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Can You Modify Your Sentence?

March 30, 2019

A motion for resentencing asks a judge to modify a criminal sentence

Can You Modify Your Sentence?

For many people, the criminal justice process is a mystery. Their only experience with it may be through episodes of Law & Order, or what they have seen on other courtroom dramas. While it is generally a good thing to avoid the criminal justice system, it can put you at a disadvantage if you are required to interact with it.

Understanding the workings of the criminal justice system can be incredibly helpful when it comes to defending yourself and your rights — and when you need to take action. For example, many people are unaware that it is possible in California to request that a judge modify a criminal sentence. Through this process, it is possible to have a sentence changed, postponed, or even revoked.

As a criminal defense attorney Orange County, CA can explain, a motion for resentencing is a legal document filed by a person convicted of a crime (or his or her lawyer) that asks a judge to modify the sentence imposed in the case. It can be filed in both felony and misdemeanor cases. A judge has the power to grant or deny this motion. Typically, it will be granted if the sentence imposed was illegal, the court committed an error, or a clerical error was made.

In a motion for resentencing, a prisoner will typically ask the court to modify his or her sentence. This might be done by reducing the length of the sentence, or changing the sentencing conditions. These motions are filed with the court who sentenced the prisoner. While prisoners can file these motions on their own (pro se), it is generally best done with the help of a criminal defense attorney Orange County, CA.

Importantly, a prisoner can also file a motion for resentencing if he or she is not a U.S. citizen. This is often done to remove the risk of deportation or other immigration consequences. For example, an aggravated felony conviction can have consequences including deportation, denial of permission to enter the United States, a permanent ban on seeking a visa or green card, and an inability to receive asylum status in the U.S. A crime may qualify as an aggravated felony if an offender receives a jail or prison sentence of 1 year or greater. For this reason, it is often a good decision for non-citizen prisoners to file a motion for resentencing.

Resentencing motions are also often brought when there is a change in the law. For example, under Proposition 47, some theft and drug crimes are now considered misdemeanors rather than felonies. Anyone convicted of these crimes may bring a motion for resentencing to modify their sentence so that they receive an appropriate sentence for a misdemeanor instead of a felony crime.

If you have been convicted of a crime, you may still be able to have your sentenced modified. The Chambers Law Firm is here to assist you. Contact our office today at 855-397-0210 or dchambers@clfca.com to schedule a free initial consultation with a skilled criminal defense attorney Orange County, CA.

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