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June 28, 2012
Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. admitted to a violation of his probation on Thursday morning and will spend three more days in Leon County Jail.
Wilder, 20, was sentenced to 11 days in jail and was given credit for eight days served. His attorney Tim Jansen said that Wilder is expected to be released at 12:01 a.m. Sunday morning.
Wilder was arrested for violating his probation and turned himself in on Friday afternoon. Wilder was given no bond and has been in jail since Friday.
The probation violation stemmed from Wilder, 20, having a .01 blood alcohol level when tested prior to a court-ordered work camp. The terms of Wilder's probation required that he not consume alcohol. Wilder is also under the legal drinking age of 21.
"We obviously feel that he didn't violate the probation because we feel the portable breath test was within the margin for error, however, under the circumstances, he accepted the violation so he could get out, get back to school," Jansen said. "It was in his best interest to resolve it, otherwise he could have sat there (in jail) and waited for a hearing, which could have been 30 days. It would have made him possibly ineligible for the fall."
Jansen said that the portable breath test, which was administered on Wilder to find the .01 reading, is not admissible in court.
"It's not admissible, but they had us to where we either had to wait for a hearing, schedule a hearing, and I think we would have prevailed," Jansen said. "But in order to resolve the case, he admitted to the violation and moved on.
"We would have liked to dispute it, but he doesn't have the luxury to sit in Leon County Jail. It was in his best interest to resolve it and move forward."
Jansen said the 11 days of jail were in replacement of 11 days of jail work camp, which was part of Wilder's original plea in April. Jansen said that switching work days for jail time is common for a violation during a work camp.
Wilder will also have his original six-month probation reinstated, which is scheduled to end in October.
Contrary to reports that Wilder had not completed any of his five anger management courses, Jansen said Wilder has taken three of the five tests required by the original plea in April. As part of Wilder's admission of violation on Thursday morning, Wilder will be required to complete the remaining two courses.
There has been no determination on any on-field punishment for Wilder. Jansen said that he has been in contact with FSU coach Jimbo Fisher and Jansen believes it should not affect his eligibility.
There has been no statement from Fisher or the FSU athletic department regarding Wilder's latest violation.
"I think under the circumstances - I've explained to (Fisher) what happened and he believes that no punishment is necessary because he also believes that the .01 is not a very accurate test," Jansen said. "It could have been .00. He relied on James and his family to make a decision and he has made the decision to move forward."
Wilder missed most of FSU's spring practice while initially charged with a felony. Per FSU policy, no student can represent the school in athletic events while felony charges are pending.
The legal troubles began on Feb. 22 with an arrest involving Wilder, his then-girlfriend Bianca Camarda and a Leon County deputy.
The deputy came to Wilder's residence to look for Camarda, who had failed to appear in court. Wilder allowed the deputies in, and Camarda was found hiding in the bathroom. She was taken into custody without incident. As a deputy escorted the woman to a patrol car, Wilder began to tell the deputy that the woman was not going to jail. According to the Leon County Sherriff's Office, Wilder stepped between the deputy and the woman and pushed the officer. The officer unholstered his taser and advised Wilder that he would be tased if he continued to interfere. The release says Wilder began "yelling obscenities" while still saying the woman would not be going to jail. Wilder was then placed under arrest.
Wilder was charged with felony battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. He was released on $2,000 bail.
On April 4, the charges were pleaded down to misdemeanor resisting arrest without violence. Wilder was sentenced to six months probation and nine days of jail work camp as part of a plea deal. He was also required to take the five anger management courses, write a letter of apology to the officer involved and pay $225 in court costs.
Wilder had 35 carries for 161 yards and a touchdown as a freshman in 2011 and scored a touchdown in the Seminoles' 35-30 loss at Wake Forest. He also caught two passes for 14 yards.
A Tampa native, Wilder was the No. 2-ranked running back and the No. 11 overall player in the Class of 2011 according to Rivals.com.
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