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On his first full day in jail, Jussie Smollett's attorneys file notice to appeal his convictions, sentence

Lawyers for Jussie Smollett begin appeal process 02:25

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Jussie Smollett finished up his first day in custody at the Cook County Jail Friday after being sentenced for fabricating a hate crime and taken away on the spot.

CBS 2's Sabrina Franza talked Friday with one of Smollett's attorneys.

Smollett's attorneys are planning to appeal his conviction and sentence, with the hope of getting him out of jail as soon as possible. How fast that might actually happen – if they are successful and it does at all – remains to be seen.

On Friday, Smollett's attorneys filed a notice of appeal in Cook County Circuit Court, in order to get the documents they need in motion so as to file the formal appeal.

"We believe that we have a very good chance of having at least the convictions, if not the sentence, overturned on appeal," said Smollett defense attorney Heather Widell.

Widell was in the courtroom Thursday when Cook County Criminal Court Judge James Linn sentenced Smollett to 30 months' probation, and said he will be required to spend the first 150 days in jail, beginning immediately. He also ordered Smollett to pay $120,106 in restitution to the city and fined him $25,000.  

After announcing the sentence, Linn asked Smollett if he had any questions, to which Smollett said, "No, I would just like to say to your honor that I am not suicidal. That's what I would like to say."

 "I am not suicidal. I am innocent, and I am not suicidal. If I did this, then it means that I stuck my fist in the fears of Black Americans in this country for over 400 years, and the fears of the LGBT community," Smollett said. "Your honor, I respect you, and I respect the jury, but I did not do this. And I am not suicidal, and if anything happens to me when I go in there, I did not do it to myself, and you must all know that. I respect you, your honor, I respect your decision."

"Jail time?" he added, with a shake of his head and a clap of his hands, "I am not suicidal."

Upon being escorted from the courtroom to go to jail a short time later, Smollett raised his fist and yelled: "I am not suicidal! I am not suicidal, and I'm innocent! I could have said that I was guilty a long time ago!"

Lawyers prepare to file appeal to get Jussie Smollett out of jail 02:20

Widell tried to explain Smollett's remarks.

"I think just based on past experiences with other people and other things that have happened in the jails, that he was concerned and wanted to make sure that everyone knew that if something happened, it wasn't by his own hand," she said.

Widell said Smollett's team was not prepared for his remarks, but they are prepared to file an appeal.

"You do it to do it – to make sure his appellate rights are protected," Widell said.

After filing a notice with the Circuit Court, the attorneys wait for their documents – which could take a few days.

To get a decision could take months, if not years. Experts say Smollett likely won't be in jail by the time it happens.

"Under the County Jail Act, a person who is sentenced to jail only does half the time," said CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller.

Thus, having been sentenced to 150 days, Smollett will likely serve 75.

The Cook County Sheriff's Department said Smollett will be in his own cell. He will be monitored by security cameras and an officer wearing a body camera at all times.

Smollett will get out for recreation.

Alan Mills, executive director of the Uptown People's Law Center, has been fighting cases related to inmate treatment across Illinois for decades. He emphasized that getting out for recreation doesn't eliminate the sense of isolation.

"Getting out of your cell to recreation and being able to watch TV are good things – I'm not going to say those are bad things to do - but they don't alleviate the fact that you're alone the vast majority of the time," Mills said.

As to the appeal, Miller said the likelihood of it being granted is "50/50."

Still, the mission remains the same.

"To get the convictions overturned; to have his sentence overturned as soon as possible so that he doesn't hopefully have to continue to serve the rest of the sentence, at least, in custody," Widell said.

Smollett's attorneys did tell us that they planned on visiting him Friday afternoon. After speaking with him Friday morning, they said he was in good spirits.

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