San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Reuben Foster has been charged with felony domestic abuse by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office and faces up to 11 years in prison, if convicted.

Foster was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail in February on suspicion of domestic violence, threats, and possession of an assault weapon. The arrest came a month after an arrest for second-degree possession of marijuana in Alabama.

Foster's arraignment will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.

The release from the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office reads as follows:

Reuben Foster, a professional football player, was charged today with felony domestic violence against his live-in girlfriend.

Foster, 24, physically attacked the 28-year-old woman during a February argument at their Los Gatos home, leaving her bruised and with a ruptured ear drum.

Foster is scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 12 in Department 44 of the Hall of Justice in San Jose. The defendant faces charges of domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, and possession of an assault weapon — all felonies. He is also charged with misdemeanor possession of large capacity weapon magazine. If convicted, he faces more than 11 years in prison.

Prosecutor Kevin Smith said: "Our focus is on holding accountable those who hurt their intimate partners. Our Office handles between four and five thousand domestic violence cases each year. We only hope that this case illuminates the tragic regularity of the rest."

On February 11, the victim flagged down a stranger's car driving on Shannon Road to call 911. She called police. The victim told responding sheriff's deputies and Los Gatos police that Foster dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of the house, and punched her in the head 8 to 10 times.

The victim went to a local hospital, where she was treated for her injuries, and released.
During their search of Foster's home, officers found the weapon — a Sig Sauer 516 — along with its large capacity magazine — both of which are illegal to possess in California.

Police officers were dispatched to Foster's home on February 11 after a report of domestic violence. The alleged female victim told officers the assault took place following an argument between the couple.

While other teams passed on Foster in last year's draft due to health and off-the-field concerns, the 49ers traded back up into the first round to select him with the 31st-overall pick. He started 10 games while registering 72 combined tackles with a pass defensed. Foster was named the Defensive Rookie of the Month for November during the 2017 season.

Foster has been around the 49ers' facilities since the arrest. Bay Area News Group reached out to the 49ers and the NFL regarding the charges against Foster and learned he had been allowed to work out at the facility since the arrest while the team awaited word from the District Attorney's Office.

The charges do not bode well for the young linebacker's NFL future. Many are already speculating that the 49ers might have no choice but to release Foster following the charges.

49ers CEO Jed York recently discussed Foster's situation while stating that if the young star doesn't stay out of trouble, his career with San Francisco could be in jeopardy.

"I know Reuben is very cognizant of where his position is right now," York told The Athletic last month. "His time with the 49ers can potentially be over if he continues to do things outside the team that aren't what we want him to be a part of."

Head coach Kyle Shanahan told NBC Sports Bay Area last month that Foster has put the 49ers in a tough situation. While he stayed out of trouble during the season last year, Foster failed to steer clear of trouble once the season was over.

"Reuben was great for us when he was around, and things have happened since he's been gone," Shanahan said, "and those are things we have to address and things we need to make sure he learns how to do things the right way. I want to help Reuben out, just like I want to help any of our players out. But it's a two-way street, and they have to meet us there. And there comes a lot of responsibility with that."

Foster met with the 49ers the day after the February arrest. The meeting included Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.

"We've had some really frank discussions with Reuben," Lynch said last month. "Unfortunately, a lot of these things happen in the offseason when we aren't allowed to touch these guys. That's not an excuse. It's just a reality. During the season, Reuben was great. His biggest issue during the season was staying healthy, but when he was on the field, he's a difference maker.

"He's put himself in a couple of situations that you can't put yourself in. We're going to hold off judgment and let the legal process kind of work itself out."

The 49ers kick off their offseason program on Monday.

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