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49ers LB Aldon Smith pleads not guilty to weapons charges

Aldon Smith missed five games during a leave of absence. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Aldon Smith missed 5 games during a leave of absence, but still has 4.5 sacks this season. (Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith pled not guilty to three felony counts of possessing an illegal assault weapon in a San Jose, Calif. courtroom Tuesday and is due back in court on Jan. 15.

A judge approved a waiver that could delay Smith’s next court date in order to work around his schedule. The January court date will combine the weapons charges with Smith’s DUI case from September.

"Aldon's very interested in answering to these charges, and you have to understand that this is a process, and today's court appearance was the first step in that process," Smith's attorney Josh Bentley said, via NBCBayArea.com.

Technicians determined that three guns recovered from Smith's home outside of San Jose in 2012 were illegal assault weapons under California law, according to prosecutors, who said the weapons, which were among five unregistered rifles located in Smith's bedroom, included an Armalite AR-10-T and two Bushmaster assault weapons.

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Smith was stabbed at the June 2012 party where two other men suffered gunshot wounds, and is being sued by those men who were wounded at the party.  Smith also faces two charges from his Sept. 20 DUI arrest.

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