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By Mike Johnson on 2022-07-16 19:35:00

While Jeff Hardy entered a written plea of not guilty several weeks ago and noted at that the time he was waiving his arraignment, he was ordered via mail on 7/15 to appear for arraignment on 8/2 at 2:30 PM before Volusia County Court.

The not guilty plea was submitted on 6/28.  At the time, the filing also noted, "Defendant, Jeffrey Nero Hardy, pursuant to rules 3.160(a), Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, waives arraignment by filing this written plea of not guilty. Albritton v. White, 948 So. 2d 852, 854 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007). Defendant further waives the right to be present at all pretrial conferences" so it would appear the scheduled 7/5 arraignment hearing would not take place as initially scheduled.

Hardy is currently in treatment according to AEW President Tony Khan, who made that announcement last week during a media call to promote the Forbidden Door PPV.  In the wake of his arrest, Hardy was indefinitely suspended without pay by AEW.  According to a statement issued by AEW President Tony Khan, that suspension will stand until Hardy undergoes treatment and is able to maintain his sobriety

Hardy, 44, was arrested at 9:55 AM and charged with charged with DUI (Alcohol or Drugs), third offense within ten years, driving while license canceled/suspended/revoked and violation of restrictions placed on driver's license.  The primary charge is a felony under Florida law, punishable up to five years' imprisonment, should Hardy be convicted.  The others would fall under misdemeanors.   

Jeff Hardy had been previously arrested for a previous DUI-related offense in March 2018 and October 2019 in North Carolina, so those would to be the previous DUIs referenced as his primary charge.  In July 2019, Hardy was arrested in South Carolina for public intoxication and impairment. 

Matt Hardy discussed the situation on the most recent episode of his podcast, Extreme Life of Matt Hardy, commenting, "After speaking to Jeff the last couple of days, he is just so remorseful, so embarrassed.  He, like, hates himself and I think that’s part of it too. He has to know, obviously, what he did was atrocious and terrible, terrible decision-making but then also he has to know that people love him. It’s very important and… at the end of the day, it all comes down to the individual."

In their arrest report for Hardy, The Florida Highway Patrol stated that Hardy was merging from I-4 onto northbound I-95 in a Dodge Charger that was “traveling significantly under the speed limit, weaving across travel lanes and running off the shoulder of the roadway."  Hardy, 44, driving a white Dodge Charger, was described in the report as "swerving all over the roadway, failing to maintain (his) lane, and running off the roadway in the area.”

The FHP tried to pull over Hardy, who initially did not respond, but finally did pull over.  When Troopers approached Hardy, he was reaching into a backpack and was told to remove his hands.  

“I issued loud verbal commands for the driver to take his hands out of the bag to which he did not respond,” Trooper Zach Steiner wrote in the report. “I proceeded to slap the passenger window to gain his attention which was also unsuccessful. The driver appeared to be in a stupor and confused.” 

Hardy had issues placing the car in park, rolling it forward.  He then slammed on the brakes and finally put the car in park

The arrest report described Hardy as being "unsteady on his feet, displayed orbital sway, reeked of the odor of an alcoholic beverage, and was confused.”

TMZ released footage of Hardy's arrest from The Florida Highway Patrol, with the footage showing that at one point, Hardy had guns drawn on him by multiple Troopers when he initially didn't comply after being pulled over.  During the seven minute video, Hardy stated that he had taken several double shots of Fireball and was scheduled for a brain scan due to head trauma from wrestling. 

Hardy agreed to a breathalyzer after undergoing a field sobriety test.  The first test registered a 0.294, almost more than three and a half times the legal limit of 0.08.  A second breathalyzer test brought a result of 0.291.   Hardy told the officers that he had been drinking double shots of Fireball "earlier."  After the breathalyzer results, Hardy was placed under arrest.  

Hardy signed with AEW in March of this year when his 90-day non-compete with WWE expired after WWE released him.  Hardy had been sent home by WWE after a December 2021 live event in Edinburg, Texas where he teamed with Xavier Woods and Drew McIntye against The Bloodline.    Hardy spent most of that match inside the ring, being worked over by Roman Reigns and The Usos and apparently becoming more sluggish as the match continued.    Once he gave a hot tag to McIntyre, Hardy disappeared into the crowd (followed by security) and didn't return to the ring for the post-match celebration with his partners.    

WWE requested Hardy place himself in rehab, which he turned down, leading to his release days later.    It should be noted that Hardy was drug tested by WWE in the wake of the incident and passed those tests.  WWE later attempted to bring Hardy back into the fold by offering him an induction into the 2022 WWE Hall of Fame class, which Hardy turned down.  Instead, Hardy waited out his non-compete and signed with AEW, setting the stage for a Hardy Boys tag team reunion with brother Matt Hardy not just in the promotion but beyond on the independent and convention scenes that have obviously been very popular and profitable.

Hardy had been in Florida for a signing for promoter Jason Blaustein at an Orlando Dave & Buster's location that saw Hardy take part in a signing and photo session as well as an acoustic musical performance.

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