Oscar Pistorius Trial: What Happens After the Verdict Is Read

PHOTO: Oscar Pistorius reacts in the dock in Pretoria, South Africa, Sept. 11, 2014 as Judge Thokozile Masipa reads notes as she delivers her verdict in Pistorius murder trial.PlayKim Ludbrook/AP Photo
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After a marathon trial filled with vomit, screams and tears, Oscar Pistorius will have to wait another day to find out if he will be held criminally responsible for the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

While Judge Thokozile Masipa found the Olympian not guilty of murder today, he could still be found guilty of culpable homicide, the equivalent of manslaughter. The athlete also faces three firearms-related charges.

If Pistorius is found guilty, he will be led down to the holding cells. His legal team will then bring an application for his bail to be extended as he awaits sentencing.

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When sentencing proceedings start, the state will call witnesses to testify in support of aggravation of a sentence while the defense will call witnesses to testify in support of mitigation of sentence. After witnesses are called on both sides, the state and defense will deliver closing arguments.

A culpable homicide charge could send Pistorius to prison for up to 15 years, although a non-custodial sentence could also be imposed. Mitigating factors, such as his emotional state, anxiety levels and disability could result in a lesser sentence.

The firearms charges Pistorius faces each carry as many as five years in prison. The judge has the discretion to order that any or all of the sentences should run concurrently or separately.

While Pistorius' trial seemed lengthy, the appeals process to South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal would likely take years, meaning that if he's sentenced to prison time, Pistorius likely would not serve it any time soon.

If Pistorius is found not guilty, it's possible the legal drama could still drag on for the athlete. The state could appeal if it thinks the judge made an error in her interpretation of the law.