A French court ruled that Sarkozy violated campaign finance laws by exceeding political spending limits during his 2012 campaign.
Under French law, candidates at the time could only spend so much money on their campaigns. Prosecutors said that Sarkozy spent about twice the set limit.
He is also accused of hiring a public relations firm to hide the actual amount of his expenses.
Immediately after the verdict and sentencing, Sarkozy’s lawyer said he would appeal.
Read also: Sarkozy sues France in European court, convinced he is innocent
Most experts say that it is unlikely that Sarkozy will have to serve his sentence in prison. He could be allowed to serve the sentence under house arrest.
Sarkozy has denied he was involved in the logistics and financing of his campaign, saying the tasks were delegated to the rest of his team.
However, the judge in that case rejected the argument.