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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being investigated by Miami police over an alleged incident involving a woman in a hotel room last month.
Responding to rumors and some news reports about possible sexual assault "charges," Kaepernick tweeted that TMZ and others "are completely wrong. They make things up about me that never happened."
In unpacking this Kaepernick police probe, let's look at five important points:
1. There Are Currently No Charges.
Speaking with USA Today, the Miami Police Department's public information officer confirmed that "[t]here are no charges" but that "[t]here is an investigation."
Suspects can be arrested and even held without charges being filed; charges do not need to be filed for police to continue investigating and gathering evidence. Criminal charges are typically filed by prosecutors, who must determine that there is probable cause to proceed with a criminal case against a defendant.
2. The Investigation May Not Necessarily Result in Charges.
Florida seems to be lousy with sexual assault cases involving athletes, but they don't necessarily end in charges being filed. Remember how Florida State quarterback and Heisman winner Jameis Winston endured a nearly year-long investigation for sexual assault by Tallahassee police, only to learn no charges would be filed.
Kaepernick's investigation could potentially end similarly, with no charges whatsoever.
3. Kaepernick's Accuser Could Potentially Sue in Civil Court.
Even if there are no charges filed, that doesn't mean Kaepernick can't be sued in civil court. Like Winston, Kaepernick could still be sued for alleged battery by his accuser if a suit is filed within four years of the injury.
4. If Charged, He May Be Extradited.
If Kaepernick is charged with a crime in Florida, he may be extradited from California to Florida for the remainder of his criminal case. Miami-Dade County likely has jurisdiction over the case since the alleged acts were committed in a Miami hotel room.
5. What About Playing for the 49ers?
For the time being, while an investigation is being conducted, it appears that Kaepernick has not been suspended. The 49ers, however, are investigating the incident. GM Trent Baalke said in a statement that the team is "in the process of gathering the pertinent facts," reports USA Today.
Players have been suspended during investigations before -- see Richie Incognito -- but players have the right to appeal their suspensions through their players' union contracts.
However, as the early reporting suggests, it's still too early to be jumping to conclusions about Kaepernick's future in criminal court or with the Niners.
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.