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NFL Players in Court: Aldon Smith, Greg Hardy Sentenced

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on July 21, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

With NFL training camps set to open this week, two of the game's biggest defensive stars were wrapping up a little off-season defensive work in the courtroom.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy were both convicted in separate criminal cases last week, with Smith pleading no contest and Hardy being found guilty following a trial.

What were the players convicted of and how serious are their sentences?

Aldon Smith: DUI, Weapons Charges

Aldon Smith, the troubled 49ers star, was sentenced to 11 days on a sheriff's work crew by a judge in Santa Clara County, California, on Friday, reports USA Today. Smith had pleaded no contest to driving under the influence and assault weapons charges.

The weapon charges stemmed from a 2012 party at Smith's house, where he was reportedly stabbed. Police responding to the party, where two other partygoers were allegedly shot, found a cache of illegal assault weapons in Smith's house.

Smith was also arrested for DUI in 2013 and took leave from the 49ers while undergoing treatment at an in-patient substance abuse facility.

In addition to 235 hours of community service, minus credit for time served, Smith was also sentenced to three years' probation.

Greg Hardy: Domestic Violence Charges

In a separate case, Pro Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy was found guilty of assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend by a court in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina on Tuesday. He received a 60-day suspended jail sentence along with 18 months' probation. According to ESPN, Hardy's attorney plans to appeal.

Hardy was accused of threatening to kill his girlfriend following an altercation in his downtown Charlotte apartment. According to the girlfriend's testimony, Hardy put his hands around the woman's neck and told her he was going to kill her. Hardy disputed the woman's version of events, claiming the woman became angry when he wouldn't have sex with her and injured herself.

Under North Carolina Law, a defendant convicted before a district court judge may appeal for a trial de novo -- or new trial -- in front of a jury. Until that trial occurs, Hardy is "free to travel with the team to training camp and compete in games," ESPN reports.

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