Trump’s Maximum Sentence Could Be 136 Years, If Convicted

Former U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he arrives at the Manhattan Criminal Court for his arraignment hearing on April 04, 2023 in New York, New York. Trump will be arraigned during his first court appearance today following an indictment by a grand jury that heard evidence about money paid …
Kena Betancur/Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump could face up to 136 years if he is convicted on all 34 counts of falsification of a business record, if the judge decides — though the more likely maximum is probably four years, or less.

Under New York State law, the crime with which Trump is charged is a “Class E” felony, which carries a maximum sentence of four years:

§ 175.10 Falsifying business records in the first degree.

A person is guilty of falsifying business records in the first degree when he commits the crime of falsifying business records in the second degree, and when his intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.

Falsifying business records in the first degree is a class E felony.

According to the New York courts, the maximum sentence is four years:

Felonies are the most serious crimes, like murder, rape and arson. If you are found guilty of a felony, you may be sent to jail for at least 1 year. The Judge may sentence you to less time in jail and give you probation for the rest of the time. Felonies are divided into different groups based on how serious the crime is: A-I or A-II, B, C, D, and E. The most you can be punished for a Class A-I or A-II felony is life imprisonment, unless it is a drug felony. The most you can be punished for a Class B felony is 25 years in jail. The most you can be punished for a Class C felony is 15 years in jail. The most you can be punished for a Class D felony is 7 years in jail. The most you can be punished for a Class E felony is 4 years in jail.

Under New York State sentencing guidelines, a judge could require that the sentences be served consecutively. However, if the judge does not require that, New York penal guidelines require the sentences to run concurrently:

When more than one sentence of imprisonment is imposed on a person for two or more offenses committed through a single act or omission, or through an act or omission which in itself constituted one of the offenses and also was a material element of the other, the sentences, except if one or more of such sentences is for a violation of section 270.20 of this chapter [unlawful wearing of a body vest], must run concurrently.

The New York Post notes that Trump is unlikely to face the maximum sentence. However, in an environment where a former president is being prosecuted for the first time, anything may be possible.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.