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from MSNBC,

It took a jury two days to find former president Donald Trump guilty of all 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, proving that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s somewhat risky approach to the prosecuting the hush money case was a sound choice.

When the indictment was unsealed in April 2023, it revealed 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, in violation of New York Penal Law, Section 17-152. It’s important to take a minute to digest what the prosecution had to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt: Trump, with the intent to defraud, made (or caused to be made) false entries in an enterprise’s business records, and his “intent to defraud included an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.” What is the other crime that the prosecution said Trump intended to commit or to aid or conceal the commission of? According to Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass, that would be New York Election Law Section 17-152: “Conspiracy to promote or prevent election. Any two or more persons who conspire to promote or prevent the election of any person to a public office by unlawful means.”

What happens next?

Trump was convicted of falsifying business records in the first degree. While that’s a felony, it’s the lowest level felony in New York state. The options range from a fine up to a prison term of 1 1/3 to 4 years. The reason that that possible prison term is a range instead of a specific number is that this sentence is what’s known as “indeterminate” (as opposed to “determinate,” which would be a specific number). So even if Trump is sentenced to prison, the amount of time he serves may be relatively slight — though the significance of any time spent behind bars should not be minimized (putting aside whatever special practical accommodations would be made for a former president in this hypothetical scenario). And we should expect any prison sentences on multiple counts to run concurrently (meaning together) as opposed to consecutively.

But even if Merchan imposes a prison or jail term, we shouldn’t expect Trump to serve it any time soon. He’s very likely to appeal, and he’d remain free pending the appeal, which is unlikely to be resolved before the November presidential election.

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