Carlos Tevez risks being handed a suspended prison sentence if he does not fulfill his community service order for motoring offenses, celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman has warned.
Tevez was this week sold by Manchester City to Juventus but the Argentina striker, who has signed a three-year deal with the Italian giants, still has to complete the court order he was handed in April for driving while disqualified and without insurance.
Although he has started to fulfill the 250 hours of unpaid work he was ordered to do by Macclesfield Magistrates Court, the vast majority is still outstanding.
Tevez's legal team yesterday confirmed it will ensure the striker
"bides by the rules" but it remains to be seen when he will serve the rest of his punishment with pre-season training at Juventus set to begin on July 12.
Freeman, a lawyer known as 'Mr Loophole' who has represented numerous sporting figures accused of motoring offenses, outlined the process and options now facing Tevez and warned that the former City player could yet face a custodial sentence if the matter is not resolved.
Freeman told BBC Radio 5 Live: "He's officially allowed to complete 35 hours a week (of community service). I think the best thing his lawyers could do would be to contact the probation service and implore them to allow him to complete 60 or 70 hours a week.
"Because if he goes back to the judge whenever the date is fixed, which is obviously before July 12, and says 'I haven't done very many' the judge will not be impressed.
"The order would need to be revoked and the judge would re-sentence him and unless he seriously impresses the judge, the judge is not going to look upon him benevolently and the sort of sentence he is likely to receive is one of custody.
"So the onus is really on him to show the judge that he's taken the order responsibly and seriously.
"He might even need to ask Juventus if he can to delay his start of training to be on the July 12, because of course he's only got about two weeks.
"This isn't going to go away."
On what would happen if Tevez did not complete his community service, Freeman said: "What would happen is there would be breach proceedings, they would obviously succeed and eventually there would be a warrant out for his arrest unless he came back to the court and face the music.
"So he has various options, and of course one thing that's going to be vitally important is how long has he known that he might be moving to Juventus because he would have a responsibility to complete the order as quickly as possible and if he's really put this on the backburner then that's something that's going to agitate the judge rather than impress him."
On the possibility of Tevez facing jail in England in the worst-case scenario, Freeman added: "I think if he does as I'm suggesting he will end up with a suspended prison sentence. If he manages to complete the vast majority of hours, the judge may be persuaded to revoke the order and impose a financial penalty in its alternative, but only if there is a very small number of remaining hours."