The judge can set the appropriate sentence. What others got has no bearing.
An appeal for "too long a sentence" will have little chance of success if based on that argument.
The criminal lawyer that defended the case will have a better chance of saying the liklihood of success on any appeal. But....from what you posted ("didn't have any evidence to my knowledge") his appeal will need a lot more to go on.
Depending on how much time has passed, the Defendant's Attorney could make a motion to "reconsider the sentence". As for appealing the case, in GA the defendant has 30 days to file his appeal motions.
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This response is given for informational purposes only.
Judges do enjoy a pretty wide berth as far as sentencing goes. However, if your boyfriend took his case to trial, but lost, there may be errors which occurred during the trial which could afford him the opportunity to get the case back down to the trial court under more favorable circumstances. This would, as you have suggested in your question, require him to appeal the case and my previous colleague is correct, generally a defendant has 30 days either to submit a notice of appeal or submit a motion for new trial, which will toll the time in which he can file a notice of appeal. There are even options beyond these in certain circumstances, but whether they would be available to your boyfriend - or would even be necessary - in this situation is unclear from the information you have provided.
Given the details you have provided, the smart move would be for him to consult an attorney as soon as possible to get more details and then lay out any and all options available to him, but from what you have said, he is not out of moves yet, but always remember the clock is ticking, rapidly, so do not delay in moving forward.