Aldon Smith will not be charged with making a bomb threat at Los Angeles International Airport in April. Instead, the 49ers linebacker is expected to attend a hearing later this month to explain his side of the story and to receive advice on how to avoid similar circumstances in the future.
“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 date,” city attorney deputy director Frank Mateljan wrote in a statement.
Smith was detained by airport police after passing through security screening on April 13. He was later arrested for making a false bomb threat to a TSA agent. Police also said they suspected Smith had been drinking but did not test his blood-alcohol level.
The hearing in Los Angeles will be held on July 30, five days after a sentencing hearing in San Jose. In May, Smith pleaded no contest to charges of possessing three illegal semi-automatic rifles that were found in his bedroom following an out-of-control party in 2012 and to DUI charges from a September 2013 incident. In similar cases, defendants have avoided jail time and have instead been sentenced to house arrest.
Smith, who is one of the most talented pass rushers in the league, missed six weeks of the 49ers' 2013 season after the DUI incident because he voluntarily enrolled in an alcohol-treatment facility. Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that Smith's absence will be factored into any league discipline he receives. Goodell's comments came in October, one month after the DUI incident.
Although Smith will avoid prosecution in the LAX case, the NFL believes its employees should be held to a “higher standard” and does not always require a conviction when it comes to punishment. The 49ers privately believe that Smith will be suspended for at least a few games at the start of the season. The NFL is expected to make that judgment after Smith's July 25 sentencing hearing.
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