Trump hush money trial jury deliberations begin: when we might we get a verdict

Donald Trump's hush money jury prepared to enter its second day of deliberations Thursday. The jurors on Wednesday asked to have the judge's instructions read back to them and to review portions of testimony by former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker and Trump's former fixer, Michael Cohen.

After Judge Juan Merchan sees to those matters, the jury will work towards a historic verdict in the first-ever criminal trial of a former president.

The case is in the hands of 12 Manhattanites who will either issue a unanimous verdict or force a mistrial.

Trump is on trial for 34 counts of falsifying business records. Prosecutors have spent the better part of the last six weeks building the case that Trump authorized the $130,000 in hush money Michael Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels, that the payment violated campaign finance laws, and Trump disguised the reimbursement as a legal expense.

After the verdict: What happens if Trump is found guilty in hush money case? Prison is certainly an option.

What happens in jury deliberations?

The jury will meet in the jury room to discuss their views on the case. Questions about evidence or testimony may come up during this time.

"They may have notes for the judge: 'We have questions about this issue, that issue....Can we have this testimony read back? Can we see this exhibit?'" Kevin J. O’Brien, a New York-based trial lawyer, previously explained to USA TODAY. "There's going to be interaction, it's not just straight deliberation."

The judge would ask all parties to return to the courtroom while he addresses the questions, according to the New York State Unified Court System petit juror's handbook.

How long until the jury reaches a verdict?

For the jury to convict or acquit Trump, all 12 jurors must come to an unanimous decision. If they can't agree, it is considered a "hung jury," and the judge would have to declare a mistrial.

There is no deadline for the jury to stop deliberating, but O'Brein says three days would be considered a long time.

He also said a quick decision could signal good things for the defense, as it tends to mean the jury may not be willing to wade through the evidence or at least one person is clearly unwilling to budge.

Contributing: Aysha Bagchi

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump trial jury deliberations: How long will they take? An explainer