An issue that arises in criminal cases from time to time is whether a court can modify a sentence or probation after the initial sentence is entered. The answer is "yes," subject to some limitations.
Incarceration Portion of the Sentence
There is a limited window of time in which a sentencing judge can correct, modify or reduce the length of the incarceration portion of a sentence. OCGA § 17-10-1 (f) states that such an action must be taken within one year of the date upon which the sentence is imposed or within 120 days after receipt by the court of the remittitur in the case of an appeal which is affirmed, whichever is later.
The motion must give notice to the prosecuting attorney and must give notice of a hearing date.
Probation Portion of the Sentence
The court imposing sentence can modify, terminate or revoke the probation portion of the sentence at any time during the pendency of the sentence. OCGA § 42-8-34 (g). This can include modifying the length of the probation or the conditions of probation.
Modification of the conditions of the probation can be especially important in cases involving sex offenses. The special conditions of probation on these cases can be especially onerous and are not necessarily adjusted to the specific facts of the individual's case.
Fine Portion of the Sentence
When a sentence includes a fine, the sentencing judge has authority to convert the fine to community service based upon the federal minimum wage or such other amount as the court deems appropriate. This can be for some or all of the unpaid fine.
We have been involved in the modification of a number of sentences over the years, including reductions of sentence length, corrections of sentence start dates, and modification of the terms and conditions of the sentence. Black Law Offices, LLC, is ready to help you too.