Ravens cornerback Chris McAlister has been charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana after Baltimore County police discovered the drug while responding to a burglary alarm at his Reisterstown home.
McAlister received a criminal summons this week to appear in Towson District Court for a trial on Aug. 22.
His lawyer, however, says the marijuana did not belong to McAlister.
"Other people have access to his house," said attorney C. Carey Deeley Jr. "Chris was in Miami, Fla., for a friend's birthday party at the time."
Police say McAlister was not home around 8 p.m. on May 20 when they responded to a burglary alarm at his house in the first block of Augustus Wally Court.
"We discovered there was a burglary," said Cpl. Andrew MacLellan, who was the first officer to respond to the call. "It appears [the burglars entered] through a garage door."
A window in the front door was shattered and a side door was found open.
As officials were searching the home, K-9 dogs found approximately a half-ounce of marijuana on a coffee table in the basement.
"The quantity was for personal use," MacLellan said. "It was in plain view."
Police seized the drug, and sent it to the department's forensics unit to process. Based on the results of that testing, police decided to charge McAlister this week.
According to Deeley, the Ravens learned of the summons on Tuesday, and at about 4 p.m. that afternoon, Deeley took McAlister to the Garrison precinct to get the summons.
McAlister also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, which, Deeley said, was a sandwich bag that contained the marijuana.
"Chris was not processed, finger-printed or arrested," Deeley said.
Deeley also said that McAlister, 23, did not know until Tuesday that anything had been taken from the house "or that there had been an issue as a result of checking the house."
McAlister returned home from Miami on May 23, three days after the incident, Deeley said.
Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said McAlister "made it clear to us that it's not his."
"Chris has passed all random drug tests since becoming a Raven in 1999," Byrne said.
McAlister was the 10th player selected in the 1999 draft, out of Arizona, and became a starter in his rookie season.
Officials have not determined what was stolen from the home, saying they have not spoken to McAlister.