Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch pleaded not guilty Wednesday to DUI charges
Lynch's attorney, Ivan Golde, entered the plea on Lynch's behalf in Alameda County Superior Court on Wednesday. Lynch's arraignment was originally schedule for mid-August, but Golde said he moved up the initial court hearing in order to get more access to the evidence.
Golde said Thursday he believes that unless the case is dismissed, it will not go to trial until after the 2012 NFL season is over.
Lynch was arrested July 14 after the California Highway Patrol reported seeing Lynch weaving on Interstate 880 in the Oakland, Calif., area. An incident report released by CHP described Lynch driving a Ford Econoline van and having two near collisions with two other vehicles driving in adjacent lanes.
Lynch was charged with two counts by the Alameda County, Calif., district attorney: driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and driving while having a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher. He has an Aug. 14 court date.
Lynch has since apologized for his arrest.
According to Golde, Lynch blew a .08 during a preliminary screening at the scene shortly after he was pulled over and registered slightly higher when tested at the jail on a calibrated breathalyzer machine. Golde said he believes Lynch was actually under .08 when he was pulled over and had a rising blood-alcohol level.
This is Lynch's first off-field problem since coming over to Seattle from Buffalo during the 2010 season. Lynch's career stalled with the Bills and was highlighted by two off-field brushes with the law, one of which resulted in a three-game suspension.
He pleaded guilty in March 2009 to a misdemeanor gun charge in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to 80 hours of community service and three years' probation, and was suspended three games by the league for violating the NFL personal conduct policy.
That was Lynch's second run-in with the law with the Bills. He was also involved in a hit-and-run accident in Buffalo in May 2008. In the earlier incident, he pleaded guilty to a traffic violation and admitted to driving away after striking a woman with his car near Buffalo's downtown bar district.
The league is aware of Lynch's latest legal trouble, but it's unclear whether his past transgressions could get lumped together with his current DUI arrest and lead to yet another suspension.
Lynch signed a four-year contract in March that will keep him in a Seattle uniform for the prime of his NFL career. The contract is worth $31 million, including a guaranteed $18 million. Lynch rushed for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.