Trump hush money trial: What happens now that Trump has been found guilty?

The case is expected to go to the jury late Tuesday or Wednesday.

After nearly five weeks, the closing arguments in former President Donald Trump’s trial on falsifying business records began Tuesday.

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The defense gave its closing argument first, followed by prosecutors summarizing their case against Trump. The case will then go to the 12-person jury to return a verdict.

Whether the verdict is guilty or not guilty, the result will be historic.

Trump found guilty on all counts

Update 3:39 p.m. EDT May 30: The jury found former President Donald Trump guilty on all 34 felony counts.

Original report: What are the possible outcomes of the trial? Here’s what we know about it now.

What happens if Trump is found guilty?

Should Trump be found guilty, he likely will not be taken into custody. Justice Juan Merchan will schedule a date for a sentencing hearing and Trump will remain free.

Merchan has set July 11 for sentencing.

Also, there is an appeal to consider.

Would Trump appeal the verdict?

Trump would almost certainly appeal a guilty verdict.

The appeal would not be heard in Merchan’s court. It would be heard likely months from now in the Appellate Court Division in Manhattan, and, possibly further appealed in the New York Court of Appeals.

Defendants in cases such as Trump’s would be expected to remain free on bail while the appeals process takes place.

What would be the grounds for appeal?

Some legal scholars feel the testimony of adult film star Stormy Daniels, who received a payment to keep an alleged affair with Trump quiet, was not necessary and went too far.

“The level of detail that was provided is really not necessary to the telling of the story,” Anna Cominsky, a professor at New York Law School told the BBC.

“On the one hand, her detail makes her credible and as a prosecutor, you want to provide enough detail so the jury believes what she has to say. On the other hand, there’s a line, where it could become irrelevant and prejudicial.”

Trump’s lawyers asked for a mistrial not once but twice following Daniels’ testimony. Merchan denied both motions.

The way Trump was charged could also be grounds for appeal, Gregory Germain, an attorney and law professor at Syracuse University, told ABC News.

During an appeal, it is likely the appellate court could see that major legal elements are missing from the prosecution’s case, according to Germain.

Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records by the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg after federal prosecutors declined to charge Trump for those offenses.

Falsifying business records is usually a misdemeanor in New York. However, Bragg chose to charge Trump with felonies because he said he falsified the records with the intent to commit or conceal other crimes relating to payments made to Stormy Daniels.

If he is found guilty, how does sentencing work?

Justice Merchan will sentence Trump if he is found guilty. A date for sentencing will be set if the jury returns a guilty verdict.

Merchan will evaluate several factors when it comes to sentencing Trump. Judges sometimes consider a person’s age if they are older, any previous conviction (Trump has no prior conviction), any violation of the judge’s orders and the seriousness of the crime.

What sentence could Trump get if convicted?

Trump could be fined, be placed on probation, serve prison time or some combination of the three. Each of the 34 charges carry a maximum sentence of four years and a $5,000 fine.

What are the chances Trump goes to prison?

It is unlikely that Trump would serve any time in prison.

“For nonviolent, first-time offenders like Trump, you would almost never get jail time. So it would be extraordinary and contrary to the guidelines to sentence Trump to prison, even if he is convicted of these charges,” Germain told ABC News.

Trump is charged with class E felonies in the case. That is the lowest-tier felony in New York.

Norm Eisen, an author and attorney, recently analyzed dozens of cases brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in which falsifying business records was the most serious charge at arraignment, Eisen wrote in a New York Times Opinion piece.

Eisen found that roughly one in 10 of those cases resulted in a defendant being sentenced to jail, according to the Times.

“To be clear, these cases generally differ from Mr. Trump’s case in one important respect: They typically involve additional charges besides just falsifying records,” Eisen wrote. “That clearly complicates what we might expect if Mr. Trump is convicted.

“To be sure, for a typical first-time offender charged only with run-of-the-mill business record falsification, a prison sentence would be unlikely,” Eisen wrote. “On the other hand, Mr. Trump is being prosecuted for 34 counts of conduct that might have changed the course of American history.”

Can a president with Secret Service protection go to jail?

A Secret Service detail would go with Trump if the former president was sentenced to prison.

Protecting an incarcerated prisoner with Secret Service agents would not only be difficult logistically, it would be costly.

“Prison systems care about two things: security of the institution and keeping costs down,” Justin Paperny, director of the prison consulting firm White Collar Advice told the BBC.

With Mr Trump, “it would be a freak show… no warden would allow it”, he said.

Can’t he just pardon himself if he wins the election?

Not in this case. A president cannot pardon anyone – including himself – in a case originating in a state, the place this case was filed.

If it were a federal case, he could, as president, issue a pardon, according to The Office of the Pardon Attorney, though some believe he does not have the power to pardon himself.

If he is convicted, can he still run for president, and if he wins can he serve?

The short answer is yes to both questions.

The Constitution in Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 says that candidates must be at least 35, be a “natural born” US citizen and have lived in the US for at least 14 years.

There are no other regulations or restrictions. Someone convicted of a crime, can run for president and even serve if incarcerated.

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