Da'Quan Bowers (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Though the law in New York can be strict when it comes to gun possession, Da'Quan Bowers found out Thursday there is sometimes room for leniency.
A judge dropped charges of felony second-degree possession of a weapon against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defensive end to a charge of disorderly conduct, a violation that carries no jail time or probation, Bowers' lawyer Dennis Coppin told USA TODAY Sports.
Bowers paid a $250 fine and $120 surcharge. The case is "sealed upon payment" and there will be no further penalties for the former second-round pick, Coppin said.
Shortly after the decision was tweeted by USA TODAY Sports on Thursday, Bowers tweeted: "I appreciate my LOYAL fans. I see and read each and every tweet yours are appreciated!"
Bowers was arrested in February when he alerted LaGuardia Airport employees he had a gun in his bag while checking in for a flight out of New York. Bowers received the same charges as Plaxico Burress, who accidentally discharged his gun in a Manhattan night club and served nearly two years in prison.
Apparently, the Queens District Attorney's office saw Bowers' handling of his situation much differently.
"(Da'Quan is) very happy, and honestly the Queens County District Attorney's office investigated the case thoroughly and he was honest when he had the gun," Coppin said. "He turned it over to the first gate agent he saw. He did the right thing, and they did the right thing in their investigation."
Coppin added, "Sometimes with these cases, you have to use common sense. Obviously, a lot of people are anti-guns or what not, but you just can't have a blanket rule that applies to (all cases)."
Bowers has had a bit of a tumultuous road to this point. Once considered a possible No. 1 overall pick, he watched his stock slide because of concerns about his knee. Last off-season, he tore his Achilles tendon, which landed him on the physically-unable-to-perform list to begin the season.
Bowers finally got a bit of a break. After a season in which he recorded three sacks in 10 games, he's surely relieved to know he will be on a football field and not in prison in the coming months.