Jury Deliberations Are Starting in Trump’s Trial. Here’s How They Work.

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For the past five weeks, the 12 unidentified jurors in Donald J. Trump’s Manhattan criminal trial have listened to opening statements, witness testimony, closing arguments and the judge’s final instructions.

Now is the time for their deliberations to begin. The jurors will retreat behind closed doors on Wednesday and start to debate whether the first president to be criminally prosecuted has committed felony crimes.

The first juror selected is serving as the foreperson and will likely lead the jury’s discussions during deliberations. His or her opinion and vote do not carry more importance than those of the others.

Justice Juan M. Merchan said the jury could deliberate until 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and beyond that, he will decide how long deliberations could go each day.

While the jury deliberates, it’s common to wait days, or even weeks, for a verdict. Prosecutors charged Mr. Trump with 34 felony charges of falsifying business records related to a $130,000 hush-money payment to the porn star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election.

The jurors’ verdict on each count — guilty or not guilty — must be unanimous.

During their deliberations, the jury can send back notes, signed by the foreperson, to ask questions to the court or have a witness’s testimony read back to them.

If the jury finds that Mr. Trump is guilty of even one of the counts, the judge will sentence Mr. Trump at a later date. But if they find that he is not guilty of all of the charges, Mr. Trump will be acquitted.

If the jurors cannot reach a verdict, they will inform the judge, who will urge them to continue their deliberations. If they still remained deadlocked, the judge could declare a mistrial, and the prosecutors would then need to decide whether to bring the case again.