How Long Does It Generally Take For A Decision To Be Made?
We can usually get a decision on a 402 motion within 30 to 45 days, but it would depend on the court’s calendar and whether or not there is an objection by the prosecution. For the most part, it’s a scheduling decision to see when a motion can be reviewed by the court and the time frames therein.
What Factors Determine Whether Or Not A 402 Motion Is Going To Get A Favorable Outcome?
The amount of time that has passed since an individual completed probation is the main determinative factor of a favorable outcome. If, for example, six years have passed, they are going to see if there has been any criminal history during that timeframe. Another factor is the specific type of crime that was charged, because some offenses can’t receive a 402 reduction.
If there is a victim involved, they may receive a notice of the request for a 402 reduction and choose to file an objection with the court. By doing so, they can stop the process. This doesn’t happen too frequently, and most of the 402 motions that I file on behalf of my clients are granted. Occasionally we have to go to court because a prosecutor will object. However, those objections are often withdrawn once I speak with the prosecutor and explain the reasons why we filed the motion. Approximately 95% of the 402 motions that I’ve filed have been granted, even after an objection.
I once dealt with a client who had numerous violations on her record, and we were seeking the 402 reduction. The judge looked at her whole record and said, “How is this going to help you? Didn’t you file for an expungement in my court a couple of years ago?” We had filed for an expungement a couple of years prior, and then there was a new charge. Even after explaining our reasons for the request, the judge denied it. We then requested a hearing, and explained to the judge the real purpose of the request. He ended up granting it. So, we get a favorable outcome in most cases.
Is There Any Sort Of Filing Fee That Someone Pays For The 402 Motions?
There are no filing fees for the motion. It’s different than filing a petition for expungement, which is when we ask the court to erase a criminal conviction. The 402 reduction is a very cost effective means of reducing a felony charge, shortening the timeframe for an expungement, or having a misdemeanor changed to an infraction.
What Would Be A Good Time For Filing a 402 Reduction Motion?
I would recommend that a client consider having me file a 402 motion on their behalf immediately after their case has been closed. The main reason is that we don’t know if the law is going to change. Sometimes the law can change significantly, such that an offense no longer qualifies for a 402 reduction. The reasons that a judge has for granting (or not granting) a 402 reduction in any particular case can also change. In each case, the judge has to decide whether or not it is in the interest of justice to grant a reduction. So, my recommendation is to file immediately after the case is closed.
Does It Make Any Difference If I Hire An Attorney After My Case Is Finished?
Yes, it does make a difference to hire an attorney after a case is closed and probation is finished, especially if you want to seek a 402 reduction. I’ve seen a lot of unrepresented defendants in the courtroom asking the court to grant their 402 request, yet they haven’t filed the paperwork properly, and haven’t given proper notice to the prosecution or potential victims. As much as the judges want to help someone who is not represented by an attorney, they can’t grant their request if they haven’t followed the proper procedure. I’ve seen a lot of those defendants leave the court frustrated and mad at the system. What they don’t know is that they may have just missed one little step in the process. As a result, they’ve wasted time and are delayed in their request being made. So, it does make a difference. The attorneys are familiar with the procedure and the law. I can push these requests through in a minimum of 30 to 45 days.
Additional Information On 402 Sentence Reductions
Under most circumstances, the 402 reduction motion and court hearings can be done for a relatively low amount of attorney’s fees. I’m not going to list the range of fees, but it’s definitely worth it to have an attorney, and to ultimately have your charge reduced. To go from having a felony to having a misdemeanor, or to go from having a misdemeanor to having an infraction is definitely worth the attorney’s fees. You will have your rights restored, and the timeframe on expungement shortened. So, I highly encourage people to look into hiring an attorney.
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