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Safe Harbor Criminal Defense Blog

Motions to Reconsider

Posted by Kathryn Batey | Feb 26, 2024 | 0 Comments

What is a Motion to Reconsider? 

Maryland Rule 4-345 allows for anyone sentenced in a criminal case to file a motion asking that the Judge reconsider their sentence. The motion needs to be filed within ninety days of the sentencing date, but the Judge has five years to set the motion in for a hearing and take action. 

However, if someone was sentenced prior to July 1, 2004 - the five year "limit" does not apply and the judge can hear a motion to reconsider at any time, even decades later. 

What can a Judge do with a Motion to Reconsider? 

A judge can use a motion to reconsider to modify any aspect of the sentence - from the amount of active jail time a person was sentenced to, the amount of suspended time, the amount of probation, or the conditions of probation. A judge can also decide to give an individual a "Probation Before Judgement" - allowing many crimes to then be eligible for expungement. 

What does "Held in Abeyance" Mean? 

Many times, attorneys will file Motions to Reconsider and ask that the Judge hold the motion "in abeyance." This allows the Motion to Reconsider to act as a placeholder, and when an individual has served some of the jail time, or completed certain conditions of probation, provide an avenue for that person to come back before the judge and ask for a sentence modification. 

What if my trial attorney didn't file one within the 90 day timeline? 

Every case is different, and an experience attorney can look at the facts and circumstances of your individual case to figure out what options you may have. Even if your original attorney did not file a motion to reconsider, there are multiple avenues to getting your case back in front of a Judge to request the relief you are seeking. 

If you or a loved one are seeking expungement of an older case, a modification of a sentence for someone still incarcerated, or a modification of probation conditions, please contact us at HERE or [email protected] today to set up a free consultation to discuss your options. 

About the Author

Kathryn Batey

Kathryn Batey, the owner and firm practioner, has spent the entirety of her legal career defending clients against the justice system.  Kathryn graduated from American University's Washington College of law in 2012 and went to work immediately for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender, where...


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