Motion for Reconsideration of a Sentence

After the Judge imposes the sentence, a Motion for Reconsideration of the sentence can be filed to reduce the time you will need to actually serve. In New Jersey, a defendant can file a request with the Court to ‘re-think’ the factors that supported the sentence issued by the Judge. Most such applications must be filed within 60-days of the sentencing date, unless the basis being argued for the Court to change its mind fits into one of the recognized exceptions to this time limit. Petitions asserting a need for drug or alcohol rehabilitation, or the severe illness of the defendant, or to correct a sentence that was not authorized by the New Jersey Criminal Code, may be made at any time. A Motion for Reconsideration can also be made at any time when it is ‘for good cause’ supported by both the prosecution and the defense. motion for reconsideration, post conviction relief The reality (based on my experience) is that the Court will rarely grant this type of Motion while a period of parole ineligibility is still being served, unless the reasons for the change are well established. All efforts to support the defense application, with as much documentary and testimonial evidence as can be included, must be presented to the Court (or in the case of a joint application to the Prosecutor) at the time this application is filed to support a conclusion that the Petitioner’s rehabilitation has/is occurring. Any type of administrative sanctions incurred during incarceration will negatively impact the chance of success, so it is critical that the inmate have a clean incarceration record. In addition, (again based on my experience) it is very unlikely that without a significant reason, that a Court will agree to such a reduction until a substantial portion of the sentence has been served on a ‘joint application’.


Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102

#reconsideration #sentence #rehabilitation