Jayson Werth to spend five days in jail for reckless driving


October 6, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth (28) bats during game three of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth pled guilty to reckless driving on Jan. 29 under a plea agreement worked out with the Fairfax County, Virginia prosecutor’s office.

Werth had a court appearance on Thursday on his appeal of his conviction for reckless driving. At that time, the prosecutor and Werth’s attorney indicated they had agreed to a plea.

Werth agreed to plead guilty to reckless driving, with a penalty of five days in jail and a thirty day loss of his driving privileges. This plea deal was worked out between the prosecutor’s office and Rodney Leffler, attorney for Jayson Werth.

Werth will be allowed to serve his jail sentence on weekends. This will not interfere with his rehabilitation from his shoulder surgery.

Local jail sentences are typically half of the sentence imposed because inmates receive a fifty percent credit for good behavior. Werth will probably only serve two and a half days in jail. If he reports on a Friday evening, he will finish his sentence in one weekend.

Werth’s plea deal will resolve the lingering issue of whether he would have all of his legal problems resolved before the start of spring training.

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At his trial in General District Court on December 5, 2014, Werth pled not guilty to reckless driving and was convicted by the court after trial. He received a sentence of 10 days in jail and a six month loss of license. He was clocked going 105 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Werth appealed his conviction to the Circuit Court, which under Virginia law is an opportunity to get a new trial in the Circuit Court. What happened in the lower court has no bearing on what occurs in the Circuit Court. Since it is a new trial, the Circuit Court judge is not bound by the lower court’s decision. In fact, sometimes the defendant ends up with a worse outcome after a Circuit Court appeal than the punishment imposed by the General District Court.

The Nationals released a statement saying they are aware of the plea agreement.

“We do not condone reckless behavior, and we expect all members of the Washington Nationals organization to act in a responsible manner,” the statement read. “We support Jayson, who is an integral part of the community and of the Washington Nationals family.”

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