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Defendants still have specific rights even after a guilty verdict


Unfortunately, some people believe that the process of criminal justice ends once a defendant is found either innocent or guilty of criminal charges. However, this idea couldn't be further from the truth. Once a trial ends, and if a defendant has been found guilty, there are still certain rights that all convicted defendants are entitled to. So here is a brief look at two specific criminal defense rights that are available to someone who has been convicted of a crime.

One specific right for a convicted defendant is the right to appeal their conviction. If someone was found guilty by way of a guilty plea in a district court in Maryland, then that person can appeal to a circuit court in Maryland where it's possible to have their case heard again. But, if a defendant pleads guilty in a circuit court, then the defendant can only petition a court of special appeals to review their plea. However, if someone was found guilty by a judge or a jury in a circuit court, then the defendant has an automatic right to appeal their case to a court of special appeals.

Another right a convicted defendant has is the right to file a motion for reconsideration of sentence. If convicted in a criminal trial in Maryland, a defendant has 90 days from their sentencing date to ask the judge to re-evaluate the sentence that they received. Once the motion is received, the judge has five years to act on the motion. The judge can deny the motion, hold a hearing to consider the motion or agree with the motion and change the defendant's sentence.

A defendant who has been convicted of certain crimes can sometimes file a motion asking a three judge panel to review their sentence. However, any Maryland resident who has been convicted of a serious charge may want to speak with a criminal defense attorney in order to determine which post-trial rights should be explored in greater detail.

Source: princegeorgescountymd.gov, "Post-trial Rights of the Defendant," Accessed Feb. 7, 2016

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