Could Trump really go to jail? Does he expect to?

FILE-Former President Donald Trump exits the courtroom after testifying at his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on November 06, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

As Donald Trump’s hush money trial enters its third week Tuesday, there is speculation about what the outcome in the case could mean for the former president. 

Trump has been fined $10,000 for violating a gag order in his trial barring him from speaking publicly about jurors, witnesses, and others connected to the case. 

Could Trump really go to jail?

Judge Juan M. Merchan warned Trump that additional gag order violations may result in jail time. 

Officials from the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies held an impromptu meeting in April on how to move and protect Trump if the judge did order him briefly jailed for contempt in court, the New York Times reported. 

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Another issue is determining how to safely place the former president in prison if the jury convicts him and the judge sentences him to jail instead of home confinement or probation. 

If Trump is in prison, it would involve keeping him separate from other inmates and screening his food and other personal items. Secret Service agents would work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, rotating in and out of the prison. 

Citing sources, the New York Times reported that if Trump is convicted, a long fight of appeals, possibly in the Supreme Court, is a likely scenario, which could delay any jail sentence for months, but a prison sentence is unlikely. 

How is the city preparing for the possibility?

New York City's Rikers Island is prepared if former President Donald Trump is ordered to serve time in jail amid his unprecedented trial in Manhattan, Mayor Eric Adams said Tuesday.

"Our amazing commissioner … is prepared for whatever comes on Rikers Island," Adams told the media Tuesday when asked if Rikers, New York City's largest prison, is prepared if Trump is ordered to jail for violating the gag order.

"I'm pretty sure [the Department of Corrections commissioner] would be prepared to manage and deal with the situation. As you see what's happening with Harvey Weinstein, we have to just you know, in this business, particularly around law enforcement, we have to adjust whatever comes our way," he continued, according to FOX News.

"We don't want to deal with a hypothetical, but they're professionals that will be ready."

Does Trump expect to go to jail?

Trump said he would rather risk imprisonment than comply with a gag order in his criminal trial, just hours after the judge overseeing his criminal hush-money trial threatened to put the former president in jail, Politico reported

RELATED: Looming legal penalties raise questions about Donald Trump's finances

The former president told the media in the hallway of the New York courthouse about jail time saying that the "Constitution is much more important than jail," adding, "I’ll do that sacrifice any day."

What is a gag order?

A gag order is a judge's directive prohibiting someone or people involved in a court case from publicly commenting about some or all aspects of it, the Associated Press reported. 

RELATED: Trump's hush money trial: Judge issues gag order ruling, $9K fine for Trump

Gag orders, particularly in high-profile cases, are intended to prevent information presented outside a courtroom from affecting what happens inside. Trump also is subject to a gag order in his federal criminal election interference case in Washington. 

Is Trump fighting the gag order?

Yes. Before the trial, the Republican presidential frontrunner asked a state appeals court to postpone the trial while he appealed the gag order, but the court refused. His appeal of the order itself is ongoing.

What is Trump accused of?

Trump is accused of falsifying internal business records to cover up hush money payments — including the payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels — recording them instead as legal expenses.

The former president has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

This case is the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president and the first of four prosecutions of Trump to reach a jury.

How many court cases is Trump involved in?

As of this report, Trump is currently involved in four criminal cases, which includes the hush money case. 

A second case out of Fulton County, Georgia, has charged Trump, as well as 18 others, with participating in a scheme to illegally attempt to overturn the former president’s loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. 

Trump is also involved in a third criminal case in Washington, D.C., which charged him with allegedly conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the run-up to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

And his fourth case involves classified documents that Trump illegally retained at his Mar-a-Lago estate after he left the White House. 

The Associated Press and FOX News contributed to this report.  This story was reported from Washington, D.C.