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Is there such a thing as sentence reduction ?

Atlanta, GA |

My friend was sentenced to 10 years as a first time offender for "intent to defraud a retailer", a charge that carries a 1 to 10 year sentence. He took that as a plea deal out of desperation after being one year in county jail and having 2 bad experiences with lawyers. He was sentenced in Douglas County. Does he have any way to get that sentence reduced ? Changed into probation ? Do judges reconsider their sentences ? What is the process ? I would appreciate any help. He is an older person who got tempted into crime and 3 years 3 months before parole consideration seems so excessive.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. You will certainly need a lawyer to try, but don't get your hopes up.

    Plea deals, guilty pleas are extremely difficult to take back. No mulligans.

    Especially when the defendant has a lawyer.

    This is general informational response is based only on the information given. It should not be relied upon without consulting a lawyer and getting a full consultation. This response to the question does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. The first contributor was correct. The chances are slim that you will be successful in reducing the sentence/modifying the sentence into straight probation. That said, there is a possibility for success. FYI, you can file a number of motions/documents for post conviction relief. The most common is what is called a "habeas petition". To properly file a habeas, I suggest you retain a local lawyer in your area to review the facts of the case, the recitation of facts in the plea, the Defendant's understanding of the possible consequences, etc. The lawyer can also consider the potential for filing post conviction motions as well.

    For more information, visit us online at:

    Best of luck,

    Comments provided by S.Carlton Rouse are not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. In addition, the answer provided was based upon the limited information provided online, as such, any opinion/suggestion/comment could likely change after consultation and/or further review of the facts/documentation. For adequate legal advise, you should contact a lawyer and have a detailed consultation.

  3. When was your friend sentenced? If the sentence was issued within a year, a lawyer can file a motion to modify sentence and have another opportunity to make a sentencing presentation. It definitely is not a guarantee, but it is possible to present factors at the time of sentencing which tend to mitigate the sentence. You never know what can happen, and it doesn't hurt to try. If you or your friend have the ability to hire a lawyer, please give me a call, and I would be happy to help however I can.

  4. Douglas County has two terms of court, beginning on January 1 and July 1 each year. A criminal defendant may attempt to withdraw a plea within the same term of court in which it was entered. However, it is within the Court's discretion. I prosecuted for some time in Douglas County. It seems unusual that your friend would receive a 10 year sentence for this offense, unless the amount involved was particularly high. Should you wish to discuss this matter further, I would encourage you to contact our firm and discuss this matter further with one of our attorneys.

    This response is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a consultation and is not legal advice. You should not act or fail to act in reliance upon the information provided in this response. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and our Firm. You should always consult with an attorney prior to taking any action with regard to a potential legal problem.

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