Dinesh D'Souza found a positive takeaway from his sentencing Tuesday for campaign finance fraud.
The conservative author and filmmaker was sentenced to five years probation, and eight months in a community confinement center, allowing him to avoid prison time. D'Souza told Fox News' Megyn Kelly that he now has "a big smile."
"This was really an effort to put me out of business -- the government was trying to lock me for between 10 and 16 months and a federal judge said no," D'Souza said. "Today my faith in an independent judiciary is affirmed."
D'Souza admitted attempting to go around campaign contribution limits, illegally reimbursing two donors who each gave $10,000 to Republican Wendy Long's unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate in New York in 2012. D'Souza pleaded guilty to the charges in May.
D'Souza said the light sentence would allow him to continue his work.
"If I was locked up I would not have been able to make a film in the election year, 2016," D'Souza said. "Now I can do my work, I can continue to write books, continue to function."