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RELATED: Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy Make Courthouse Return After Her College Admissions Scandal Arrest

Loughlin’s Potential Sentence is Much Higher

Loughlin, meanwhile, allegedly wanted her daughters to get into the University of Southern California so badly that she and Giannulli paid approximately $500,000 in bribes to falsely designate their daughters as recruits to the USC crew team — despite the fact that they did not participate in crew.

The amount of money involved in the case means that her “offense level” would be much higher than Huffman’s. Additionally, Huffman’s decision to plead guilty lowered her offense level; in the absence of a plea deal, Loughlin’s penalty will be significantly higher.

RELATED: Why William H. Macy, Felicity Huffman’s Husband, Was Not Charged in College Cheating Scandal

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Officially, she faces up to 40 years in prison for the charges against her — but if she is found guilty and her sentencing is consistent with the other defendants, she will likely face closer to 3-5 years.

But legal experts tell PEOPLE that the actress may be doing herself a disservice with her public demeanor.

“There is some discretion involved in sentencing,” attorney Citron tells PEOPLE. “And she’s doing herself no favors by treating these court appearances like she’s going to the Oscars. What the court is looking for is humility.”

Attorneys for Loughlin, Giannulli and Huffman have not returned PEOPLE’s calls for comment.



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