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Trump has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges. Now what?

Trump has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges. Now what?

Trump has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges. Now, On Tuesday, Donald Trump was taken into custody and charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in a New York City court. This marks the first instance in which a former U.S. president has faced criminal charges. Despite pleading not guilty,

Trump was released and returned to Mar-a-Lago in Florida for an evening event. During the event, he criticized Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Judge Juan Merchan, and Merchan’s family, as well as other state and federal prosecutors who are considering pressing charges against him. While the next court hearing has been scheduled for December 4, legal experts Andrew Bernstein and Duncan Levin have provided answers to common questions regarding the case. Yahoo News conducted an interview with them to obtain more information.

What’s next for Trump’s defense team?

Based on the transcript of the April 4 arraignment, Trump's legal team has until August 8 to submit any motions aimed at dismissing the case. New York criminal defense lawyer Andrew Bernstein believes that Trump's lawyers will file several motions,

such as arguing that the statute of limitations has expired, and the crimes committed are more than five years old. Additionally, they may request to examine the grand jury minutes to either dismiss the charges altogether or lessen them to misdemeanors.

What about other emotions?

In addition, the defense team may submit a Clayton motion to dismiss the case in the interest of justice, regardless of the case's merits. According to Bernstein, if he were the defense attorney, his Clayton motion argument would focus on questioning the value of the case relative to its cost to taxpayers, the court system, and the resources of the NYPD.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges. Now what?

Trump has expressed his desire to have the case moved out of Manhattan, which is primarily a Democratic borough, to ensure a fair trial. However, according to Bernstein, a motion to change the venue is unlikely to be approved,

primarily because Trump is a former president. Bernstein further explains that Trump may not receive a fair trial anywhere, as it is arguable that he cannot get a fair trial anywhere. The essential point is to have an impartial jury, and the venue should not be unfairly prejudiced against him. Therefore, moving the trial to another location would not necessarily solve the issue of a biased jury.

What’s the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?

According to Bernstein, the most significant difference between misdemeanor and felony charges is the severity of the penalties and sentences. In New York State, the maximum punishment for a misdemeanor offense is one year in jail, and probation can be up to three years. In contrast,

felonies have several categories, ranging from "A" to "E," with "A" crimes being the most serious. An "A" felony conviction could result in a prison sentence of 20 to 25 years to life, with probation of up to five years. Trump faces Class E felony charges, which is the least severe felony category in New York. The crimes he is accused of carry a maximum prison sentence of four years per count.

So if Trump is convicted of a felony, what could happen?

Levin, a former state prosecutor, and criminal defense attorney, believes that although the charges against Trump are punishable by imprisonment, he doubts that Trump would be incarcerated. Bernstein also agrees that the likelihood of Trump being jailed is slim, mainly because he is a first-time offender and a 76-year-old nonviolent white-collar criminal.

If convicted of a felony, it would not prevent Trump from running for the White House again in 2024 or holding the office of the president. However, he would lose his right to vote, including for himself in a presidential election. Additionally, if he were to become the president in 2024, he would not have the authority to pardon himself against state char

Does the prosecution have a strong case against Trump?

According to Bernstein, it will be difficult to prove the felony charges based on the current indictment information. Given the variety of accusations in the 34 charges, Bernstein believes that if they are reduced to misdemeanors, the prosecution could have a stronger case.

Bernstein thinks the prosecution could have a potentially strong case if they can prove the facts and have credible witnesses, such as Cohen, Weisselberg, and Pecker. Cohen and Pecker have made allegations that are incriminating for Trump. Cohen claims that he was instructed by Trump to pay hush money to Stormy Daniels, while Pecker testified that Trump was involved in paying off former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Bernstein added that proving the intent behind the charges would be difficult, and all intent crimes are tough to prove. read more

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