Conor McGregor could face United States immigration issues if he pleads guilty to charges over bus incident

He is charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief.

Conor McGregor could face serious immigration issues in the United States if he pleads guilty to charges relating to an alleged bus incident in New York last week.

The Notorious could be facing prison time after being charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief in New York.

Top US Lawyer Dmitriy Shakhnevich, who formerly worked for the District Attorney's Office in Brooklyn where McGregor is charged, revealed that a 'not guilty' plea from the Crumlin native will see the case go to trial.

McGregor could face over seven years in prison if convicted at trial.

Mr Shakhnevich explained that a guilty plea from McGregor would leave him with a criminal record in the US, something that could severely damage his career.

He told Dublin Live: "Conor is charged with several felonies. In New York State, there are two levels of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies.

"Conor is charged with both, but the felony charges are a lot more severe, meaning the prosecution must impanel a Grand Jury and obtain an indictment against him before proceeding to trial.

"A Grand Jury is different than a trial jury. A Grand Jury determines if there's enough evidence to proceed to trial.

"Felony cases are so severe that this extra layer of protection is put in place for criminal defendants.

"However, the standard to obtain an indictment is so low, that an indictment is virtually a given in this case.

"Then, once that happens and as the case progresses, the prosecution will have to turn over evidence to the defense attorneys in the case.

"At that point, and really throughout the duration of the case generally, plea negotiations will likely take place."

Mr Shakhnevich went on to describe what will happen if no plea is entered.

He said: "Then the case will be put down for Hearings and Trial. However, as with all cases in Brooklyn, that is highly unlikely.

"If Conor pleads 'not guilty', and refuses to engage in any plea negotiations, then the case will go to trial.

"If he's convicted at trial, it's entirely possible that he'll be sentenced to jail time, particularly due to the felony charges.

"Something tells me a plea will be worked out in this case to avoid any such risks. If he pleads guilty, in my view, he will likely avoid jail time.

"More importantly however, if he pleads guilty to something that leaves him with a criminal record, that can affect his ability to re-enter the US.

"Obviously, that's hugely important because Conor makes his fortune fighting for an American company, with most of its shows in the US."

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But Mr Shakhnevich is quite confident that McGregor's lawyers will prevent him from seeing the inside of a prison cell, and will ultimately solve the immigration issue.

"In terms of jail time, it's very highly unlikely that Conor will ever see any jail time in this case," he said.

"Nonetheless, Conor's charges are severe. He's charged with both the D and E felonies as it relates to Criminal Mischief.

"The E felony is 3rd degree Criminal Mischief, and that's up to four years in New York State prison upon conviction at trial.

"The D felony is 2nd degree Criminal Mischief, and that subjects him to up to seven years in New York State prison upon conviction at trial.

"He could also serve up to a year on each misdemeanor charge. But courts typically sentence concurrently for these types of cases, not consecutively.

"That means he’d serve all the sentences at once. That being said, again, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll see any jail time at all. The immigration issue must be dealt with carefully, and I'm sure it will be because Conor has excellent lawyers."

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