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How Trump's Hush Money Sentencing Could Get 'Dicey'

Phillip Bantz
May 31, 2024

Marc F. Scholl commented in Law360 regarding the sentencing phase of Donald Trump's "hush money" case.

"It's always wise for the defendant not to rant about unfairness and innocence if he wants to get any sort of leniency at sentence," Marc Scholl of Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss PLLC, a former prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney's Office, told Law360.

As the early stages of the presentencing phase unfold, Trump's attorneys could move to set aside the verdict based on claims that they plan to raise on appeal, and the prosecution would be able to respond to the motion, Scholl noted. If Justice Merchan is unable to rule on the motion before Trump's sentencing, the hearing could be postponed.

Probation officers may also interview a defendant's friends and family while gathering information for the report, which includes findings about the circumstances of the crime and the defendant's history, among other things.

Presentence investigations and reports can be waived at the state or defendant's request with a judge's approval, though that rarely happens, according to Scholl.

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