Felicity Huffman could be facing prison time of less than a year after pleading guilty for her alleged role in the college admissions case.
Lou Shapiro, a state and federal criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, tells Us Weekly that the 56-year-old actress may be sentenced to four to 10 months in prison under the guidelines considered by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Shapiro also notes that Huffman’s lawyers will likely argue for zero prison time.
“In light of the fact that the prosecutors are requesting a relatively low amount of incarceration, it puts Huffman’s defense team in striking distance of a no-prison outcome,” Shapiro explains.
A date for Huffman’s plea hearing has yet to be scheduled.
The Desperate Housewives alum was arrested last month after she allegedly made a “made a purported charitable contribution of $15,000” to boost her daughter Sofia’s SAT score, per court documents. Huffman spoke out about the scandal for the first time on Monday, April 8, after entering her plea.
“I am in full acceptance of my guilt, and with deep regret and shame over what I am done, I accept full responsibility for my actions and will accept the consequences that stem from those actions,” the statement read. “I am ashamed of the pain I have caused my daughter, my family, my friends, my colleagues and the educational community.”
The Sports Night alum added that Sofia, 18, “knew absolutely nothing” about her actions. “This transgression toward her and the public I will carry for the rest of my life,” she concluded. “My desire to help my daughter is no excuse to break the law or engage in dishonesty.”
Huffman also shares daughter Georgia, 17, with her husband, William H. Macy. The Shameless star stood by his wife’s side after she turned herself in on March 12. She was subsequently released on a $250,000 bond.
The actor did not accompany his wife of more than 20 years to her court date on Wednesday, April 3. Huffman and fellow actress Lori Loughlin were among the 13 defendants in the Boston courtroom to hear the official charges against them. Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, have yet to enter a plea in the case.
The couple were accused of paying bribes of $500,000 to ensure that their daughters, Bella, 20, and Olivia Jade, 19, were admitted into USC. They face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, three years’ probation and a $250,000 fine.