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chopper1979

Appeal or mistrial options?

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What should I do if I believe a defendant was unfairly sentenced? The Judge stated he was making an example of the defendant at his sentencing hearing, gave a first time offender with no record the max sentence when the prosecutor wasn't even asking for jail time and wouldn't allow any letters written o/b/o the defendant read in court nor any of the 20+ people present to speak.. He also made inflammatory statements about the defendant that indicated premeditation! 

The paid defense lawyer charging $750 an hour made no objections and no attempt to stop the proceedings at any point.

The defendant is now serving ten years when jail time wasn't even an option - or so he thought. I know appeals are always an option, but I want something to be done NOW - not when the ten year sentence is almost served out and the family having to pay thousands more in legal representation!

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Where do you fit into this situation.  Unless you are the defendant or his counsel, there is nothing you can do except hope to get the ear of the media.  The judge is not bound by the plea bargain and, as long as the sentence is within the law, can choose to ignore the bargain.  That is undoubtedly stated in the plea agreement document.

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Unfortunately, I guess, I'm just a friend of the family.. it just seems like this Judge had some personal issues that he allowed to affect his verdict. And the defense attorney making no objection or any statements at all really, seems like it could be basis for a claim against him as well. I don't know - it all seems unfair and odd to me, but then it is Ohio..

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Mistrials happen during a trial, not after and not at a sentencing.  You didn't say if the defendant pled or went to trial or what the charges were.  If he pled, he can't appeal the conviction but he can appeal the sentence.  It doesn't matter if the DA didn't ask for jail time.  The court is allowed to still impose time and it's okay as long as it's within the statutory limits.  

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Duplicate thread.  See https://boards.answers.findlaw.com/topic/237904-prosecutor-wasnt-asking-for-jail-time-but-judge-gave-max-sentence/#comment-597386

 

 

6 hours ago, chopper1979 said:

What should I do if I believe a defendant was unfairly sentenced?

 

Since you're "just a friend of the family," you have no standing to do anything.

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Hi @chopper1979

 

As other users have mentioned, because you are a friend of the family and not the criminal defendant, you do not have standing to take any legal action in this case.

 

If you want to help the defendant, it may be possible that the most you can do is assist the defendant in finding/paying for good legal representation to file an appeal. For a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney, click here.

 

Best of luck!

The FindLaw.com Team

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