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Can a judge change a sentence after pronouncing it in court in the state of Ga.

Acworth, GA |

If you get 10 yrs. armed robbery, 10 yrs. agg. assault, 10 yrs. agg.assault total of 30yrs running c/s with one another. and it was pronouned in court, can the judge change it to 20 yrs. armed robbery and 10 yrs.aggg. assault without telling the lawyer and the defendent. Thank-you

Can they also change the transcript to read the new sentence (20 yrs. armed robbery and 10 yrs. agg. assault) and this is on his Final Disp. papers also.

Attorney Answers 3


This is unusual in that you state the Defense Attorney was not made aware of this change. If Defendant had a negotiated plea and the terms were 10-10-10 and Judge changed on his own to 20-10 then the Defendant could challenge this unilateral change in sentence since it was not what he had agreed to pled guilty too.
If the Defendant was tried and convicted then one would have to look at the transcript to determine if in fact there was a clerical error in recording the Judge's sentence. If the Judge determined that an error in his sentence was made, then he could correct the error. However this type of change is unusual. The Defendant may be able to challenge this drastic change.
PLEASE NOTE: THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes on a general website comment page only. Actual legal advice from this office can only be provided after consultation directly with an attorney from our office. Answering this question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation.

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This response is given for informational purposes only.

In Georgia, believe it or not, a judge's oral pronouncement of sentence is not the final word, the WRITTEN pronouncement is. Therefore the direct answer to your question is that, yes, a judge could change the sentence from what is pronounced to what is written. Having said that, I agree with my colleague that this is HIGHLY unusual and the defendant in this scenario would certainly have options, including a motion to correct the sentence and, if this was a negotiated plea, a motion to withdraw the plea. That assumes something I do not know from what you have written, which is that the plea was entered recently enough we are still in the same term of court as we were when the plea was entered.

An experienced attorney is a must here. You need the attorney who assisted the person in their plea, or another attorney to review the situation as soon as possible and provide them with the best options.

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You should speak with the defense attorney about this, as the above attorneys stated this is highly unusual.

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