What Happens Next Now That Trump Has Been Convicted? Your Questions, Answered

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Donald Trump has been convicted by a Manhattan jury on all 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up a sex scandal ahead of the 2016 presidential election, making him the first former President ever convicted of a crime.

The presiding judge, Juan Merchan, now faces the unprecedented task of sentencing Trump, who turns 78 in June and faces three other prosecutions. His sentencing is scheduled for July 11, just days before Republicans are set to select him as their 2024 presidential nominee.

The historic verdict, which could threaten his bid to return to the White House, is expected to raise a series of legal and political questions in the coming months. Trump is all but certain to appeal, and the process could be further complicated if he wins a second presidential term.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg had charged the former President with 34 felony counts over allegations that he falsified business records to conceal a $130,000 hush-money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. 

Read More: Donald Trump Convicted in Historic New York Hush-Money Trial

Prosecutors proved to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump not only falsified or caused business records to be entered falsely, but that he did so with the intent to commit or conceal another crime related to violating election laws, which is what elevated the crimes to felonies.

Trump has already laid the groundwork for his response and is poised to leverage the outcome to advance his narrative of victimhood and political persecution. “This was a rigged trial. It was a disgrace,” Trump said after he was found guilty. “The real verdict is going to be on November 5th by the people.” But campaigning under the shadow of a criminal conviction is uncharted territory for presidential politics, and the legal issues only become more acute if he wins the presidency in November.

Here’s what happens now that Trump has been convicted in the New York case.

Can Trump still run for President?

Yes. A felony conviction will not disqualify Trump from continuing his presidential campaign, even if he were jailed.

That’s because under the Constitution, all natural born citizens who are at least 35 years old and have been a resident of the U.S. for 14 years can run for President. “There is no constitutional bar on a felon running for office,” Richard Hasen, an election law professor at UCLA Law School, told TIME after Trump’s first indictment. “And given that the U.S. Constitution sets presidential qualifications, it is not clear that states could add to them, such as by barring felons from running for office.”

At least two candidates with criminal convictions have run for President in the past, albeit unsuccessfully. About 100 years ago, Eugene Debs ran for President while in a federal prison in Atlanta as the nominee of the Socialist Party, and got close to a million votes without ever hitting the campaign trail. Another convicted presidential candidate, Lyndon LaRouche, ran for President in every election between 1976 and 2004—including one campaign from prison in which he got over 26,000 votes.

Will Trump go to jail?

Trump could potentially face imprisonment, though most first-time offenders in non-violent cases are sentenced to probation and fines instead. The decision ultimately lies with Judge Merchan, who is not required to imprison Trump even though he has been convicted.

The 34 charges Trump was found guilty of are all considered class E felonies in New York, the lowest tier of felony charges in the state, which carry a maximum sentence of four years each. It’s expected that the judge would impose a concurrent sentence so that Trump would serve all prison time simultaneously—four years maximum—if he goes that route. For now, Trump remains free.

But given Trump’s age, lack of a prior conviction, the fact that he’s the first former President to ever be criminally tried, and that he may become President again, legal experts say there’s no guarantee that a conviction would result in jail time. Instead, it’s more likely that Trump is sentenced to pay a fine and serve a form of supervision time, perhaps reporting regularly to a civil servant at the city’s Probation Department. Under a probation sentence, he could be jailed immediately for committing any additional crimes.

Convicted felons sentenced for less than a year are generally sent to New York City’s Rikers Island, where Trump’s former chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg is currently serving his sentence for crimes related to his work for Trump. Sentences beyond a year would generally be served in one of New York’s 44 state prisons.

Unlike his other criminal cases, Trump would not be able to try to pardon himself of his felony conviction if he's elected President again. Falsifying business records is a state crime and only the New York governor, a Democrat, could pardon him. (Even in the federal cases, it’s an untested legal question whether he could pardon himself.)

Can Trump appeal? How long will an appeal take?

Trump will almost certainly appeal the guilty verdict—a process that could take months or longer to play out, says Duncan Levin, a former Manhattan prosecutor. He would likely first take the case to the Appellate Division in Manhattan, and ultimately seek review from the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals in Albany, which has already ruled against Trump’s multiple requests to delay the trial.

The lengthy appeals process would be unlikely to wrap up before Election Day.

Can Trump still vote?

To be determined.

For Trump to lose his voting rights, he would need to be incarcerated at the time of the November election, a scenario that is technically possible but unlikely given his anticipated appeal of the guilty verdict.

While the Constitution does not explicitly address whether convicted felons have the right to vote, several states impose limitations on felons’ voting privileges. In Florida, where Trump lives and has voted since 2020, a felon's eligibility to vote depends on the laws of the state where the conviction occurred—in this instance, New York, which only revokes a felon's voting rights while they are incarcerated. 

Therefore, if Trump receives a probationary sentence and resides in the community, he would maintain his eligibility to vote. Likewise, if his appeal of a jail sentence were to extend beyond the election, he would be able to vote.

What does this mean for Trump’s other cases?

While the conviction in the hush-money trial does not directly impact Trump’s other criminal cases, it could influence his strategy and alter the public perception of him and his legal troubles.

For instance, the guilty verdict could bolster the prosecution's case in the eyes of the public and legal observers, potentially influencing jury perceptions and trial dynamics in the remaining cases. The conviction in the hush-money case also could impact Trump's willingness to negotiate plea deals or settlement agreements in his other criminal cases.

Prosecutors may also try to use a conviction to undermine Trump's credibility in future trials, and the judges may take the conviction into consideration when determining sentencing.

In addition to the hush-money case, Trump is facing 40 felony counts in Florida for allegedly hoarding classified documents and obstructing the government’s efforts to retrieve them, four counts in Washington related to his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election, and 13 felony counts in Georgia in connection to his alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election result in that state.

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Write to Nik Popli at nik.popli@time.com