For the first time in American history, a former President of the United States has been convicted of a crime. On May 30, 2024, former President Donald J. Trump was found guilty 34 times on state criminal charges.

What does the conviction mean for the upcoming election and the former President?

What Crimes Did Trump Commit?

In April 2023, Donald J. Trump was charged by the New York District Attorney’s Office with 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Trump’s false business records were related to three catch-and-kill schemes. Trump and his associates paid off individuals in an attempt to prevent the parties from releasing negative information about Trump. Catch-and-kill schemes are not illegal, but the way Trump’s team entered the payments as financial records were. Each of the 34 counts represents a time when Trump made a false business record, such as a general ledger entry or signed check.

Falsifying business records is a misdemeanor in New York, as defined in Article 175 of the New York Penal Law. The charge is elevated to a felony if the falsification was done in an effort to commit another crime.

In Trump’s case, he was charged with felony counts because the falsification was done to cover up campaign and election crimes.

After a six-week trial, a jury of twelve unanimously found Trump guilty on all 34 courts.

Related: What Do The 34 Charges Against Donald J. Trump Mean?   

When Will Trump Be Sentenced?

The responsibility of the jury was to determine guilt or innocence. Sentencing is the responsibility of the judge on the case, New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan.

Trump was found guilty 34 times for the same crime. The crime has no mandatory jail time and carries a maximum sentencing of four years in prison.

The judge will determine Trump’s punishment during a sentencing hearing on July 11, 2024.

Prior to sentencing, each side will have an opportunity to submit filings to the judge and make arguments for what sentence they think is fair.

Related: Misdemeanor vs Felony: What’s the Difference? 

Will Trump Go to Prison?

Trump faces four years of prison time for each of the 34 counts, which is a total of 136 years, but it is unlikely he will face anything close to that punishment, experts say.

Because Trump has no criminal record and has not been convicted of a violent crime, he may not face jail time. Also, if he does get sentenced to time in prison, the judge could choose a sentence that would run concurrently, cutting down the time.

Outside of jail time, Trump could also be sentenced to fines, probation, and/or home confinement.

The maximum fine for each crime is $5,000, which could total $170,000 in fines.

Probation would require Trump to report to the New York City Department of Probation in person on a regular basis. Both probation and home confinement could seriously disrupt Trump’s presidential campaign and presidential duties if elected.

Can Trump Still Run for President?

Yes, Trump can still run for President of the United States. He can also run even if he is in prison.

Can Trump Pardon Himself?

No, Trump cannot pardon himself in this case. The President can only issue pardons for federal crimes, and Trump was convicted of a New York state crime. The only person who can issue pardons for New York state crimes is the Governor of New York.

Is This the End of the Case?

No, Trump’s team plans to appeal the conviction. After sentencing, his team will have 30 days to file the notice of appeal, and then, six months to file the appeal. If the judge sentences Trump to jail time, he may allow Trump to avoid serving his time until the appeals process is finalized.

It is also likely that Trump’s team will ask for a continuance prior to the July hearing. In that case, sentencing could be further delayed.

What Happens Next?

With one trial down, Trump now looks forward to three other pending criminal cases. On this blog, we broke down the 91 total crimes the former President has been accused of.

Other pending cases include:

  • Election Interference Case in Georgia (13 criminal charges)
  • Federal January 6th case (4 criminal charges)
  • Federal Documents Case (40 criminal charges)

If Trump is sentenced to probation and he is convicted of other crimes, he could be immediately sent to jail per the terms of his probation. Each of the pending cases could also result in jail time if he is convicted.

Related: What Does It Take to Be an Attorney for a High-Profile Case?

Take Any Criminal Charge Seriously

You don’t have to be running for President for being convicted of a crime to majorly disrupt your life. If you have been accused of a crime, talk to a criminal defense attorney right away to start a plan to lessen the impacts the charges can have on your life.

Schedule a free consultation with attorney TJ Grimaldo to review your case for free. Schedule now or call 813-226-1023 now.

TJ Grimaldi

TJ Grimaldi

TJ Grimaldi joined McIntyre in 2011. McIntyre recruited TJ to create the divisions of personal injury and family law, as well as to expand the existing criminal defense practice at the firm. During TJ’s tenure at McIntyre, he has helped oversee and grow these practice areas. He continues to practice in these divisions while also expanding his own practice areas to include estate planning and immigration law. TJ is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Florida and the United States District Court for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida.