Can a judge change a charge after sentencing?

Can a judge change a charge after sentencing?

As a general rule, once a final judgment has been entered in a criminal case—the judge has delivered a legally valid sentence—the judge loses the ability to change that sentence unless a specific law gives the court authority to modify it.

Can you appeal a magistrates sentence?

Yes. On the appeal notice you can specifically mention that you wish to appeal against both conviction and sentence. Remember that even if you do not choose to appeal against your sentence, should the court dismiss your appeal it has the power to change sentence (and this can include increasing it).

What does a magistrate take into account when sentencing?

When deciding on a sentence, the judge or magistrate will consider things like: your age. the seriousness of the crime. if you have a criminal record.

What is the maximum sentence a magistrate can issue?

In the Magistrates’ Court, the maximum sentence that can be imposed on an adult defendant for a single either-way offence is 6 months’ imprisonment and/or a fine. A defendant facing 2 or more either-way offences can be sentenced to a maximum of 12 months’ imprisonment and/or a fine. You can read more here about fines.

Do judges usually accept plea bargains?

As a general rule, judges will accept plea bargains so long as everyone is in agreement. The judge, however, does not participate in plea negotiations. You should know that there are times when judges reject potential plea deals, typically because they feel that the plea bargain is too lenient.

What is an unsafe conviction?

An unsafe conviction, put simply, is a conviction which is not safe. All appeals against conviction are considered applying the ‘safety’ test. The majority of the grounds of appeal received by the Court of Appeal following conviction represent perceived defects in the criminal process.

Can magistrates give life sentences?

In terms of the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Amendment Act (No 38 of 2007) a Regional Magistrates’ Court can sentence a person who has been found guilty of offences that include murder or rape to imprisonment for life. Ordinary Magistrates’ Courts can hear civil cases when the claims are for less than R100 000.

Can pleading guilty reduce your sentence?

If you have been charged by the police and have an upcoming court appearance, you will have the option to plead guilty or not guilty in court. In the justice system, pleading guilty is a mitigating factor which is considered by a judge during sentencing, meaning that there is a likelihood it will reduce your sentence.

Should I take a plea deal or go to trial?

Some plea bargains will offer little benefit to criminal defendants, especially those that the prosecutor believes will simply plead guilty. The prosecutor may decide to offer a better plea bargain closer to trial if he or she believes that the defendant will cost the prosecution the time and expense of a trial.

Can a judge reverse a sentence?

A judge may in fact modify your sentence if their was a clerical error. Yes. A court generally maintains power to correct an incorrect sentence. This means that if the sentence was brought about by a clerical error, the court can simply amend the abstract of judgment to reflect the correct sentence.

What are the grounds for appealing a conviction?

There are a number of circumstances we can look at to show that your conviction is unsafe – Poor representation at the trial; mistakes or misconduct of the trial judge; Jury Irregularities; bias; inconsistent verdicts; disclosure issues. The most common basis is fresh evidence.