Motion to Modify a Sentence

orlando criminal trial attorney

When convicted of a crime, prosecutors and judges have specific sentencing guidelines to follow when determining punishment. Sometimes the punishment doesn’t fit the crime or the laws governing the sentencing procedure. In some cases, new evidence later becomes available that warrants a modification to a more appropriate level of consequences.

Under Rule 3.800(c), a judge cannot modify the sentence to less than the minimum demanded by law nor make the punishment harsher. Keep in mind that after filing the motion, the trial judge cannot change your sentence to one which does not meet sentencing guidelines. Any defendant who wants to modify their sentence must seek an experienced criminal defense attorney and file their motion right away to avoid missing this critical 60-day deadline.

When to File a Motion to Modify

One of the first steps in filing a motion to modify a sentence is to have an attorney determine if your situation warrants such an action. If your case qualifies for this procedure, your attorney will help you file, and the Florida court will follow federal guidelines to determine your situation.

To have a Florida court accept a modification request, certain conditions must occur:

Sentencing Error

Having an attorney review your case for errors in sentencing is critical. The errors could include issues like technical, mathematical or other mistakes involving the excessive nature of the punishment. Your criminal defense attorney must have experience with Florida law and the ability to properly review court documentation.

A judge will need to correct discovered errors, and this must take place within two weeks of sentencing with your correctly-filed motion for modification. Your attorney can also make sure that the court completes the corrections within the 14-day deadline required by law.

The Defendant Assists Another Criminal Case

It’s possible to get a modification to a sentence by working with law enforcement in a different criminal case. One should not attempt to negotiate a deal like this without the assistance of an experienced attorney. There are risks of adverse consequences when trying to work out a deal for a lesser punishment.

Other Mitigating Factors

Federal law allows for special circumstances under which state courts consider a modification of sentencing. These situations may work for your case but consult with a lawyer first. Typical conditions that a court would consider unique in nature and possibly permit a modification could include:

  • Being terminally ill
  • Being 70 years of age or older
  • Having completed 30 years of a life sentence
  • Changes in sentencing guidelines during your incarceration

For each circumstance above, specific individuals must file a motion to modify a sentence for you. This is one more reason why using an attorney to navigate this complex process is vital to success, especially if extended time is necessary for the court to rule on your filing.

Orlando Attorneys Who Can Help You Modify Your Sentence

Asking a court to modify your sentence may feel like a daunting task, but if you received a hefty sentence or feel it’s unlawful, contact a seasoned attorney right away. Taking quick action within the 60-day filing window is vital and allows time for the presentation of additional evidence to support your request.

Don’t fight for a reduction of your sentence alone. Schedule an appointment with The Umansky Law Firm as soon as possible to file and fight for your motion to modify your sentence. We dedicate ourselves to protecting the rights of our clients and always keep their best interests at heart when at the negotiating table. Our experience as former prosecutors and more than 100 years of combined experience are invaluable when navigating the complicated Florida motion process. Contact our office today at (407) 228-3838 and receive a free case evaluation to learn more about how we can protect your rights, future, and family.