Aldon Smith sentenced to time on work crew

Aldon Smith sentenced to time on work crew
July 18, 2014, 2:30 pm
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We are pleased that Aldon has moved past this phase of the process, and will support any action the NFL may take with respect to this matter.
Trent Baalke

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was sentenced to 12 days in jail but can serve the time on a work crew, a judge ruled Friday in Santa Clara Superior Court.

Smith’s three felony weapons charges were reduced to misdemeanors in a sentencing hearing in front of Judge Daniel Nishigaya, according to reports from NBC Bay Area and the Mercury News.

Smith received court probation for three years on the DUI charges. He is expected to serve his jail time on a work crew on Mondays, beginning July 28. He has one day of credit, the judge ruled.

"The 49ers organization is aware of today’s proceedings," 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. "We are pleased that Aldon has moved past this phase of the process, and will support any action the NFL may take with respect to this matter. The organization will continue to support Aldon’s efforts to grow personally from this experience.”

It was not immediately known how Smith’s sentencing will impact his availability to the 49ers. Smith is scheduled to report to 49ers training camp in Santa Clara on Wednesday. Unlike most NFL teams, the off day for 49ers players is on Monday. Smith's 11 days on a work crew -- with one day served every week -- would end the week prior to the 49ers' first Monday night game of the season -- on Oct. 13 at the St. Louis Rams.

Smith must pay a $2,000 punitive fine for the misdemeanor weapons charges and is prohibited from possessing guns or ammunition for the three years he’s on probation. He must also serve 235 hours of community service.

Smith appeared in court a week ahead of the originally scheduled July 25 sentencing hearing. The sentencing was moved up a week due to the prosecutor having a family emergency.

On May 21, Smith changed his pleas to “no contest” on three 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.

Nishigaya had the discretion to sentence Smith to probation with no jail time to four years and four months in jail.

"I would like to apologize for my actions and I will abide by any order you give" Aldon Smith said to the judge before the sentencing.

Earlier this month, authorities did not file criminal charges against Smith in connection with an alleged false report of a bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport. Smith is scheduled to attend a hearing on July 30 to address the matter.

The gun charges surfaced from a 2012 party at Smith’s residence in unincorporated San Jose that turned violent.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department searched Smith’s residence for evidence related to assaults, including stab wounds that Smith sustained. Sheriff’s investigators recovered two rifles from Smith’s bedroom, including an Armalite AR10-T .308 caliber rifle, according to authorities.

[REWIND: Harbaugh: Aldon made changes; 'changes ought to be made']

In a second search, investigators recovered three additional firearms from Smith’s bedroom and closet, including a Bushmaster ACR rifle chambered for 5.56mm NATO and a Bushmaster Carbon-15 .223 caliber rifle, according to the District Attorney’s office.

The DA’s office determined three of the assault rifles were illegal under California law. The investigation also revealed that Smith purchased the assault weapons in Arizona on two occasions in 2011.

The DUI charge stemmed from his arrest on September 20 in San Jose. Smith lost control of his truck and struck a tree. His blood-alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit, according to the DA’s office. His no contest pleas were to basic DUI, as well as a separate count for driving with a blood-alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit.

Smith played every defensive snap for the 49ers two days later against the Indianapolis Colts, but then took a voluntary leave of absence to enter into treatment for substance abuse and missed five games.

Smith is also subject to a fine and/or suspension under the NFL’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.

When 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.”

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