In North Carolina, misdemeanors are generally heard before a district court judge who then makes a ruling and passes a sentence. If the person is found guilty, he or she may appeal the ruling and request the case to be heard in Superior Court in a trial by jury. This appeal preserves an individual's constitutional right to a trial by jury. Representatives for NFL defensive end Greg Hardy reported that such an appeal will be filed on Hardy's account with regard to his recent conviction and sentence in district court for assault on a female.
The judge presiding over the case sentenced Hardy to a suspended sentence of 60 days and probation for 18 months. While the matter is on appeal, Hardy is free to travel with his team -- the Carolina Panthers -- since the sentence does not apply until the appeal is resolved. However, that does not preclude the NFL imposing its own penalties on Hardy under its personal-conduct policy.