Aldon Smith

Aldon Smith isn’t a felon, won’t spend time behind bars; here’s my suspension prediction

Aldon Smith 49ers Week 1 warmups

Aldon Smith’s sentencing was moved up to today, one week earlier than scheduled due to a “family emergency” for the prosecutor. According to Tracey Kaplan, the gun charges were reduced from felonies to misdemeanors. Here’s the punishment for slamming his vehicle into someone’s tree while intoxicated:

That’s three years probation, a $2,000 fine and 235 hours of community service. He also can’t possess guns or ammunition during his probationary period. And this got a lot of attention:

I’m curious about how those two bits of information relayed by the prosecutor relate to each other. Did the Norteños and Smith party in the same general area (Aldon’s house), or did they mingle and enjoy the party together? Was a connection made? These are the things I want to know.

There isn’t much else to know besides how long the NFL will suspend Smith. He’ll be doing menial tasks on what is normally an NFL player’s day off — at least during the regular season — for 11 straight Mondays (Office Space joke). The work release part of Smith’s sentence won’t force him to miss any games.

As for the penalty that’ll eventually come from the league office, my guess is a two-week suspension. That’s on the low end, but consider:

  • Aldon Smith missed five games already due to the rehab stint
  • The LAX case went away
  • No felonies
  • No one hurt (luckily and somewhat surprisingly)

I could see the suspension lasting four weeks if the NFL really means business, since Smith has been involved in multiple incidents and the league is getting ready to increase penalties for driving under the influence in the near future. But the new penalties would call for a one-game suspension for a player’s first DUI offense, and those harsher penalties (currently the punishment for a DUI first-timer is two game checks) haven’t been implemented yet.

A two-game suspension would force Smith to miss the opener in Dallas and the first game at Levi’s Stadium, against the Bears. The 49ers would love to have Smith back by Week 3, when they go to Glendale to face the best team that didn’t make the playoffs last season.

I don’t think it’s in great taste to make this a contest or anything, but feel free to post your suspension predictions in the comments and/or your reasoning why my two-game prediction is horribly off. A lot of people seem to think he’ll miss eight games for this, and I think that’s about as likely as Jim Harbaugh showing up to a training camp practice dressed like Tom Landry.

Many have noted that 11 Mondays of work release will take Smith through Oct. 6, and Oct. 13 is the date of San Francisco’s first Monday night game of the season. Those who know infinitely more about the criminal justice system than yours truly say that today’s punishment was in line with what any regular person would face. However, the prosecutor’s family emergency, the length of the “jail” sentence and the 49ers’ schedule represents an interesting little jigsaw puzzle that came together in the team’s favor.

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