SANTA CLARA -- Defensive tackle Ray McDonald hasn't been ruled out of the 49ers' season opener by general manager Trent Baalke, who says details are still being obtained regarding McDonald's arrest Sunday on suspicion of felony domestic violence.

"There's such a thing called due process, and we intend on letting that play out," Baalke said Tuesday. " ... Nothing's been determined at this point."

Baalke emphasized that neither he nor the 49ers organization has any tolerance for domestic violence, which McDonald is accused of committing against his reportedly pregnant fiancee during a party at his San Jose home.

Coach Jim Harbaugh took a similar stance earlier Tuesday on his KNBR 680-AM segment, going so far as to say he wouldn't want anyone guilty of domestic violence on his team.

"There's going to be two principles at play here," Harbaugh said. "One is, I'll speak for myself, and I'll speak for the 49ers, we'll not tolerate domestic violence. The second principle is going to be: We're firm believers in due process, and I ask for your understanding in those two principles."

McDonald was cleared to practice Tuesday after multiple conversations with Baalke. McDonald, who turned 30 on Tuesday, was not present in the 49ers' locker room inside Levi's Stadium during the media's hour access.

San Jose Police Chief Larry Esquivel issued a three-sentence synopsis of Sunday's incident, stating it occurred at 2 a.m. and "the victim had visible injuries." Force was not needed to arrest McDonald.


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"We're gathering as much information from as many different sources as we can," Baalke said.

Baalke said he hasn't spoken with other players, even though tight end Vernon Davis said he was at the party along with at least half the team. Davis said he neither saw nor heard anything out of the ordinary before leaving as police arrived.

"I don't know what went on over there," Davis said. "I wish I could put my finger on it, but I don't know. All I do know is Ray is a great guy. He's awesome. He's got great character."

Several other players vouched for McDonald's character.

"He just knows we have his back," linebacker Patrick Willis said. "We never condone anything of this magnitude. It is what it is. Nobody knows. There's two sides to every story."

Baalke said the 49ers have yet to acquire "enough information" to make a call on McDonald's future, such as imposing an indefinite suspension with pay.

On Friday, the 49ers restructured McDonald's contract, paying him a $2.645 million signing bonus while reducing this season's salary from $3.5 million to $855,000, thus creating $2.11 million in salary-cap space, according to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

League officials have been in constant contact with the 49ers. On Thursday, commissioner Roger Goodell announced harsher discipline for domestic-violence cases. Goodell said first-time offenders would receive six-game suspensions, with stiffer penalties if a pregnant woman was victimized.

"They know exactly the stance we're taking and the things we're trying to do to make the best possible decision we can," Baalke said. "They're guiding us, but they're not telling us exactly how to handle this matter. And the matter will be handled by the organization."

The 49ers open their season Sunday at the Dallas Cowboys. If McDonald is benched, Tony Jerod-Eddie likely would start in his place at left defensive tackle.

Harbaugh made clear his stance on domestic violence: "If someone physically abuses a woman and or physically or mentally abuses or hurts a child, there's no understanding, there's no tolerance for that."

Baalke echoed that and said: "This is certainly something that hits home for me. I've got two daughters myself. It's certainly, domestic violence is unacceptable, and it certainly won't be tolerated."

McDonald was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence -- as is customary in most such arrests -- but it will be up to Santa Clara County prosecutors whether to file felony or misdemeanor charges.

Prosecutors will review the police report, photos of the victim and McDonald's rap sheet before choosing what charge to file, said Supervising District Attorney Cindy Hendrickson, who oversees the family violence unit.

"We look at their criminal history, the degree of injury and the viciousness of the assault,'' Hendrickson said.

Domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor battery under penal code section 243(e), which involves any touching in a rude, angry or disrespectful manner, including shoving.

Battery domestic violence does not require that the victim be injured, but it also can encompass cases involving relatively minor injuries, such as redness from being grabbed.

The maximum penalty is up to a year in county jail and/or probation, plus a 52-week mandatory intervention class on domestic violence. Only three absences per year are permitted.

However, if the case involves "traumatic injury'' -- whether visible or not -- prosecutors can charge McDonald with inflicting corporal injury on an intimate partner (penal code section 273.5).

It is what's known as a "wobbler'' because it can be filed either as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the degree of injury.

"Traumatic injury can be virtually invisible from the outside, like strangulation,'' Hendrickson said. "I once got a conviction for a scratch you couldn't even see in a photo because there was strangulation.''

Sentences for felony convictions range from three years formal probation to up to a year in county jail on the lower end of the spectrum.

At the higher end, sentences can range from two to four years in state prison, again depending largely on the extent of the injuries and the person's criminal history.

For a conviction on misdemeanor infliction of corporal injury on a spouse, the range is from probation to up to a year in county jail, plus the mandatory intervention program with 52 weekly classes and only three absences allowed.

Staff writers Tracey Kaplan and Steve Corkran contributed to this report.

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