Learn About Various Ways to Have a Prisoner Resentenced in California
In most cases, the sentence a person is given when they go to prison is the sentence they will have. While they may not serve all the time, due to overcrowding, good behavior, or other reasons, the actual sentence will not be reduced. However, there are a few exceptions and a few ways a prisoner can have their sentence adjusted after they are in prison. Read on to learn more and then contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 if you need legal assistance regarding resentencing.
Filing a Motion for Resentencing
A motion for resentencing, also known as an MFR, is a legal motion that is filed either by the prisoner or their criminal defense attorney and asks the judge to modify their sentence. The judge can deny it, change the sentence, postpone the starting of a sentence, or revoke the sentence entirely. Reasons an MFR may be accepted including a clerical error being made, an illegal sentence was issued, or there was some type of judicial error in which the court did not consider certain evidence.
Appealing a Sentence
Another option is to appeal a sentence. This involves submitting a request to an appellate court to modify a sentence imposed by the trial court. This is not a new trial. The appellate court will not retry the case, look at any additional evidence, or consider any testimony. They will simply look at the legal proceedings to determine if there were legal errors that affected the rights of the convicted party.
The appellate court can overturn a sentence if they find that the trial court made a legal error and that that error prejudiced someone. In short, it must be shown that there was a reasonable likelihood that the legal error affected the outcome of the case.
Filing a Writ of Habeas Corpus Petition
Any person who is in prison in California can bring a writ of habeas corpus petition to try and challenge their imprisonment. They can also bring said petition to challenge the conditions under which they are serving. This is what is known as an “extraordinary” remedy and is only granted in very extreme and unusual situations. The courts also require that all other potential remedies, such as appealing the sentence, have been exhausted.
The Court Can Recall Its Own Sentence
The above options involve the prisoner or their attorney filing motions but the courts can recall a sentence on their own. They have 120 days from the date of sentencing to do so. This involves the judge recalling the sentence and replacing it with a new sentence, which cannot be greater than the initial one. This is a rare case but it does happen.
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime and do not believe that the sentence is fair, then you may have options. Contact The Mattern Law Firm at 310-342-8254 for a free legal consultation.