The criminal defense of a client does not end when a conviction occurs, or when sentence is imposed. There are post-conviction relief actions that can be taken to challenge the record on which the conviction is based, such as by filing an appeal; and, Motions to get the Court to reconsider the sentence imposed on the client. A Motion for Reconsideration of Sentence, is governed in NJ by Court Rule 3:21-10. There are several grounds on which this Motion may be based, including the 'Changing of a Sentence for Good Cause Upon the Joint Application of the Defendant and the Prosecuting Authority'. Other grounds will be addressed in other articles.
A 'Joint Application', is not the typical type of Motion where the defense is strictly adversarial to the State. In essence, to be successful, the defense has to build a basis to support the rationale for resentencing the defendant; and, convince the State to agree to the resentencing before the Motion is even filed. This admittedly sounds wrong to those who are unfamiliar with the law, but the way the Court Rule is written, it requires that the defense get the consent of the State to the resentencing. If this crucial element is left out, the State can easily defeat the Motion by simply stating that they do not consent.
As an experienced Newark NJ criminal defense lawyer, I have successfully gotten this type of Motion granted by the Court by helping the client build strong supporting grounds to establish the suitability of the client to the reduced sentence, and after the basis is established, by enlisting the prosecutor in the Motion. This is not easily accomplished and often requires a lengthy time period for the incarcerated client to build the supporting basis for the Motion. In the criminal defense of a client, once the sentencing is completed, each type of post conviction relief should be discussed with the client to ensure that the client understands what actions the client can take to challenge their conviction, and the sentence imposed.
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