Smith placed on 12 months' probation

Updated: July 29, 2009, 4:38 PM ET
Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Former Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Jimmy Smith pleaded no contest Wednesday to three charges stemming from a drunken driving arrest in August.

Duval County Court Judge Brent Shore placed Smith on 12 months' probation and ordered to him serve 50 hours of community service. Shore also imposed fines and court costs of about $1,100.

Shore told Smith he wanted him to spend his community service time speaking to children and youth groups.

After leaving the courtroom, Smith said he planned to follow the judges instructions.

"Addiction is a disease. I am going to be the one who beats it," said Smith, who has spent 90 days in a rehabilitation center in Houston.

Smith pleaded no contest to DUI, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from an Aug. 28, 2008, arrest when he attempted to drive around a DUI checkpoint.

The judge found Smith guilty of the DUI charges, but withheld adjudication on the other two charges.

"Everybody has issues in their lives," Smith said. "When you get knocked down you just have to get back up and start fighting again."

Besides the fines and costs, Smith was ordered to enroll in a DUI school and participate in a victim impact panel. He also lost his driving privileges for 180 days and was ordered not to drink any alcohol or use any drugs.

Shore modified the standard community service sentence and asked Smith to talk to school children and youth groups. Smith runs Jimmy Smith Athletics which mentors to youngsters and teaches the fundamentals of football and basketball.

"You can do some good," the judge said, noting that the former Jaguars receiver is still popular even through he retired from football four years ago.

The receiver retired after leading the Jaguars with 70 catches for 1,023 yards and six touchdowns in 2005. He ranks among the NFL's all-time leading receivers with 862 catches for 12,287.

Prosecutor Frank Gaulden said he was pleased with the judge's sentence.

The hearing was not the end of Smith's legal difficulties. Smith still faces four charges from an arrest in April.

At a separate hearing Wednesday, Smith's attorney, Brian Coughlin, said the state had made him an offer on felony charges of possession of cocaine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license. He said Smith would decide on it before his next court appearance.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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