CHICAGO (CBS) — Jussie Smollett could face a range of consequences if he is convicted of the new indictment issued against him, CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller explained Tuesday evening.
Smollett was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on six new charges of disorderly conduct, accusing him of filing false police reports claiming he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack last year.
The new charges amount to Class IV felonies – which is the lowest level of felony in Illinois law.
“He’s back to square one,” Miller told CBS 2’s Irika Sargent. “Whatever he could have gotten a year ago before the case was dropped, he could get right now, and that includes deferred prosecution – if done the right way this time.”
The penalties could range from community service prison time.
‘But I think the big criteria for the prosecutor on that is, will he admit he did it? And will not consider deferred prosecution if he won’t admit he did it,” Miller said. “He could also get probation, and he could also get possibly a one- to three-year sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections, which I do not think will happen in this case.”
Cook County prosecutors last year dropped 16 disorderly conduct charges against Smollett, just over a month after Chicago police had accused him of orchestrating a hoax because he was upset with his salary on the TV show “Empire.”
Miller explained that charging Smollett again does not amount to a case of double jeopardy.
“He was neither convicted nor acquitted in the first proceeding. The case was dropped,” Miller said. “The prosecutor then has the sole authority to bring it up again, since double jeopardy never attached to the case.”
It was unclear where Smollett was Tuesday night, but he is due in court on Feb. 24.