Colts owner Jim Irsay charged with two misdemeanors after March arrest

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Colts owner Jim Irsay was charged with two misdemeanors on Friday following his March OWI arrest. New information in the probable cause states Irsay had prescription medication in his system when he was pulled over that night.

The charges, which were filed in Hamilton County on Friday afternoon are as follows:

  • Operating a vehicle while intoxicated, a Class C misdemeanor
  • Operating a vehicle with schedule I or II controlled substance in person’s body, a Class C misdemeanor.

According to an affidavit for probable cause, on March 16, a Carmel Police Department officer pulled Irsay over near 131st Street and Horseferry Road after he came to a complete stop on 131st Street for no apparent reason.

Irsay told the officer he was having trouble finding his home, according to the probable cause.

Police said multiple prescription drugs in pill bottles were found in Irsay’s car after he was pulled over. Irsay also failed sobriety tests, according to police.

The probable cause states Irsay refused a blood test. A court order was obtained and two vials of blood were taken. The blood test showed Irsay had hydrocodone and/or oxycodone in his system, according to the probable cause.

His bond was set at $22,500 and he bailed out of jail the next day.

On March 18, Irsay voluntarily checked into a health care facility.

24-Hour News 8 spoke to criminal defense attorney John Tompkins, who is not involved in this case, about the misdemeanor charges.

Tompkins says a defendant would have had to have prescriptions for the medication found in his car, to not be charged with felony possession of a controlled substance.

“I would assume that if he did not show them valid prescriptions for the pills they found, in addition to these charges, he would have faced charges for felony possession of a controlled substance, without a prescription,” said Tompkins.

Tompkins says if Irsay is convicted on both C misdemeanor counts, he could face up a maximum $500 dollar fine and up to 60 days in jail.

“It would be very, very unusual for a first offense misdemeanor OWI defendant to serve any more jail time beyond what they served at the time of their arrest,” Tompkins said.

Misdemeanors are also punishable, he says, with up to a year probation. He said a court may also recommend treatment, and in this case, Tompkins says Irsay would likely be given credit for his current treatment. He says defendants could also be required to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim impact panel.

An initial hearing is scheduled for June 19. That hearing may be waived, according to the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office.

On Friday, Irsay’s legal representation issued the following statement:

We want to thank the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office for its professionalism in its investigation regarding Mr. Irsay and for devoting the necessary care and attention to determine the facts in this matter did not warrant the filing of felony charges relative to Mr. Irsay’s prescription medications. Mr. Irsay will deal with the remaining misdemeanor charges through the judicial process.

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