WHAT WILL BILL COSBY'S SENTENCE BE?
Imagine waking up one morning, knowing that you have no choice but to walk into a courtroom with no idea if you will walk out alive. That's what Bill Cosby faces on Monday morning when he learns his fate from a Pennsylvania judge. Recall that several months ago, a jury convicted him of three counts of aggravated indecent assault or, what a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix would describe as sexual assault under Arizona law.
WHAT ARE THE LEGAL POSSIBILITIES?
Under Pennsylvania law, Cosby faces 0 to 10 years in prison. In other words, it's up to the judge who presided over his trial, Judge O'Neil (I am told by a top local criminal defense attorney that the Judge's nickname is "Make Him Squeal O'Neil), can give Cosby probation, house arrest, or time in prison.
Also, Cosby's lawyers will ask Judge Squeal, I mean O'Neil, to allow Cosby to remain out on bail pending the completion of his appeal. Appeals are almost automatic after someone is convicted at trial. What that means is that the 81 year old entertainer by live out his years filing appeal after appeal, allowing him to remain at home for what could be the rest of his life without ever spending a minute behind bars.
WILL BILL COSBY HAVE TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER?
Maybe. The Judge will review a confidential report that will make a recommendation as to whether Cosby will be deemed a "sexually violent predator" such that he would have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. While the public recommendation that he SHOULD have to register as a sex offender, the basis for the recommendation is not. Arizona is different than Pennsylvania insofar as once someone is convicted of sexual assault, or numerous other sex crimes, registration is mandatory, though a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in defending sex crimes can often craft a resolution to a charge that does not require registration. This, of course, is highly fact dependent.
WHAT CAN BILL COSBY DO TO HELP HIS CAUSE
He has already done what anyone facing a sexual assault charge in Phoenix should do. Hire the right criminal defense attorney. Having prosecuted and defended sex crimes cases, I understand the nuances of this delicate and difficult type of case. By utilizing the resources and analysis of a boutique criminal defense firm, we have attained unparalleled results for our clients. Because every case is so different, a confidential consultation is the best way to get honest feedback that is tailored to your case so that a property strategy and attack plan can be developed. Consultations can be scheduled by calling (602) 663-9100 during normal working hours.
Lastly, I am guessing that Cosby gets house arrest or a relatively low sentence. Though the convictions are serious, they happened several years ago, he has no prior convictions, and he is 81 years old. I guarantee, though, that whatever sentence he get, O'Neil is going to make him squeal.