On Sunday, July 20, Seattle Sounders Football Club midfielder Marco Pappa was charged with driving under the influence by Seattle police. He was also charged with speeding at the time of his arrest, according to a report from Q13 FOX.
Beyond his legal troubles, Pappa will now have to submit Major League Soccer's processing of players who have exhibited substance abuse. According to his team, Pappa will be assessed by their Major League Soccer's Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health (SABH) Program.
Until that time, Pappa will be sidelined from any MLS play. Only once he has completed his assessment with SABH doctors—and the MLS conducts its own investigation—will Pappa be allowed back on the field.
The Sounders FC General Manager and President of Soccer Garth Lagerway spoke to the press about MLS policy and Pappa's charges. “We are gathering information on this matter and have been in contact with the league office, the MLS Players Union, local law enforcement and Marco directly,” Lagerway reported. “We will continue to work in cooperation with all involved parties and will have no further comment until more information is available.”
More Than Just Legal Consequences
Pappa, who is Guatemalan, will first and foremost be subject to criminal charges as working visitor to our country. If this is indeed his first DUI charge in America, he will likely be fined and suspended from driving for at least 90 days. However, it is worth nothing that, because of the additional speeding charge, it is likely a judge will consider additional penalties, as well.
As the Seattle Sounders FC also made clear, Pappa will have to deal with professional consequences, as well. DUI offenses often have a ripple effect for those charged—even if they're not a professional sports star. Convictions can lead to major career or education interruptions, financial distress, and can even make applying for some travel-based jobs extremely difficult.
That is why, if you've been charged with a DUI or a DUI-related offense, your choice in defense counsel is of the utmost importance. At DUIHeroes, I have dedicated my entire firm to the defense of clients who have been accused of these crimes. Even when so many of them had believed they had no choice but to plead guilty, I have found ways to secure dismissals and reductions on their behalf.
If you've been charged, start exploring your options with a Seattle DUI attorney capable of producing results. Contact me today for a free consultation.