Adrian Peterson: Intention and Negligence

Unfortunately, NFL players have been making more news for their actions off the field than on the field. Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson, has been in the spotlight after he was charged with reckless and negligent injury of a child. These charges come after his child sustained injuries after being disciplined.

According to USA Today Sports, Peterson believes he is innocent and is expected to enter a not guilty plea at his arraignment on October 8, in Texas. While Peterson has expressed his regret and that he did not intent to inflect injuries, the law does not consider intent when being charged with reckless and negligent injury to a child. Attorney Benjamin Van Severen, of Birdsall Law Offices, S.C., elaborates from a criminal defense perspective:

“The most concerning fact beyond the accusation itself is the fact that his attorney released a statement saying he didn’t “intend” to cause harm to the child. From looking at the charges, intent seems to be irrelevant in this case. Peterson was charged with “reckless or negligent” injury to a child. By definition, there can be no intent with reckless or negligent conduct.  Peterson has maintained that he feels bad for the unintentional harm he caused. What he is essentially doing is admitting that he caused the conduct through reckless or negligent behavior – that it was an accident. Unfortunately for his defense, accidents are often caused by reckless or negligent conduct.”