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49ers Aldon Smith Plead No Contest to DUI Charges and Now Struck With 9 Game Suspension

49ers Aldon Smith Plead No Contest to DUI Charges and Now Struck With 9 Game Suspension

The hammer of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has fallen hard on 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith.  Goodell suspended Smith for nine football games due to his violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy and substance abuse policy.  Smith will start his suspension this Saturday and will finish on November 10th, the day after the 49ers play the New Orleans Saints.

The heavy suspension came shortly after Smith wrapped up his criminal cases involving DUI, possession of marijuana, and possession of weapons.  Just before the start of training camp, the 24 year-old plead no contest to the DUI and weapons charges and was sentenced to three years of probation and 11 days of work crew.

After his DUI arrest back in September 2013, Smith was suspended indefinitely from the team and sought out help with substance abuse.  He enrolled himself in an in-patient treatment center and has claimed he has remained sober ever since.  When deciding Smith’s punishment, Goodell said he considered Smith’s time in rehab and that it was in his favor.

Niners general manager Trent Baalke supported his star athlete when he released this statement on Friday, “Our organization has known this decision would come and we have prepared for it as a team. Aldon has taken responsibility for his actions and has continued to show growth personally and professionally. We will continue to support him, but it is time to put this matter behind us and focus on the season ahead.”

And yes, they better focus on their season ahead, because the Seahawks are ready to be the World Champs again! Go Hawks!!


Written by Senior DUI and Criminal Defense Attorney David O

Co-written by Sarah Ann

DUI Follow Up – Lamar Odom Pleads “No Contest”

DUI Follow Up – Lamar Odom Pleads “No Contest”

Apparently, L.A. prosecutors and judges are “Lammy” fans because they gave the 6’10” pro basketball player a decent deal for his DUI (driving under the influence) charge he acquired back in August.  The deal – Lamar Odom  plead “no contest”, aka “guilty”, to the DUI charge today in court and in return he was sentenced to 3 years of probation, required completion of a three-month alcohol education class, and ordered to pay $1,800.00 in court costs and penalties.  “Nolo contendere” is a legal term that comes from the Latin for “I do not wish to contend.” It is also referred to as a plea of of no contest. In criminal trials in certain U.S. jurisdictions, it is a plea where the defendant neither admits nor disputes a charge, serving as an alternative to a pleading of guilty.  A no-contest plea, while not technically a guilty plea, has the same immediate effect as a guilty plea, and is often offered as a part of a plea bargain.

What does this mean for 34-year-old Lamar?  For starters, Lamar will have a DUI on his criminal record.   No vacations to Canada for Lamar!  FYI – Canada does not allow individuals convicted of a DUI into their country for 10 years.  Secondly, Lamar will have to keep his hands clean for three long years while on probation.  If Lamar is convicted of any new criminal charge  or caught consuming any amount of alcohol while on probation, Lammy will be in violation of his probation and will have enhanced criminal punishments.   Thirdly, Odom must complete the three-month alcohol education class by June 9th 2014.  These classes take up time and money, but Lamar has plenty of both, so completing this class shouldn’t be an issue, maybe he will even learn something while there.  If he fails to complete the class by June 9th, Lamar will have to return to court for violating court orders.  And lastly, Lamar will need to pay $1,800.00 to the court system for fees and penalties which is pocket change to the millionaire pro athlete, who unlike most athletes saved the majority of his millions.

How is this a deal for Odom?  By taking this deal, Lamar avoids having to go to trial.  Generally, when an individual decides to take their case to trial they are subjected to increased consequences if they are found guilty.   Preparation for trial can be lengthy and can continue a case for months, by taking the deal, the case is done and over.  Lamar also avoids any time behind bars.

Good luck Lammy, you have a long three-years ahead of you.  Your best chances to avoid probation violations are to stay out of the lime light, use your long legs to run from paparazzi, and no more drunk driving.

Want to know more about Lamar Odom’s August 2013 DUI arrest, read my previous blog, Lamar Odom Faces Alcohol and Drug DUI Charge.

heleyna holmes photography 003





Written by S.O


DUI Case Dismissed in May 2013 – Criminal Defense Attorney, David O

DUI Case Dismissed in May 2013 – Criminal Defense Attorney, David O

In this DUI case, my client (“MC”) was arrested for driving under the influence in Snohomish county.  The state trooper stopped MC’s vehicle for allegedly “not having working license plate lights” and nothing else.  After a brief DUI investigation, the trooper arrested MC for DUI (driving under the influence).

RCW 46.37.020 mandates vehicles to display lighted headlights and other lights after sunset or before sunrise and at any other time when persons and vehicles on the highway would not be clearly discernible at a distance of one thousand feet.  This statute is relevant because it would determine by law when lights are required on a vehicle while driving and in what type of conditions.

RCW 46.37.050(3) states: “Either a tail lamp or a separate lamp shall be so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light the rear registration plate and render it clearly legible from a distance of fifty feet to the rear…”  This statute is relevant because it specifically relates to a vehicle’s license plate and some facts related to my case.

My evaluation of MC’s DUI case; the trooper had no basis to stop MC’s car.  However, the state prosecutor didn’t agree with me.  I never take it personal when a prosecutor does not agree with me because, at times, I know they are just doing their “duty.”  So, I set MC’s DUI case for a motion hearing.  A motion hearing is a hearing similar to a trial but without a jury. There is no waiver of a jury trial for this type of hearing.  It’s a hearing where testimony will be provided by witnesses and legal issues presented to a judge.  After hearing all the issues the judge will decide and make certain rulings.

Fortunately for MC, the judge agreed with my argument and dismissed MC’s DUI case!  The judge decided the trooper did not have a reasonable basis to stop MC’s vehicle.  As MC criminal defense attorney, I put a lot of time and energy reviewing police reports, Washington State laws, interviewing witnesses and presenting my findings to the judge in a persuasive manner.  MC was very pleased his DUI was dismissed!