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Former Giant reaches plea deal after Florida pursuit, arrest

Law enforcement video of the arrest of a former New York Giants player has just been made public. Barry Cofield, a former defensive lineman, was arrested last July 3 in Florida after a police pursuit.

Deputies reportedly found Cofield asleep at a traffic signal. When the woke him up, he ran through the intersection, with law enforcement following him. They say he tried to hit one of the Seminole County Sheriff's Office cruisers in an attempt to escape authorities.

In the video, which the media outlet TMZ obtained and which is attributed to the sheriff's office, a deputy is seen approaching Cofield's car. With his weapon drawn, he ordered him multiple times to exit the vehicle. A second officer is heard on the video saying, "Get somebody over here with Mace." The deputies then use a baton to attempt to break the window of Cofield's Cadillac.

When the 34-year-old former NFL player got out of the car, police ordered him to get on the ground. After he was handcuffed, a deputy removed a bag from Cofield's pocket. At one point, a deputy is heard speculating that the bag contains cocaine and LSD.

Cofield, however, was arrested for heroin possession, aggravated assault on an officer and fleeing and eluding. He reached a deal with prosecutors in February in which he pleaded no contest to DUI causing damage or injury and the heroin charge. He was sentenced to a year's probation and community service. His driver's license was suspended for 6 months. If he completes a drug program, prosecutors may drop the heroin charge.

This case shows how much leeway prosecutors often have to negotiate the penalties for even serious criminal charges. That's why it's essential not to try to face the justice system, even for a DUI charge, without the support and guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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