NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay won't have to appear in court Thursday for an initial hearing on drug-related charges he faces.
Irsay's attorneys filed a motion Wednesday waiving his appearance on misdemeanour charges of driving while intoxicated and driving with a Schedule I or II controlled substance in his body. Myra Borshoff Cook, a spokeswoman for Irsay, had no immediate comment.
The charges against Irsay carry maximum penalties of 60 days in jail and $500 fines for each count. Hamilton County court documents say Irsay was driving under the influence of prescription painkillers.
Irsay, 54, was arrested near his home in suburban Carmel on March 16 after police say he was spotted driving slowly, stopping in the roadway and failing to use a turn signal. Police said he failed field sobriety tests and an officer believed him to be intoxicated, but not on alcohol. Various prescription drugs were found in his vehicle.
Attorney Steven Stoesz, who often handles similar cases, said waivers are not uncommon in misdemeanour cases where a defendant has bonded out of jail and retained an attorney.
"The purpose of an initial hearing is for the court to advise a person of the charges they are facing, of their constitutional rights and to set future court dates," Stoesz told The Indianapolis Star (http://indy.st/1ngp2n8). Retaining an attorney essentially lets the court know you are aware of your rights and the charges against you, he said.
The next hearing on Irsay's case will likely come within 30 days, but Stoesz said that meeting may involve only lawyers and the judge and Irsay may not attend.