What’s Next for Trump After His Hush Money Conviction

Donald Trump in court during his hush money trial. Photo: Shutterstock

By Steve Neavling

Now that Donald Trump is a convicted felon, the next big question is whether he will be sentenced to jail.

Each felony count of falsifying business records carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison. 

But most legal experts agree that the former president likely won’t face much time, if any, in jail. Some legal experts and New York litigators told USA Today that Trump likely will only be sentenced to probation because he has no criminal history. 

“With a defendant who has no prior criminal record, my absolute expectation would be a sentence of probation,” Mitchell Epner, a New York litigator with decades of experience, said before the trial began.

Others disagree, saying jail is possible, but the term likely would be limited to months. 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declined to comment on his sentence recommendation. 

Another question hanging over Trump is when he will be sentenced. 

Judge Juan M. Merchan set sentencing for July 11. But Trump’s attorneys plan to appeal the conviction, so it’s up to the judge whether he will postpone sentencing until the appeal plays out. 

If Merchan does wait, Trump most likely won’t be sentenced before the November election. 

Another logistical question is whether Trump will continue to receive Secret Service protection. The agency recently met with jail officials to prepare for a possible jail sentence. 

Since the agency is tasked with protecting Trump for the duration of his life, it’s expected that agents would be required to continue protecting the former president, even if he is jailed. 

“If I were the judge − and I don’t know what a judge would do in this case − I would reject out of hand the concept that because he was once president, and because as a matter of policy the Secret Service guards former presidents, that therefore he can’t go to jail,” said John Moscow, a New York lawyer who spent 30 years in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

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