes the intervention program -- it will take at least a year -- the third-degree aggravated assault charge would be dismissed. And while the arrest would remain on his record, there would be no conviction.

“This decision was arrived at after careful consideration of the information contained in Mr. Rice’s application in light of all of the facts gathered during the investigation," acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said. "After considering all relevant information in light of applicable law, it was determined that this was the appropriate disposition.”

Rice could still face discipline -- including a suspension -- from the league, though Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco would be surprised if it came to that.

"I don't foresee anything crazy happening with that," Flacco said Monday, via NJ.com. "I'm expecting to have him [for the entire season]."

Rice also has the support of Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti, who said in March that the seventh-year running back will "definitely be back" with the team in 2014. And now, with no threat of jail time, it appears that's exactly what will happen.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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