San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith appeared in court Tuesday afternoon to answer on three felony weapons charges. Smith was charged with three felony counts of possession of an assault weapon. Smith pleaded not guilty to the charges. Additionally, Smith "waived time", which means a probably cause hearing does not have to be held within 60 days. Finally, he was granted a request for his attorney to appear on his behalf for these status hearings. That means Smith will not need to show up to court for status-type hearings.
Smith's next court date is next Tuesday on the DUI charge related to his arrest prior to the Week 3 matchup with the Colts. There will be other hearings beyond that, but it appears the most notable hearing will be January 15. On that date, the court will hold a hearing related to combining the weapons case with the DUI case.
Combining the cases can simplify matters before the court, but as we've said before, it also provides a chance to potentially work out a plea deal on the entire case. The Mercury News report stated that they thought the gun charges were likely to be knocked down to misdemeanors if past practices with non-celebrities were followed. Of course, given the concerns about star treatment thus far, who knows how this will play out.
For now, just know that barring a plea bargain anytime soon, this could take some time. I think it gets sorted out early next year, but the justice system can spring up all sorts of road blocks.