After pleading guilty to money fraud in their March 4 case, Teresa and Joe Giudice have another plea for the judge, this time for the sake of their children.
The Real Housewives of New Jersey stars plan to ask that they serve their respective potential jail times separately so that someone will always be available to take care of their four daughters -- Gia, 13, Gabriella, 9, Milania, 8, and Audriana, 4.
"Because of substantial hardship with the kids, we are hoping staggering of sentences does occur," Joe's attorney Miles Feinstein tells Us Weekly's Jennifer Peros. "I've had it in a few cases where both parents are sentenced to jail time but we stagger the time so both parents are not away from their kids at once."
But Feinstein doesn't think it will come to that. He believes Teresa might be able to get off with probation.
"We're hoping Teresa does not go to jail," Feinstein says. "The great likelihood is that Joe will get some jail time. There's no doubt about it. It's just a matter of how long."
Teresa pleaded guilty to four counts of money fraud and Joe to five. The cookbook writer faces between 21 and 27 months in prison and her husband faces up to 46.
The original penalty was up to 50 years in prison per person, so Feinstein acknowledges that the reduced potential sentences are the best outcome the couple could have hoped for.
And though Joe will likely face jail time, the father of four could have a bigger problem.
"Joe could be deported," Feinstein said. "I think it would be a tremendous injustice, given that he's been here since he was 1 year old. His parents and brothers have been naturalized, and Teresa and the children are citizens. Joe not getting U.S. citizenship, just slipped through the cracks. He could have gotten it easily. He thought he was a citizen, as did everyone else. The fact that he wasn't was brought up in the state case, he didn’t know up until then."
Tell Us: Do you think Teresa and Joe should be allowed to serve their potential sentences separately in order to take care of their daughters?