The jury convicted Trump. Here’s what could happen next. (2024)

On Thursday afternoon, after more than a day of deliberations, a jury in Manhattan convicted Donald Trump on all 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a 2016 hush money payment.

During the seven-week trial, Trump complained of the indignities of a cold, uncomfortable courtroom. The former president and presumptive 2024 Republican nominee may now face other conditions he may consider insulting, including a required inmate review by the New York City Department of Probation.

The probation office on the 10th floor of the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse prepares presentencing reports for judges. There, Trump would be interviewed about his personal history, his mental health and the circ*mstances that led to his conviction.

Lawyers say the process is humbling.

“If you think the courtroom is dingy, just wait until you go to the probation office,” said Daniel Horwitz, a white-collar criminal defense attorney in New York and former prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office.


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The jury convicted Trump. Here’s what could happen next. (1)The jury convicted Trump. Here’s what could happen next. (2)

Donald Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts of falsifying business records. Will Trump go to jail? Can he be president? We explain what’s next.

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Former prosecutors sketched out a mix of likely experiences for Trump, who is now a felon. Trump was convicted of charges relating to $130,000 in payments made to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election to keep her quiet about a sexual encounter she said they had.

The routine processing of felons into the New York criminal justice system would include the timeline of a potential appeal. But with Trump, there would also be extraordinary considerations — such as how the Secret Service would protect the former president if he were sent to prison and whether he would be allowed to travel to campaign events if sentenced to home confinement.

Legal experts said incarceration appears unlikely for Trump, 77, who has no criminal record.

The Class E felony charges are punishable by 16 months to four years in prison. Among the key issues to be determined would be whether Trump faces some form of incarceration, either in a government facility or a private location, or a less-restrictive experience through probation.


New York Mayor Eric Adams said this month that the city’s Rikers Island jail complex and Department of Corrections were prepared if Trump were ordered to serve time.

His conviction does not disqualify him from running for office or serving as president if elected, constitutional experts said.

During the trial, which began April 15, prosecutors with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said Trump falsely recorded the payments involving Daniels as legal expenses and alleged they were improper campaign expenditures. Defense attorneys said Trump, who pleaded not guilty, made personal payments to protect his family from an embarrassing disclosure.

The jury, which heard closing arguments Tuesday, unanimously agreed to convict on all counts after hours of deliberations spread over two days.

Trump’s punishment is now up to New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, who will receive input from the prosecution and defense in the presentencing report. Though jail or prison are unlikely, the former prosecutors said, alternatives such as probation or home confinement would create logistical challenges and potential political concerns.

If he is sentenced to probation, for example, Trump would be required to clear any out-of-state travel — such as to campaign rallies and fundraisers — with a probation officer. If Trump were to serve home confinement at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., New York authorities would probably have to work with counterparts in Florida to accommodate him, the experts said.

Such arrangements are not uncommon for felons, experts said, but probation officers must approve the details.


“If you have a probation officer, you are not supposed to travel without permission. Your home is subject to random search because you don’t have a Fourth Amendment right to your home being private. You can get drug-tested, potentially. Travel outside the country is difficult,” said Matthew Galluzzo, another former prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

“That would be super awkward for someone on the campaign trail, but not impossible,” Galluzzo said. “If he had to go to a debate against Biden, he probably could go, but you’re supposed to make that request far in advance.”

Trump and President Biden have agreed to two debates. The first is scheduled for June 27 in Atlanta, before Trump’s sentencing, which Merchan scheduled for July 11. A second debate is planned for Sept. 10 at a yet-undisclosed location.


The probation office will put together a presentencing report for Merchan. As part of that process, Trump must be interviewed by a probation officer, who will produce a biography of him of about five or six pages, legal experts said. Such documents are confidential, intended only for the judge and the lawyers.

Trump has called his prosecution politically motivated and denigrated Merchan, Bragg and others, leading the judge to fine him 10 times for a total of $10,000 during the trial for violating a partial gag order. How Trump would react to questions from a probation officer about the case could get him into more hot water with the court. Legal experts said his attorneys probably would advise him not to discuss the case.

Convicts are “expected to tell the truth. If they are convicted and then say, ‘No, it’s a lie, it didn’t happen,’ that will go back to the judge. And that’s not good,” said defense lawyer Jeremy Saland, who also served as a Manhattan prosecutor.


The prosecution and Trump’s legal team also are expected to submit recommendations about the sentencing.

Because he was charged with nonviolent crimes, Trump is unlikely to be detained in prison as he awaits sentencing, said the experts, who added that it is also unlikely that Merchan would impose bail as a condition for his release.

Trump’s team has 30 days to file notice of appeal and six months to file the full appeal.

A key question is whether the court would agree to stay Trump’s sentence pending an appeal, a process that is likely to last well beyond the Nov. 5 presidential election. Former prosecutors suggested such a scenario is plausible given that any punishment of Trump could be short enough in duration that the sentence would be fully carried out before a legal appeal is litigated.


The legal experts said Merchan could grant Trump a conditional discharge tied to the requirement that he not commit another legal offense. Merchan also could impose a financial penalty or require Trump to do community service or undergo counseling, some legal experts said.

If the judge were to impose a more onerous penalty, such as home confinement, Trump could still find ways to continue campaigning, even if he were not on the road.

“He could be confined but go to Mar-a-Lago and hold a news conference every day, be on TV, hold rallies remotely,” Horwitz said. “There’s a lot he can do as a candidate while under home confinement.”

The jury convicted Trump. Here’s what could happen next. (2024)
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