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Rampage Formally Charged; Faces Up to 3 Years

Quinton Rampage Jackson Toyo MMA
(Photo courtesy of MMAPunch.)

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has formally charged Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for his July 15th vehicular misadventure in Costa Mesa. The former UFC light-heavyweight champ is looking at one felony count of evading while driving recklessly, one felony count of evading a peace officer and driving against traffic, three misdemeanor counts of hit and run with property damage, and one misdemeanor count of reckless driving. If you’re a lawyer and you know the difference between those two extremely similar-sounding felony charges, please enlighten us.

Jackson will enter his pleas to the charges during his arraignment on Thursday, which will take place in a Santa Ana, California, courtroom at 9 a.m. PT; he would receive a maximum sentence of three years in prison if convicted, though he could potentially receive as little as probation. Luckily for him, there will be no formal charges related to his collision with Holly Griggs, the woman who suffered a miscarriage two weeks after being sideswiped during Jackson’s “delirium”-fueled joyride:

“We reviewed all the medical records and spoke with the victim’s physician and the evidence showed that the loss of the fetus was not related to the crash,” said Farrah Emami, spokesperson for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

That may or may not rule out a future civil suit — again, lawyers, a little help? — but it’s clear that the cards all need to fall in Jackson’s favor if he hopes to fight again this year. Or next year, for that matter…

(Props: Sherdog)

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Boiling Tater- August 25, 2008 at 11:30 pm
From a prosecution perspective, it is common practice for any D.A. to STACK charges as a position of strength to negotiate a plea from. If there's no plea deal then the matter goes to trial with the panoply of charges thrown at the defendant so that some will stick.

In this instance it should be no surprise to anyone that QJ will offer a plea and the D.A. will accept. Same goes for the inevitable civil matter -- settlement.

This was/is a lose-lose for all parties involved.
BruceBuffer- August 25, 2008 at 9:23 pm
Now entering the square cage arena on my left, standing at six feet, one inch tall, weighing in at 205 pounds, THE light heavyweight champion of this California state prison establishment.... QUINTON. RRRRRRRAAAMMPAGGEEEEEEEEE JJJJACKSONNNNNNNNN.

And his opponent standing to my right, fighting at 6 feet 8 inches tall, weighing in at 357 pounds, THE fat ass-raping KING of this prison..... BBBBBOB. "HAVE SOME COCKMEAT SANDWICH" TTTTTTHOOOOOOOMPSOOOOOOONNNN.
douche- August 25, 2008 at 5:20 pm
cagepotato does rock, and rumpage deserves a big rock to the side of the head. i hope he gets shivved while in the joint and pwned in civil court. anyone defending him needs to have their head examined. the dude is a criminal and needs to pay his debt to society and the woman he injured.

sorry rumpage, no more trucks with your face on it. you'll have to honor the lord in other ways. freak.
fry- August 25, 2008 at 4:51 pm
fry, you stupid, classless mofo, fry.
jeffmac- August 25, 2008 at 2:40 pm
By the way...Cagepotato rocks!!!
jeffmac- August 25, 2008 at 2:37 pm
A person can drive recklessly but not feloniously. The felony starts when you endanger the lives of people around you. You can drive on the wrong side of the road without it being felonious. The felony starts when you endanger the lives of others. See the differences. The misdemeanor reckless comes in to play when he did not endanger others on the road. And the misdemeanor hit and run property damage is obvious.. They are all seperate violations and could all be reduced to misdemeanors and probably will. Been hooking and booking bad guys in Cali. for 18 years. I would have given Rampage a ride home though. Professional courtesy!! LOL
Steven- August 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm
"evading a peace officer" - Says just that. You are legally required to comply with a peace officer if he tells you to halt. If this is done during that act of a crime and you don't, it can be considered a felony. This can be charged against a person running, or even on horseback.

"evading while driving recklessly" - This is a newer specific offense with the original intent to deter criminals from driving like it was grand theft auto while trying to get away from a crime. Though I highly doubt criminals worry too much about specific laws. Anyway, this one is specifically in regards as to HOW you drove a vehicle while attempting to elude police. since it was during this act Rampage may have caused a women to lose her child, this is the one with more power and more dangerous to him.

Personally, I think he needs some prison time. You don't get to take a 2 ton machine machine at speeds up to 100mph on a joy ride, damaging private property and perhaps murdering a child without having to take responsibility for it...
Netterbog- August 25, 2008 at 1:58 pm
California Attorney here. I don't do criminal work, but I know that you see a lot of very similarly worded felonies like Jackson faces. While there's not a ton of difference between the two (you _can_ drive recklessly without driving against traffic), the biggest reason for such closely-related felonies is for Prosecutors to be able to stick "three-strike" sentences against dudes. Since Rampage isn't going to be considered a threat or any type of target the DA would want to imprison for 30 years just to make a point...I'd be extremely surprised if Quinton got anything but probation. (Hopefully the terms of his probation don't include not-powerslamming dudes or punching them in the face.)

As to the civil suit, you can all but guarantee he'll have to face that music. There's so many different avenues of recovery that it doesn't matter that the DA said...assault, battery, negligence, wrongful death, false imprisonment (making her get stuck in the car too long), intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional of those sharky, greasy plaintiff's attorneys (you know, the guys with billboards on busses & phone numbers that are all the same number "1-333-333-3333") will surely line up with her and start rattling sabres for millions of dollars from poor, poor Rampage. It wouldn't be a stretch for the UFC to be sued too (to go after the deep pockets), but I imagine you'd see the parties' insurance companies pay out a settlement before the civil suit got close to a jury trial.
Blackleg- August 25, 2008 at 1:07 pm
I think he was referring to 'felony evading while driving recklessly' and 'felony evading a peace officer and driving against traffic'.

AFAIK, the first is just not stopping and driving like an asshole. The second, not stopping and driving like an asshole on the wrong side of the road.
Armbreaker- August 25, 2008 at 12:46 pm
I am a criminal defense attorney in Texas (not California), but I don't know which two offenses sound so similar to the author. I think the statement from the District Attorney's Office will make it difficult, but not impossible, for the woman who lost her child to win a civil lawsuit against Rampage. Civil lawsuits, however, have a lower burden of proof than the reasonable doubt standard used in criminal cases.
emptyhandkiller- August 25, 2008 at 12:12 pm
Dana White says Rampage went on his terror cruise because of "delerium"???? Hey, Rampage, how much is that per hit? I would like some....
Markdog- August 25, 2008 at 12:06 pm
Great, now everybody is gonna turn into attorneys. Just what we need!

Fuck the Law! Go Rampage-you so fly!