EXPLAINED| What's next for Donald Trump after conviction in hush money trial?

Trump faces up to four years in prison on each of the 34 felony counts but as a first-time offender, he is unlikely to face jail time. His attorneys have 30 days to appeal the verdict once sentencing has taken place.
People react to the guilty verdict announced against former President Donald Trump outside Manhattan Criminal Court, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York.
People react to the guilty verdict announced against former President Donald Trump outside Manhattan Criminal Court, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York.Photo | AP

Donald Trump on Thursday became the first former US president to be convicted of a crime, having been found guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Judge Juan Merchan set sentencing for mid-July and Trump remains free until that time without bail or restrictions on his movements.

Here's what comes next in the historic case:

Sentencing

Trump is to be sentenced on July 11 at 10:00 am (1400 GMT), just days ahead of the Republican National Convention, where he is expected to be named the party's presidential nominee.

Merchan asked Trump's defence attorneys to file any pre-sentencing motions by June 13 and for prosecutors to respond by June 27.

The judge also ordered a probation report to be submitted to him before sentencing. This may potentially involve Trump being interviewed by a New York probation officer.

Trump faces up to four years in prison on each of the 34 felony counts but as a first-time offender, he is unlikely to face jail time.

A fine, probation, home confinement or community service are far more likely options, according to legal experts.

Merchan, who will decide Trump's punishment, threatened during the trial to put him behind bars for breaching a gag order but opted to fine the former president instead.

Appeal

Trump's defence attorneys have 30 days to appeal the verdict once sentencing has taken place and they are expected to do so.

An appeal is unlikely to be heard, however, before the November presidential election, when Trump is expected to take on Democrat Joe Biden in a rematch of their 2020 contest.

People react to the guilty verdict announced against former President Donald Trump outside Manhattan Criminal Court, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York.
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Trump's attorneys asked the judge at one point during the five-week trial to declare a mistrial, objecting to some of the graphic testimony by porn star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had a sexual encounter with the married Trump in 2006.

Trump was accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his then-lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment made to Daniels to silence her shortly before the 2016 presidential election.

Campaign

Despite the felony conviction, Trump can still run for the White House, be elected and once again take the oath of office.

He would not be able to pardon himself, however, given that the case was brought not by the federal government but by the state of New York, where only the governor could clear his name.

Trump also faces federal and state charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election won by Biden and for hoarding secret documents after leaving the White House.

Those cases are unlikely to come to trial before the November election.

Reacting after the jury convicted him, a defiant Trump called the process "rigged" and said "the real verdict is going to be November 5, by the people."

(With inputs from AFP, AP)

People react to the guilty verdict announced against former President Donald Trump outside Manhattan Criminal Court, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York.
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