July 5, 2011 -- Casey Anthony is back in protective custody at the Orange County jail today, but she could be let out on bail before her Thursday sentencing if the defense asks for it and the judge agrees.
It usually takes a few hours to process someone out. Bail terms could be light, could even be released on her own recognizance. But the defense may choose to keep her in jail until sentencing if they believe it gives them a tactical advantage with the judge, said legal expert Robert Dekle.
Hours after the jury shocked the courtroom by finding her not guilty of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee, Casey Anthony was returned to jail where she was kept in protective custody, a standard procedure for high profile inmates, according to ABC News affiliate WFTV.
The jury found Casey Anthony guilty on four counts of providing false information to law enforcement, which are first degree misdemeanors punishable with up to one year per count.
Sentencing on the guilty counts will be held on 9 a.m. Thursday. The maximum sentence applicable in this case is four years, but having already served two and a half years behind bars, Anthony stands to serve one and a half years.
It is possible that Judge Belvin Perry could rule that Anthony can serve the years concurrently, which would set her free since she's already served over two years in jail.
Prosecutors can't realistically appeal the verdict because that would be double jeopardy. The only theoretical possibility of any sort of retrial would be for the feds to get involved because of a civil rights issue, but that doesn't apply here.
Clutching the hand of her defense attorney Jose Baez, Casey Anthony began to sob as the verdict was read. The rest of her defense team stood beside her, also clutching hands. She thanked Baez as she was swarmed by the defense team.
Her parents, Cindy and George Anthony, left the courtroom as Judge Belvin Perry read further instructions to the jury and did not approach their daughter.
The jury, comprised of seven women and five men, declined to talk to the media following the verdict.
Casey Anthony, who sat grim faced throughout the six weeks of testimony, beamed happily as she was fingerprinted in the courtroom for her misdemeanor convictions.