A judge can modify a criminal sentence if a motion to modify the sentence is filed within 90 days of the sentencing. Your criminal defense attorney can ask that a judge hold a motion for modification of sentence sub curia for a longer period of time so that a defendant can advise the judge later of his progress in certain areas (for example drug treatment). The judge may schedule a court hearing for the purpose of taking evidence and hearing arguments regarding the motion.
What is Compassionate Release?
Compassionate release provides inmates a pathway for immediate early release based on compelling and extraordinary circumstances that couldn’t have been reasonably foreseen by the court when the sentence was determined. Inmates in Maryland could obtain compassionate release through two ways: Medical Parole and Geriatric Parole.
To be eligible for Medical Parole, an inmate must be diagnosed with a disease, syndrome, or another condition and has become so chronically debilitated or incapacitated that he/she cannot physically be a danger to the public. In addition, inmates who are “imminently terminal” or have a condition that would not improve through continued imprisonment (e.g. under irreversible coma). Although there are no exclusions for Medical Parole, inmates serving life sentences must obtain the Governor’s approval for release.
Regarding Geriatric Parole, an inmate who was sentenced under the state’s “Mandatory Sentences for Crimes of Violence,” is at least 60 years of age, and has served at least 15 years of his/her sentence may seek this type of parole. Inmates who are registered sex offenders or eligible for registration are not allowed to obtain this type of parole.
COVID-19 & Early Release
Ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, the outbreak has affected every part of life in the United States, including the prison systems. Since early April, there have been many confirmed cases of the coronavirus from inmates and correctional staff in Maryland.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Attorney General William’ Bar’s memo to the Bureau of Prisons instructed federal prisons to prioritize home confinement for vulnerable inmates (e.g. at least 65 years old or suffering from an underlying health condition). Prisoners who were convicted of non-violent offenses or nearly the end of their prison sentence may also be eligible to seek home confinement to prevent the spread of the disease.
At MacDonald Law Office, LLC, we are committed to helping the families of current federal inmates obtain compassionate release or home confinement to protect their loved ones from contracting COVID-19. We can guide you through the complexities of the legal process while protecting your loved one’s rights and freedom until we obtain the best possible outcome.
Maryland Criminal Sentence Defense
You can hire a different attorney to represent you for a motion for modification of sentence. A good defense attorney can draft a persuasive motion for modification and argue convincingly in court.
Andrew and Cynthia MacDonald regularly represent clients for the specific purpose of modifying sentences. Judges are usually reluctant to modify a sentence. However, we can advise you on the likelihood of success of such a motion and tell you the best way to achieve a reduction.
Talk to the criminal defense lawyers at MacDonald Law Office, LLC, in Salisbury and Ocean City, Maryland, at (410) 348-7809. You can also email us your questions using this form.
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