Former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was charged Friday with three misdemeanor counts in connection with a drunk driving hit-and-run crash last month in Santa Clara.
Smith faces one count each of driving under the influence with a prior conviction, hit and run and vandalism, according to the Santa Clara County district attorney’s office. Smith is expected to appear in court Oct. 6.
The charges come as the Oakland Raiders announced Friday that they had signed Smith, who became a free agent after he was released from the 49ers after his Aug. 6 arrest.
“We are confident that the Raiders provide an environment where Aldon can thrive through the support, structure and leadership within the building,” General Manager Reggie McKenzie said in a statement. “We are excited to have Aldon here in the Raiders family.”
Smith was drinking when he parked his SUV-type vehicle, said Santa Clara police Lt. Kurt Clarke. When he exited his vehicle, his car door swung open and struck a smaller vehicle, causing about $500 in damage. Smith later left the scene, Clarke said.
Police were called to the neighborhood about 8:50 p.m., and when they arrived, Smith returned. The officers believed he was under the influence of alcohol and gave him a sobriety test, Clarke said. He was arrested when he didn’t pass.
Smith refused to submit to a chemical test, according to the district attorney’s office.
Smith was released from custody the next day. Outside the jail, Smith apologized for the incident and denied being under the influence.
“I want everybody to understand this wasn’t a DUI,” Smith told a Bay Area TV station, KTVU. “The situation that happened could have been handled differently. I apologize to everybody I did let down and I apologize for how it all played out.”
That day, the 49ers released Smith.
“This organization has tried very hard to help Aldon fight his issues,” the 49ers said in a statement. “Although he is no longer a member of this team, our support and concern for him will continue.”
Smith has had several run-ins with the law over the last three years.
In 2012, Smith was arrested in Miami Beach on suspicion of DUI but accepted a deal for a lesser charge.
That same year, deputies were called to a party at his home, where he was stabbed and two other people were shot. He fired a handgun from a balcony to disperse the crowd, authorities said. Deputies found assault rifles inside his home during the melee.
In September 2013, Smith was arrested in San Jose on suspicion of driving under the influence and possessing marijuana. Authorities said he was drunk, with a blood alcohol level that was twice the legal limit, when he crashed his car into a tree.
After the DUI arrest, Smith was suspended five games and voluntarily checked himself into a treatment facility.
Smith pleaded no contest in 2014 to three felony weapons charges for the party arrest and two misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence for the San Jose incident.
In April 2014, Smith was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after he argued with a screening agent and was accused of making comments suggesting he had a bomb. Los Angeles city prosecutors declined to file charges against him.
Smith was suspended nine games last season for violating the league’s policy on personal conduct and substance abuse.
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