Ravens running back Ray Rice's arrest and charge of simple assault-domestic violence in Atlantic City will be reviewed by the league under the NFL personal-conduct policy, according to a league source.

Under the policy, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has wide discretion on punishing players regardless of how legal situations are adjudicated. Goodell once suspended Pittsburgh Steelers star Ben Roethlisberger during the 2010 season for six games, which was later reduced to four games, after the quarterback was investigated for an alleged sexual assault in Georgia. Roethlisberger was never charged with a crime.

NFL discipline can include suspensions, fines, banishment from the league, a probationary period where conditions have to be satisfied before reinstatement or a formal reprimand.

A player doesn't have to be convicted of a crime to be punished under the NFL policy. The NFL can choose to levy discipline if the player pleads guilty or no contest to a lesser offense or disposes of a case through a diversionary program, deferred adjudication, a conditional dismissal or receives probation.

Generally, repeat offenders are dealt with much more harshly under the personal-conduct policy.

Rice has no history of off-field issues, which could work in his favor. It doesn't necessarily mean he will avoid punishment, though, as first-time offenders have been suspended in the past. Every off-field situation that falls under the NFL personal-conduct policy is judged on a case-by-case basis.

Under the rules of the NFL, players are required to promptly report any incident that might violate the personal-conduct policy to their team, and then the team must notify NFL security. Failure to report an incident is regarded as detrimental conduct by the league.