Motion in Sentence Reduction in Georgia
Once the court has issued a ruling in a criminal case, it’s typically considered final. In rare circumstances, however, the incarceration or probation period issued during sentencing can be lessened or modified. Filing a motion to reduce sentencing requires timeliness and cogent reasoning to do so.
What Circumstances Warrant a Sentence Reduction?
Although unlikely for most cases, courts do have the ability to modify sentences under strict limitations. Some circumstances in which a sentence can be changed include the following:
- If a crime now carries reduced sentencing under sentencing guidelines.
- If a cooperating defendant is able to provide substantial assistance to the courts.
- If a prisoner has served a lengthy term, is at least 70 years old, and is no longer considered a danger to society (also known as compassionate modification of federal sentences).
An illegal sentence would not be eligible for a reduction. Illegal sentences are oftentimes caused by clerical errors, such as a judge issuing a sentence out of his or her jurisdiction, or the sentence is ambiguous and unable to be served. These types of cases are sent back to trial for resentencing instead of having the sentence modified.
Sentence reduction includes lessening incarceration length, probation length, and fines. For a modification of incarceration length to be granted, it’s likely there would have to be a major change in the case’s evidence that warrants reduction.
Modifying Probation & Fines
Probation periods can be modified, terminated, or revoked at any time during the sentence by the court. This can include a sentence reduction or a change in the conditions of probation. If someone has completed a portion of their probation, it’s possible to terminate the sentence early if rehabilitation has occurred.
Additionally, if a sentence contains a fine, a motion can be filed to have the fine lessened or converted to community service instead.
Sentence reductions and modifications are outside the norm, and filing a motion requires expertise. To learn more or for help with your case, schedule a free consultation with the Turner Firm today.