Silver’s sentencing won’t be until at least March

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Silver case

This will be a long winter for Sheldon Silver, but he won’t be spending it in jail.

A court filing Tuesday signed by federal Judge Valerie Caproni lays out the schedule of events after Silver was convicted Monday, and the sides will have into March to file paperwork before any sentencing date is scheduled.

The former Assembly speaker indicated Monday that he would appeal the verdict, which found him guilty on all seven corruption counts.

As such, the Manhattan Democrat has until Jan. 11 to file a motion for acquittal.

Then federal prosecutors have until Feb. 19 to respond. After that, Silver’s lawyers have until March 4 to respond to the government’s arguments for sentencing.

Silver, 71, faces up to 20 years in prison on each of six of the seven counts, as well as 10 years on a money laundering count.

But he’ll never get that much time, the Democrat and Chronicle reports:

The chasm between what a federal convict can be sentenced to and what he or she is ultimately sentenced to can be quite vast — and misleading.

The maximum sentences are often publicized after a conviction — in Silver’s case, six of the seven corruption counts carry 20-year maximums — but those penalties are typically quite different than what a judge will weigh at sentencing.

Instead, judges generally follow what is known as “federal sentencing guidelines” that would certainly be less than 20 years, or even 10 years, local defense attorneys told the Democrat and Chronicle.

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