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    With Trump convicted in New York, what happens next?
    • May 30, 2024

    Rosie Manins | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (TNS)

    After being convicted Thursday in New York, former President Donald Trump will remain free from custody while awaiting his sentencing on July 11. And he is certain to appeal which could carry the case into 2025.

    The jury in Trump’s criminal hush money case began deliberating Wednesday and returned a verdict Thursday, finding Trump guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to hide an alleged affair, which he denied.

    Here’s what to expect now that Trump has been convicted.

    Custody unlikely

    Trump has not been in custody during the New York trial and he was not handcuffed or placed behind bars immediately after conviction, even though the charges he faces carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison. Instead, he left the courtroom and blasted the verdict as “rigged.”

    “It’s not like on TV where the defendant is taken off in handcuffs and incarcerated,” said former Manhattan assistant district attorney Richard Serafini, a Florida-based lawyer not involved in any of Trump’s prosecutions.

    The decision not to jail Trump is in line with many other non-violent offenders who typically remain out on bond while awaiting sentencing, said Emory law professor John Acevedo, whose specialties include criminal procedure.

    A pause before sentencing

    The judge set a July 11 sentencing date giving prosecutors and Trump’s attorneys time to prepare their arguments and supporting material, legal experts said.

    “Usually a report is generated by the department of probation or prisons. And then the district attorney would have an opportunity to weigh in, as would the defense, to propose sentences,” Acevedo said.

    Trump could be sentenced to four years in prison on each charge that he’s convicted of. But the judge could also decide that a noncustodial sentence, such as a fine, home detention or probation, is enough.

    Chris Timmons, a former metro Atlanta prosecutor who has closely followed the Trump trial, said the “gigantic hassle” of incarcerating a former president means Trump might receive house arrest or some kind of suspended sentence, where he stays out of jail as long as he abides by certain conditions.

    Trump, who is the presumptive Republican candidate for president, could be confined to Trump Tower in New York if sentenced to home detention, and could be barred from leaving the state while on probation, Acevedo said.

    Appeal expected

    It is almost certain that Trump will appeal his conviction, but he will have to wait until the trial judge sentences him and enters a final judgment in the case.

    There are two levels of appeals courts in New York, Serafini said. The state’s intermediate appellate court would likely get the case first, before it could be elevated to the state’s highest bench.

    Appeals usually take months to decide and an opinion in Trump’s case would likely come in 2025, legal experts said.

    Trump’s sentence could be put on hold pending the outcome of an appeal, Serafini and Acevedo said. Timmons said Trump could also be required to post a bond in order to have the judgment against him delayed while he awaits an appellate ruling.

    To win on appeal, Trump would have to prove that the trial court made a legal error that harmed his case. He could face retrial.

    A second booking photo?

    If Trump is booked into a corrections facility, he’ll likely be subject to the usual procedures, including having his photograph and fingerprints recorded, experts said.

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    Though Trump faces criminal charges in four states, he’s only had his mug shot taken in Georgia, where he was booked into the Fulton County jail in August. Trump and 14 others are accused of criminally interfering in Georgia’s 2020 general election.

    Trump could also be photographed and fingerprinted by corrections staff if sentenced to home detention or probation, as violations of those sentences can lead to imprisonment, Acevedo said.

    “Most states require all convicted felons to be photographed and fingerprinted for their databases,” Acevedo said. “If (Trump is) convicted of a felony and sentenced to anything other than a fine, I would expect fingerprints and a photograph to be taken.”

    He said Trump would likely be strip-searched and medically examined if imprisoned, as “those are almost mandatory for all incoming prisoners.”

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