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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 118253
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I have a young friend who is serving a sentence on a drug charge.

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I have a young friend who is serving a sentence on a drug charge. She was sentenced in Billings Montana and her judge was Richard Cebull. She would like to have her sentence reviewed but Mr. Cebull is no longer on the bench. She has been informed that a committee was formed to address concerns generated from his cases but does not know to whom to address her concerns. She is serving her sentence in Dublin, California and has served 3 yrs. 4 mos. with about 24 mos. left to serve. She has been unable to have her sentence reviewed because her lawyer is no longer a public defender and she has not been able to ascertain who would be defending her at this time. Any help that you can give me/her would be appreciated.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Was this a state criminal conviction or a federal criminal conviction?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It was a federal offense and she is in FBOP in dublin calif at camp parks.

Thank you for your response, I was afraid of that.

Under the federal law, all sentences are pursuant to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines based on pre-sentence review by the federal probation office. I am afraid that what this means is reviewing and overturning a sentence is extremely difficult and will only be granted if she can prove that the judge deviated from the sentencing guidelines and gave her an excessive sentence without articulating good cause.

I am afraid that if she cannot show her sentence was outside of the Federal Statutory Sentencing Guidelines, the court will deny any request for review.

If her sentence is outside of the sentencing guidelines, then the remedy is filing a Petition for Post Conviction Relief and in that petition, she would have to describe what the sentencing guidelines state for her charge and how her sentence was outside of those guidelines. The Federal Public Defender's Appeals Section in MT would be the agency to assist in representing her or she would have to represent herself if they cannot do so. The federal prisons have actually top notch legal libraries and also provide not just access to forms but have inmates in the libraries who are very well versed in these types of post conviction relief appeals, so she has some options to getting her motion for post conviction relief filed with the court in Billings, MT where she was sentenced.

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