It’s been two weeks since Josh Duggar was found guilty of receiving and possessing child pornography.
After the verdict was revealed, 33-year-old was handcuffed and hauled off to a county jail, where he will remain until his sentencing hearing in April.
Duggar faces 20 years in prison, but we won’t know the exact details of his incarceration until the next time he goes in front of a judge.
But with the benefit of years of precedent to examine, legal experts can safely predict what Josh’s future will look like.
And as you may have guessed, the picture is quite grim.
First, there’s the matter of where Josh will be imprisoned.
Because he’s been convicted of federal offenses, there’s no guarantee that he’ll be locked up close to home.
“It’s possible that he could go to any federal prison in the United States,” attorney Emily D. Baker said in a recent interview with The Ashley’s Reality Roundup.
The site notes that there two federal prisons in Arkansas — a low-security and a medium-security facility.
Both of these facilities are located in Forrest City, Arkansas, which is four hours away from Tontitown and Springdale, Arkansas.
That’s where most of the Duggars live, including Josh’s wife, Anna, and his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle.
Josh’s loved ones have probably already begun the process of writing letters to the judge, in which they lobby to have Josh housed in one of these facilities.
And at his sentencing hearing, Josh’s lawyers will implore the judge to keep their client close to home for the sake of his children.
“The defense may ask that he be held in a prison that they can reasonably visit,” Baker told The Ashley.
“It depends on what his [prisoner] status is, and how much protection is needed [for him] and where they’re able to facilitate that. How full [the prisons] are and their COVID restrictions also come into play.”
There’s been speculation that Josh might not be allowed to see his children, but Baker says that’s unlikely.
“He was allowed to see them [while awaiting his trial],” she said.
“I don’t imagine anything would change when he’s in custody.”
As for the question of whether Josh will be allowed conjugal visits with Anna — well, there’s no need for speculation on that one.
Conjugal visitation is not permitted at any federal facility.
So for the next few years, Josh and Anna will be forced to follow very strict rules with regard to physical contact.
Just like when they were courting!
“In most cases, handshakes, hugs, and kisses (in good taste) are allowed at the beginning and end of a visit,” reads the Federal Bureau of Prison website.
“Staff may limit contact for security reasons (to prevent people from trying to introduce contraband) and to keep the visiting area orderly.”
Then there’s the matter of Josh’s appeal.
Attempts to reverse the guilty verdict are customary in these cases, and Duggar’s lawyers say they’re already working on presenting their case a second time.
“We respect the jury’s verdict and we look to continuing this fight on appeal,” one defense attorney told reporters on the day that Josh was found guilty.
"We plan to appeal at the appropriate time.”
“Whenever there’s a criminal conviction, and especially when the defendant has money, there’s going to be an appeal,” Baker said.
“What [Josh’s attorneys] pick to appeal on will be interesting to see. I imagine they will appeal on the judge allowing [former Duggar family friend] Bobye Holt to testify. They might appeal on their motions to eliminate her testimony.”
So is there a chance that Josh might actually go free?
Don’t bet on it, Baker says.
“At the end of the day I didn’t see anything from this trial that would be appealable," she told The Ashley.
"I think the judge ruled very fairly, the jury instructions were very clear and the evidence was very overwhelming," Baker added.
"I don’t see anything based on what I know of the case that would lead me to go ‘they should appeal on that, they might win.’"
The case against Josh was pretty open-and-shut, but according to Baker, the prosecution took great pains to present an iron-clad argument to the jury.
“The pre-trial lawyering was very good,” Emily said.
“It’s clear these were very good attorneys– all of them. The evidence in this case was overwhelming against Josh from the beginning. The defense had to poke holes and try to get one juror to see some doubt and maybe hang the jury," she added.
"The feds do their homework before they even bring an indictment, so the defense had a very difficult task ahead of them.
So you can rest easy that Josh will be locked up for quite some time.
As for exactly how long we’ll be living in a blessedly Josh-free society, that question won’t be answered until April.
“Bottom line — he’s going to prison,” Baker concluded.
“He is going to do a sentence between five and 20 years– no more, no less.”
We will of course bring you further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.