Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick may serve only about a year in prison for his role in crossing state lines to promote dogfighting, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Vick, who is scheduled for a plea hearing next Monday in Richmond, is expected to enter in to an agreement similar to that made by two co-defendants.
The maximum sentence is five years in prison. Prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence at the low end of the 12-to-18-month guidelines for the co-defendants and may do the same for Vick. The guidelines are not binding and Judge Henry Hudson, known for handing down a stiff sentence when the facts warrant it, need not follow the prosecution’s recommendation. Vick’s sentence could rise if there is a finding he had a leadership role in the operation. His sentence could be cut if prosecutors ask for a reduction, if he were to cooperate against others. Virginia may pursue state charges against Vick for allegedly staging dogfights and executing dogs at his property in Surry County, Va.