Will Hunter Biden Go to Jail? What to Know About a Possible Sentence After His Conviction on Gun Charges

Hunter was found guilty of three felony counts that accused him of lying about his drug use in 2018 to obtain and illegally possess a firearm while addicted to a controlled substance

<p>RYAN COLLERD/AFP via Getty Images</p> Hunter Biden

RYAN COLLERD/AFP via Getty Images

Hunter Biden

Hunter Biden faces the possibility of jail time following a historic guilty verdict in his federal gun trial.

Hunter, the 54-year-old son of president Joe Biden, was convicted on Tuesday, June 11, after approximately three hours of jury deliberations.

Hunter went on trial in Wilmington, Del., on June 3 in response to a three-count indictment that dropped last fall. Two counts accused him of lying about his illicit drug use in 2018 in order to obtain a gun, and an additional count accused him of briefly possessing the gun while using narcotics.

With a conviction on all charges, Hunter faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000 — though legal experts have argued that a harsh sentence is unlikely, considering he is a first-time offender and that the case focused on a single firearm, which he possessed for only 11 days.

Related: Hunter Biden Gets Emotional as Daughter Naomi Testifies About His Sobriety Journey: ‘I Knew He Was Struggling’

<p>Matt Slocum/AP Photo</p> Hunter Biden arrives to the Wilmington, Del., federal courthouse on Friday, June 7, 2024

Matt Slocum/AP Photo

Hunter Biden arrives to the Wilmington, Del., federal courthouse on Friday, June 7, 2024

U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika, who oversaw Hunter’s federal gun trial, has been tasked with the difficult responsibility to determine the first-ever sentence for a sitting president’s child.

Noreika was elevated to the U.S. District Court of Delaware in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump. In a rare act of bipartisanship, Trump made his nomination with the support of both of Delaware’s Democratic senators.

Prior to becoming a judge, Noreika was a private attorney who specialized in patent law. She has previously donated to political candidates of both major parties.

Related: Joe Biden Spent Weekend with Son Hunter Before Start of Federal Gun Trial, Riding Bikes and Attending Church

<p>United States District Court for the District of Delaware </p> U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika

United States District Court for the District of Delaware

U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika

U.S. Attorney David Weiss began investigating Hunter in 2018, during Donald Trump's presidency. Weiss was asked to continue the investigation after Biden was elected, and in August 2023, Attorney General Merrick Garland boosted Weiss to special counsel status.

In September, a federal grand jury in Delaware approved an indictment against Hunter related to his past possession of a firearm.

Three months later, the investigation led to an additional indictment on nine federal tax charges, including three felonies and six misdemeanors that allege he evaded taxes and filed a false return. Hunter pleaded not guilty to all of the tax counts and is scheduled to stand trial in Los Angeles in September. He could be imprisoned for up to 17 years if convicted on those charges.

Related: Paul Pelosi's Alleged Attacker Also Planned to Go After Hunter Biden, Tom Hanks and Gavin Newsom

<p>AP Photo/Matt Slocum</p> Naomi Biden and husband Peter Neal arrive at the Wilmington federal courthouse on June 7

AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Naomi Biden and husband Peter Neal arrive at the Wilmington federal courthouse on June 7

The younger Biden's rocky road to sobriety was detailed throughout the firearm trial, which included testimony from his eldest daughter, Naomi Biden.

Naomi, 30, took the stand on Friday, June 7, and spoke about visiting her dad in rehab. She told prosecutor Leo Wise that she knew Hunter was “struggling with addiction” when she and her now-husband Peter Neal visited him in Los Angeles in August 2018.

Related: Joe Biden Rules Out Pardon for Hunter as He Vows to Respect Any Verdict in Son's Federal Gun Trial

Naomi and her father met for lunch with his sober coach, she testified, and after visiting his rehab center, she sent Hunter a text saying she was “so proud” of him and that she was happy he got to meet Peter.

Hunter could be seen wiping away tears while Naomi spoke, according to NBC News.

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A child of a sitting American president has never faced a criminal trial before — a milestone made more dramatic in the context of federal charges.

The conviction comes on the heels of Trump's historic guilty verdict on 34 felony counts, as the former president prepares to accept the 2024 Republican nomination.

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