49ers linebacker faces DUI, marijuana possession charges

Facing criminal charges can be a daunting situation, often causing stress and tension for the individual involved. When that person is also in the public eye, the attention caused by the charges can increase those concerns.

Recently, Aldon Smith - a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers - found himself in legal trouble again. In mid-September, he was arrested on charges of driving under the influence and marijuana possession after being involved in a car accident. Following the collision, he was taken into custody. He later posted bail and left the Santa Clara County jail where he had been held.

While he played in the 49ers next game, he has since been placed on the reserve/non-football injury list. Reportedly, he will now take a leave of absence, during which time he may participate in an inpatient rehabilitation program.

Smith will next have to face the charges on November 4, when he is scheduled to appear in court. In the meantime, he will likely familiarize himself with the potential penalties associated with the charges he is facing.

Fight marijuana possession charges in California

In California, the possible penalties an individual may face for marijuana possession will depend on a number of factors, including the quantity of marijuana found in his or her possession, the individual's age and where the incident took place.

For instance, if someone is found with 28.5 grams of marijuana or less, he or she could be subjected to a fine of up to $100. If that individual is a minor - less than 18 years of age - with the same quantity of marijuana, however, the penalties are heightened. In such situations, the individual could face misdemeanor charges. If convicted, he or she could be sentenced to up to 10 days in a detention center and a fine of up to $250.

If an individual is found with 28.5 grams of marijuana or less on school grounds, but is over 18 years of age, he or she could be sentenced to up to 10 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500.

The penalties are more severe for those found with more than 28.5 grams of marijuana in their possession. In such cases, they could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

If you or a loved one is facing charges of marijuana possession in California, take steps to protect yourself. Seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure a strong defense is established on your behalf.