Britt faces misdemeanor, not felony, charges in car-chase case

Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt had charges stemming from his April 12 car chase in New Jersey downgraded after a review by the county prosecutor's office, The Tennessean reported Wednesday.

Britt is no longer charged with a felony in the case and instead faces three disorderly person charges to go with motor vehicle charges, according to Hudson County prosecutor Edward DeFazio. The next step in the process is a pre-conference hearing scheduled for June 7.

"The case was sent for review to make sure (there was) nothing more to it," DeFazio said Wednesday. "In this situation, nobody was hurt, and since he had no prior criminal record, the matter was sent down to Bayonne Municipal Court."

The incident in question occurred in Bayonne, N.J., Britt's hometown. After Britt was clocked driving his blue Porsche at 71 mph in a 50-mph zone, officers attempted to stop the vehicle. Instead, Britt sped up his car and began weaving in and out of highway traffic before exiting the highway and later being spotted on a local street with another passenger walking away from the vehicle. Britt and the passenger denied being in the vehicle, according to a police report.

Britt was arrested and charged with eluding a police officer, lying to an officer hindering apprehension and obstructing governmental function following a stop. Eluding an officer is a third-degree felony, while the other charges are misdemeanors.

Britt's friend, Jerel Lord, faces a narcotics possession charge in addition to resisting arrest and obstruction.

DeFazio said the downgraded charges mean Britt won't face prison time but made it clear this wasn't a situation where a well-known figure received preferential treatment.

"I don't want people to get the wrong impression here," Fazio said. "Somebody who was not Kenny Britt who was in a similar circumstance would have the same thing happen to their case. No one was injured, and this is a typical disposition for someone who was in a similar circumstance."

Britt still could face fines and probation. His driver's license also might be suspended.

The former Rutgers star has had several other run-ins with authorities. He was arrested last year for three outstanding traffic tickets and is accused of not paying a bail bond that he helped secure for a friend.

Nashville, Tenn., police stopped Britt in August during training camp, ticketing him for driving without a license because he obtained a photo ID after misplacing his license.

Britt also was accused of being involved in a bar fight Oct. 22 in Nashville, but authorities later decided not to charge him.

Then-Titans coach Jeff Fisher benched the receiver after repeated mistakes during a preseason game.

Britt left Rutgers after his junior season and was the Titans' first-round draft pick in 2009. He tied for second on the Titans with 42 catches in 2010 and led all Tennessee receivers with nine touchdowns and a per-catch average of 18.5 yards.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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