Criminal Sentence Appeals in Lansing
When a Lansing judge considers a sentence for a person who has been convicted of a crime, the sentence is supposed to be in line with the type of crime the person actually convicted. A DUI, for example, is not treated in the same manner as first degree murder, and a shoplifting conviction should not receive the same punishment as a robbery with a deadly weapon charge. Judges take into consideration the nature of the crime as well as the offender's criminal record when sentencing.
Though their intentions are usually good, judges do make mistakes, which is why we have the appeals process. The availability of criminal sentence appeals in Lansing helps those who feel that their sentences are far too harsh or severe given the nature of the crimes themselves and their previous record. After sentencing, all those convicted will have a short period of time during which they can file for an appeal, which is called a post-conviction motion.
The Lansing post-conviction attorneys at Grabel & Associates know how jarring it can be to receive such a harsh sentence, and we want to make sure that your rights are wholly protected. If you've been convicted, know that a criminal sentence appeal in Lansing is an option. Call Grabel & Associates to learn more.
Creating a Sentence
When sentencing a convicted person, judges do not assign whatever punishment they feel like giving that day. There are specific guidelines and documents that judges need to see before making an informed sentence.
Contrary to what you may believe, the prosecution does not get any real say in the sentencing process. When a judge makes a sentence, he or she will rely on pre-sentence report, which is drafted by the probation department of the Michigan Department of Corrections. The report details the previous criminal history of the defendant as well as any special or mitigating circumstances involved that the courts should know about in advance. Additionally, these reports might also have statements from the victim or members of the family affected by the crime. Some reports will also have evaluations done by psychiatrists or doctors. The judge must see this report before passing any type of sentence.
The only influence the prosecution can have is through its recommendations. A prosecutor may recommend a lighter sentence if a person enters into a plea bargain during the course of the trial. On the other hand, a prosecutor can also recommend a harsher sentence. Still, it is up to the judge to make the final call.
Michigan Court of Appeals
When you want to appeal your sentence in Lansing, you will need to know a few things first. Criminal sentence appeals require a strict schedule, and you must have all the necessary paperwork filed in order for things to move smoothly.
It's important to know that filing for a criminal sentence appeal in Lansing does not mean that your case is being retried or reviewed. The verdict of guilty still stands in most instances. This process is for those who feel that the sentences they received were far outside the scope of what they should have received.
You can file an appeal in Michigan if some of your rights to a fair trial have been violated in some capacity. A judge's failure to sentence you correctly is just one instance. If your previous lawyer did not handle your case properly or provide you with the best possible counsel, then you may file for what is called a Ginther hearing. This hearing will assess whether or not your lawyer acted in your best interests and presented all of the evidence in your favor effectively. The appellate courts will determine whether or not they believe your lawyer was effective.
Juries, as we know, are not always right or honest. In some instances, people on juries carry certain biases, which can be translated to their decision. In other cases, certain jurors have conflicts of interest regarding your case. Their experiences or personal beliefs may color their judgment, and they may not see your case and evidence for what they are. If this occurs, you can file an appeal for a new trial based on grounds of jury misconduct or conflict of interest.
Lansing Appellate Court
If you live in Owosso, Corunna, Durand, Howell, Brighton, Genoa Township or in any other city in Livingston or Shiawassee Counties, then you will need to contact the Clerk's Office in the Fourth District, located in Lansing. There are four Clerk Office districts total. Check out this map for more information.
The address for the Lansing Court of Appeals is here:
Hall of Justice
925 W. Ottawa St.
P.O. Box 30022
Lansing, MI 48909
District Clerk's number: (517)373-0786
District Commissioner's Office: (517)373-0786
To get to the courtroom and Clerk's Office, go to the second floor.
Contact Grabel & Associates
Even if you've been convicted of a crime, you still have the right to receive a fair sentence. As the old saying goes, "Let the punishment fit the crime," and the judge needs to honor that rule. Although all judges are given guidelines to help them create fair sentences, some judges do get overly zealous with their sentences, and they send down harsh punishments on minor crimes and first-time offenders.
Grabel & Associates has over 100 years of combined experience with the criminal justice system in Lansing, and we know how the law works. We're here to protect your rights and see that you receive a fair sentence that falls in line with the crime you were convicted of.
Contact Grabel & Associates and start working on a criminal sentence appeal in Lansing. Our toll-free number is 1-800-342-7896, and you can also contact us through our website. Don't let a judge hand you an unfair sentence. Call Grabel & Associates today.