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What's next for Hunter Biden after guilty verdict in federal gun trial?

Here's how the timeline of events could play out in the coming months.
Hunter Biden
Posted at 11:10 AM, Jun 11, 2024

President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, was found guilty Tuesday of three felony countsrelated to lying about his illicit drug use on forms required to purchase a gun. The jury deliberated for about three hours before making its decision.

But what's next? Let's examine how the timeline of events could play out in the coming months.

WHEN IS SENTENCING?

The presiding Judge Maryellen Noreika did not set a sentencing date Tuesday, but did say that sentencing is usually set for 120 days after the verdict — putting it sometime around mid-October. Until then, Biden can remain free on bail.

What will come first is known as a pre-sentencing report. That's when the court's probation division will likely interview Biden and examine his background before sending a sentencing recommendation to Judge Noreika.

Biden faces up to 25 years in prison. However, because he has no prior criminal history, legal experts have said it's unlikely that he serves that much time — if any — behind bars.

"Prison time is really unlikely. Or, if there is prison time, certainly not 25 years," trial attorney Michelle Davis told Scripps News. "But the court has a wide range. I mean, they can do probation. There's a wide range of sentences here that the court can impose, but 25 years is unlikely for a first time offender for crimes like this."

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CAN BIDEN APPEAL THE VERDICT?

There's also the possibility that Biden could request to have his sentencing delayed. A court ruled in May that Biden must wait until after a verdict is reached to file an appeal.

During the trial, Biden defense attorney Abbe Lowell failed on multiple attempts to have the charges against his client dismissed, but has signaled that he would continue pursuing legal challenges. Meanwhile, an appeal could ultimately depend on a pending Supreme Court case that could overturn the law behind Biden's charges.

WILL BIDEN PARDON HIS SON?

In an exclusive interview with ABC News anchor David Muir last week, President Biden said he would not pardon his son Hunter if he is convicted — as he was — on federal charges.

President Biden did not attend the trial, but issued a statement after the verdict saying that he "will continue to respect the judicial process as Hunter considers an appeal."

“Jill and I will always be there for Hunter and the rest of our family with our love and support," he added. "Nothing will ever change that."

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WHAT ABOUT HUNTER'S TAX EVASION CASE?

Biden still faces trial in California in September on nine tax-related crimes, including filing a false tax return, tax evasion, failure to file and failure to pay.

The Department of Justice claims that Hunter Biden stopped paying his outstanding and overdue taxes for tax year 2015 and willfully failed to pay his 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 taxes on time, despite having access to funds to pay some or all of these taxes. The Department of Justice also alleges that when Biden finally filed his 2018 returns, he included false business deductions to reduce the tax liability he faced as of February 2020.

Biden pleaded not guilty to all of the tax-related charges earlier this year. They carry a maximum penalty of up to 17 years behind bars.