Saint Augustine, FL asked in Criminal Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Domestic Violence for Maryland

Q: How does a motion for reconsideration work?

In April I went to court with my ex for him assaulting me. He took a plea deal and is serving 18 months. I noticed that he filed for a motion for reconsideration. Some context- he was already on probation for felony assault when he was charged with assaulting me. Before trial, he was MIA from his parole officer for months before turning himself in, and failed to appear 3 times before court with me. He had a public defender, who was not present on the day of trial and someone else stand in.

How long does this kind of motion take to be ruled on? It was filed 5/01.

What does this motion ask for? I know an appeal and motion are diffeent but it was my understanding that because he took a plea, he could not challenge the decision after the fact.

What is the likelihood this motion is granted?

1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: He may be seeking to reduce his sentence, or where he is serving the sentence (like a prerelease work facility) but what exactly he is seeking to modify can only be known by reading the motion. It is impossible to guess when or whether a judge would reconsider the sentence imposed after already weighing all the relevant factors the first time. Most motions are ruled upon within 30 days after the opposing party to the motion (the prosecutor in this case) has had the opportunity to file a response to the motion, and under the rules, such a response is due 15 days after the motion is filed, plus 3 days more if the motion was mailed to the prosecutor. However, there is no outer time frame for when a judge needs to consider the motion and rule upon it (other than the 5 year limit for modifying a criminal sentence). The judge may but need not schedule a hearing to allow both sides to argue the motion. Generally, if a defendant is found guilty of a VOP and the judge imposes the backup time that was imposed but suspended on the original sentence, then the defendant will in all likelihood complete his sentence. An 18 month sentence will not result in the defendant serving all of that time. He will be awarded "good time" credits and potentially other credits (for substance abuse treatment program attendance and employment within the jail), which can shave 10 or more days off per month from the total time served.

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