Georgia Sentence Modification: Process, Requirements, and Limitations

Brandon Bullard
July 20, 2022

If you have been sentenced to serve a jail term in Georgia, you may be wondering whether you are eligible to file for a sentence modification. Under Georgia laws, you can apply for a sentence modification under specific circumstances. It is essential to note that certain requirements and limitations apply, so reaching out to a Georgia sentence modification attorney may be crucial.

Sentence Modification Vs. Appeal

There is a clear difference between an appeal and a sentence modification. The sentence modification process begins when one requests the trial court that initially issued the sentencing order to reduce the length of the sentence.

When you appeal a sentence, you request a higher court to evaluate the lower court’s decision. The appellate court will review your case and determine whether the trial court followed the law. It is essential to note that the court of appeal will not retry your case, accept witness testimony, or evaluate new evidence.

How Can a Sentence be Modified?

While most people serving a jail term can request a sentence modification, there are specific circumstances in which the court will decide whether to grant a sentence modification. The trial court will grant a sentence modification if:

  • A clerical error affected the sentencing.
  • Your imposed sentence was illegal under Georgia laws.
  • A judicial error (for instance, if the jury failed to consider a fact or evidence presented during the trial).

During the modification hearing, the court may consider the victim’s input, your rehabilitation, and programs completed while in prison. Working with a Georgia sentence modification attorney allows you to prepare a solid case to enhance your chances of getting a sentence modification.

Sentences That Cannot Be Modified

You may not be eligible for a sentence modification if there were no judicial or clerical errors and the sentencing was made legally. Besides, people in the following categories may not be qualified to file for sentence modification:

  • Convicts of violent crimes like murder, voluntary manslaughter, reckless homicide, aggravated battery, specific sex offenses, and kidnapping.
  • Credit restricted felon convicts. This category may include people convicted of murder or specific child molestation offenses.

Sentence Modification Limitations

There are several limitations for offenders who qualify for sentence modifications. For instance, the offender only has one time to apply for the modification in 365 days. Besides, you can only file twice during the incarceration period. Overall, sentence modification in Georgia is a complicated and layered issue. Therefore it is essential to seek legal help to ensure your best interests are served.

Speak with a Georgia Sentence Modification Attorney

If you or your loved one has been sentenced for a crime in Georgia, consider consulting a Georgia sentence modification attorney from the Bullard Law firm. We will offer the legal advice you need to prepare for the sentence modification case. 

Contact us today to discuss your options and learn more about how we can vigorously fight for your rights.