Aldon Smith pleaded to a no contest on Wednesday afternoon to three felony charges and a misdemeanor in the Santa Clara County Superior Court. He will appear again on July 25 where he is will be sentenced to as many as four years in prison.
Smith has had two DUI charges with the most recent coming in September 2013. He also had three weapon charges for the possession of an assault weapon during a house party incident in 2012. Smith allegedly bought three rifles legally in Arizona, but didn't register them when he went back to California.
The no contest is not related to the incident at the LAX airport where he allegedly made a false bomb threat last April. Police believe he was drinking and witnesses said he was uncooperative in the Southwest terminal.
General manager Trent Baalke released the following statement on the no contest:
"We are aware that Aldon entered a plea today in a case that we have closely monitored. Today was an important step towards bringing that situation to a resolution. Any further questions concerning today's hearing should be directed to his attorney."
The 49ers picked up his fifth-year option just hours before the deadline approached on May 1. The $9.75 million option does not become guaranteed until March, where he could have a restructured contract or be released without any extra cost.
Smith could be suspended by the NFL for his off the field conduct, but any action by the league could wait until the LAX incident is resolved. He previous spent six weeks in rehab during the 2013 season where he missed five games after getting a DUI.
On the field, Smith had 42 sacks in 43 games where he was a pass rushing force in three seasons. The 49ers have Dan Skuta, Corey Lemonier and 2014 fifth-round draft pick Aaron Lynch as reserve outside linebackers behind Smith on the depth chart.
Prior to the draft, Baalke showed a commitment to Aldon Smith in hopes of turning things around. While he didn't pick up the fifth-year option at the time, he did have a desire for the Pro Bowl linebacker to remain on the team.
"We're a family," Baalke said in April. "You just don't open the door and toss people out of it. You continue to work until they leave you no choice."