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Ray McDonald domestic violence arrest, NFL personal conduct policy and Jim Harbaugh's own words

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San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald was arrested early Sunday morning for suspicion of felony domestic violence. We take a look at the timeline of the NFL's personal conduct policy for punishment.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ray McDonald was arrested at 2:48 a.m. by San Jose police and booked on suspicion of felony domestic violence, with bail reportedly set at $25,000. Reports indicated the incident involved his pregnant fiancee, and Matt Barrows mentioned that police arrested McDonald after seeing bruising on his fiancee's arms and neck. Bruising on arms can sometimes be explainable as part of self-defense, but bruising on the neck is another story entirely.

This arrest comes mere days after Roger Goodell announced a beefed up discipline policy for domestic violence and sexual assault. Punishment starts at 6 games for the first offense, although aggravating circumstances could lead to a larger suspension. If this all proves true, the presence of a pregnant woman would have to be one such aggravating circumstance.

The question becomes how long the NFL takes to impose discipline. According to the personal conduct policy, a first offense will generally not result in discipline until there has been disposition of the proceeding. They do make exceptions, however:

Unless the available facts clearly indicate egregious circumstances, significant bodily harm orrisk to third parties, or an immediate and substantial risk to the integrity and reputation of the NFL, a first offense generally will not result in discipline until there has been a disposition of the proceeding (or until the investigation is complete in the case of noncriminal misconduct).

This is where we will need to learn more facts. That paragraph comes from the conduct policy instituted prior to the updated DV policy. You can read that updated policy HERE. It does not clarify when punishment will be imposed, so one would assume it would follow disposition of the case. In my view, domestic violence is inherently egregious, so one has to wonder if the NFL will act sooner. We'll find out exactly what this new policy means in the coming days, weeks or however long.

And of course, this all comes a couple years after Jim Harbaugh reportedly made it very clear what he thought of people who beat women. According to Donte Whitner, Jim Harbaugh will forgive players for most anything, but, "[i]f you put your hand on a woman then you're done in his book." We'll see how true this proves if the facts of this case prove true.

49ers general manager Trent Baalke released the same general statement they use when a player is arrested. "The 49ers organization is aware of the recent reports regarding Ray McDonald and we take such matters seriously. As we continue to gather the facts, we will reserve further comment."