How Much Time Could Teresa Giudice Spend in Jail? Her Fate Is in a Judge's Hands

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While the rest of the Real Housewives of New Jersey are more worried about infidelity rumors and Dunkin Donuts (seriously, those are actual things that happened this season), the Giudice family has been dealing with some legal problems that are so serious, Teresa could end up going to jail. Joe and Teresa first came under fire for bankruptcy fraud back in 2010, and now that they've had their day in court, they were brought up on all manner of recent financial improprieties, including 40 counts of fraud.Yikes. 

Both Joe and Teresa pled guilty on several counts each, five for Joe and four for Teresa. The only thing remaining is for them to both settle their outstanding debts of over $13 million and serve whatever time the judge finds appropriate. Teresa and Joe will be facing sentencing on Sept. 23, now less than a month away. 

Teresa could possibly serve somewhere between 21 and 27 months (her maximum sentence would be 35 years, but that's incredibly unlikely) in prison. But since Joe is credited by both as the mastermind of the operation and the couple have four young children, it's possible that she could receive little to no jail time in exchange for probation and higher fines. Teresa's lawyer, Henry Klingeman, told People that they plan to ask for probation. For his charges, Joe could be sentenced up to 46 months in jail. Both Teresa and Joe are out on bail at the moment, which is set at $500,000 each. 

As far as the courts (and we) know, Joe is the one who manages their construction business and the one who instigated the fraud. But Teresa's own admission of guilt — and she likely wouldn't have pleaded guilty alongside Joe unless one or both of them would be sentenced to much harsher prison time if they lost a trial — implies that she was at the very least aware of the financial deception going on, if not an active participant.

But what do we know about celebrity fraud cases is that the time doesn't always match up with the crime. When Martha Stewart was convicted of four crimes, including obstruction of justice and making false statements, she was given the minimum sentence of five months in jail and five months of house arrest, as reported by the New York Times. Joe seems less likely to receive a lenient sentence, as when Joe first plead guilty, his lawyer, Miles Feinstein, told HollywoodLife that he would likely end up going to jail. 

Feinstein also said that Teresa is likely to get probation, and according to RadarOnline, she agrees. But no one, not even Teresa herself, will know for sure until September comes around… just in time for the RHONJ reunion to tape. For the sake of Teresa's children, let's hope she has good news to share. 

Image: Getty Images

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