Aldon Smith faces no criminal charges from LAX incident

Aldon Smith faces no criminal charges from LAX incident
July 1, 2014, 10:15 am
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While the City Attorney reserves the right to file charges up to one year following the incident, no further action is scheduled beyond the office hearing.
Frank Mateljan, LA City Attorney’s office.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith will not face any charges in connection to an alleged bomb threat he made at Los Angeles International Airport in April, authorities said on Tuesday.

In lieu of filing criminal charges, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office will set an office hearing on July 30 to address the matter. The 49ers open training camp on July 23.

The hearing is administered by members of the City Attorney’s office in which all parties are scheduled to attend to give their account of the incident, according to Frank Mateljan of the City Attorney’s office.

“The individuals are their admonished about the applicable laws and given suggestions on how to avoid similar incidents in the future,” Mateljan said via email. “While the City Attorney reserves the right to file charges up to one year following the incident, no further action is scheduled beyond the office hearing.”

LAX Police detained Smith on April 13 after he passed through airport security. He was arrested for allegedly making a false report of a bomb threat to a TSA agent. Smith told 49ers officials he never said the word “bomb,” a source previously told CSNBayArea.com.

Smith was originally booked on April 13 for a felony charge. He was released later that day on $20,000 bail. Two weeks later, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office referred the case to the L.A. City Attorney’s Office for misdemeanor consideration.

In comments to CSNBayArea.com on May 16, Smith said, “A lot of these things are being painted in a picture that’s not true.”

[EXCLUSIVE: Aldon Smith eager for truth to emerge]

With the incident at LAX behind him, Smith faces one unresolved legal matter.

Smith changed his pleas on May 21 to “no contest” on three felony weapons charges, two misdemeanor DUI counts, as well as another count for a license plate switch on the vehicle used during the DUI. The two DUI counts consist of the basic DUI, as well as having a blood-alcohol level of nearly twice the legal limit.

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Daniel Nishigaya is scheduled to sentence Smith on July 25. Smith faces from probation and no jail time to four years and four months in jail.

[REWIND -- No-contest plea: What it all means for Aldon Smith]

The NFL is also subject to a fine and/or suspension under the league’s policies on personal conduct and substance abuse.

“I can’t control that,” Smith told CSNBayArea.com when asked about the possibility of league discipline. “I’m focused on staying focused.

Smith took a voluntary leave of absence last season after the DUI incident and missed five games while in treatment for substance abuse. When CSNBayArea.com asked in October if Smith’s decision to enter rehab would factor into the league’s decision on discipline, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell answered, “Certainly.”

Goodell added, “The issue here is not to discipline players. The issue here is to stop the behavior. And Aldon, to your point, has voluntarily said, ‘I need help.’ We are obviously there to support him, and the 49ers did a great job getting him into a facility to try to get that help. And so we all support that. So, yes, it will be factor, for sure.”

A player does not need to be found guilty of a crime to face discipline from the NFL, according to the league's Personal Conduct Policy.

“It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime,” the policy states. “Instead, as an employee of the NFL or a member club, you are held to a higher standard and expected to conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, promotes the values upon which the League is based, and is lawful.

“Persons who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are guilty of conduct detrimental and subject to discipline, even where the conduct itself does not result in conviction of a crime.”

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