Outside the Federal Courthouse this morning State Senator Carlos Uresti says his next step will be to appeal the jury's decision finding him guilty on 11 counts.
According to St. Mary's University Law Professor Gerald Reamey, that's not likely to go in his favor.
"An appeal has to be based on errors of law, so it can't be an appeal just because he didn't like the result. He has to make a claim that the court did something wrong in the proceedings in this trial and that it was a serious mistake that would require reversal,” explained Reamey.
The State Senator was first elected back in 2006. According to Reamy, Uresti should be able to continue to serve as long as his appeal is working through court. However, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said today he’s relieving Uresti of all his committee assignments, effective immediately.
“He would be able to continue to serve pending the outcome of his appeal,” said Reamey.
That appeal could take years - giving Uresti the chance to step down or allow someone else to run and beat him in an election. The outcome of the appeal also impacts Uresti's ability to practice law.
“Once that appeal is decided that decision is affirmed, then he would lose his license,” said Reamey.
Uresti is due back in court for sentencing in June. His punishment could be up to 20 years in prison for each charge. how long Uresti could stay behind bars is up to the judge.
“The time that he serves will be determined by whether the judge lets him serve those sentences consecutively or concurrently,” explained Reamey.
Professor Reamey says a conviction or even jail time doesn't mean an end to Uresti's political career Politicians in other states have served time and won re-election.