On Friday, March 8, Jussie Smollett’s case took an unexpected turn when he was indicted on 16 felony counts, for allegedly falsifying a police report in connection with his recent attack. Back in January, Jussie made headlines when he was reportedly assaulted during what he described as a homophobic hate crime.
Almost immediately after the attack was reported, the Empire star’s fans banded together to show their support for him, but things quickly changed when the Chicago Police Department released details that suggested the entire attack was staged. In a matter of days, Jussie Smollett went from being the victim to the criminal.
Recent developments suggest his future may be uncertain. However, Illinois criminal attorneys Steven R. Hunter and Dustin E. Smith see things from a different perspective. According to Hollywood Life, Hunter and Smith are now sharing details about the charges Jussie Smollett is facing.
“Jussie received a class 4 felony for filing a false police report. Class 4 felonies are punishable by one to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections,” Smith told the publication.
Although the staggering list of felony counts would seem intimidating to anyone, Hunter claims the three-year prison sentence does seem “unlikely.” However, Jussie Smollett’s pockets will likely suffer as a result of his alleged actions.
“I know there are a lot of charges, but in most situations, charges that stem out of the same conduct are not served in a consecutive sentence. What that means is that Jussie’s 16 charges won’t be multiplied by one to three years. It’s more likely to be a total of one to three years,” Smith explained.
So, how will Jussie Smollett’s legal team argue the case? Hunter and Smith went on to offer their prediction, explaining how the actor’s attorneys may use certain defenses to offer some form of explanation for his seemingly “erratic” actions.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if they come up with some type of drug or alcohol problem. Sometimes the defense could use it to help explain some of the erratic actions, if taken to be true,” Smith detailed.
The two attorneys went on to explain the type of probation that could come into play if it’s confirmed that Jussie Smollett has a drug problem. They explained that “‘TASC,’ which is Treatment Alternative for Safer Communities,” would likely be implemented.
The latest news about Jussie Smollett follows a string of reports about his attack. The singer and actor received overwhelming support until investigators arrested Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo. The two were reportedly hired by Jussie to help him carry out the attack. After they were interviewed the brothers, Jussie was charged with filing a false police report. However, the actor still maintains his innocence.