Aldon Smith, the 24-year-old linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, appeared in a Santa Clara, California, courtroom on July 19 where he pleaded no contest to weapons and DUI charges. The sentencing for those charges proved favorable for the beleaguered linebacker when a Superior Court judge reduced his original felony weapons charges to misdemeanors taking any additional jail time for Smith off the table.
Instead of any added jail time, Judge Daniel Nishigaya sentenced Smith to three years’ probation and 235 hours of community service, according to USA Today Sports. During his probationary period, the judge also informed Smith that he is prohibited from owning any weapons or ammo. Smith has already completed 35 hours of community service.
The judge also gave Smith credit for the one day he had already spent behind bars, “reducing his time on the work crew from 12 days to 11.” The sentencing definitely went in Smith’s favor, which could have earned him more than four years in prison.
The judge ruled he can serve on the work crew on Mondays, starting July 28, which should cause limited conflicts with his NFL schedule. San Francisco isn't slated to play on a Monday night until Oct. 13.
Smith’s weapons charges stem from a June 2012 party at his home that got totally out of control. A fight broke out during that party. Smith suffered several stab wounds reportedly trying to break up that fight; and two others were shot. During the police investigation at his home, cops uncovered “a cache of weapons, including at least three assault rifles that were illegal in California.” The young linebacker ended up being charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon in relation to the stabbing incident at his house party and the weapons found at his home.
His drunk driving charges are a result of a separate incident that occurred on Sept. 20, 2013, after Smith hit a tree with his pickup truck in San Jose. Following that accident, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession. Smith was released a short time after that arrest, according to Fox News, and managed to still make the next team practice for the 49ers. Prosecutors In the case against Smith said that the gridiron star received no special treatment in sentencing and hope that he got his wakeup call.
''In the end, we treated Aldon like any other person in similar circumstances,'' Santa Clara County District Attorney Brian Buckelew said.
'"We're optimistic that the punishment will be sufficient to get him on the right track.'' ~ Yahoo! Sports
And although his court actions have been settled, Smith is still facing possible NFL sanctions. Greg Aiello, spokesperson for the NFL, announced yesterday that Smith's case "will be reviewed under our policies."
In April, Smith was arrested at LAX airport after he became belligerent and uncooperative with a TSA agent. Smith led the agent to believe that he was carrying a bomb. Prosecutors in Los Angeles dropped all charges against him in that case. See the video accompanying this article for more on that story.