Application for Review of Sentence in Maryland Court

In criminal matters in Maryland State Court there are two main phases to a case. First, there is the choice to either go to trial or decide to plead guilty. If you are found guilty by a jury, or if you plead guilty, then you will face sentencing by a Maryland judge. After you are sentenced there are various options available to someone who has been convicted.

We have dedicated a series of blog posts to discuss your options after sentencing in Maryland. Our first post covered Motions for Modification of Sentence. This blog post will address your right to file an Application for Sentence Review. Your other option is to file a direct appeal to either the Court of Special Appeals or the Maryland Court of Appeals.

If your attorney failed to help you with these options we may be able to file a post-conviction case against your trial counsel asking the courts to allow you to file your motion even if it is too late.

Now, onto the topic: What happens when you request that your sentence be reviewed?

Modify, review, it all sounds very similar doesn’t it? The two options are similar in that they are both tools used to get the courts to lower your sentence. However, they both work in very very different ways.

Application for Review of Sentence. When you apply to have your sentence reviewed it is done by a three-judge panel. There are some statutory limitations to this process and there are some draw backs.
Your sentence must be longer than 2 years. If your sentence is less than two years, you cannot file an Application for Review of your Sentence in Maryland.
There is a deadline. The deadline for filing for review is 30 days within the date you were sentenced. If you miss this deadline you are barred from requesting review.
The review panel can increase your sentence. A review panel can reduce your sentence, keep your sentence the same, or increase your sentence. This is different from a Motion to Modify Sentence. In a request for modification a judge can only decide to either keep your sentence the same or to reduce it. There is a risk of increased sentence when asking for review. This risk should always be discussed with your attorney.
As you can see, the application for review is more limited than a modification, and it is not without possible downside.

Our attorneys have attended many hours of training on sentencing advocacy. If you are looking for representation, mail either one of our attorney. Mirriam can be reached at mirriam.seddiq@seddiqlaw.com and Justin can be reached at justin.eisele@seddiqlaw.com