My question involves criminal law for the state of: Virginia
My fiance was charged with malicious wounding/firearm and when he went to court he accepted a plea to drop to unlawful wounding and non process the firearm and argue sentencing. His high end of his guidelines was a year and a half. At sentencing the judge gave him 5 yrs. I feel that this was unfair considering it was his first charge, the judge never heard his side of the story and witnesses were not allowed to testify, and he has mental health conditions. What can we do to get him a reduced sentence and/or can we appeal his sentence? We would like to hire a new lawyer because his court appointed lawyer would not fight for him and was submissive to the commonwealth attorney. If we get a new lawyer would we have to retry the whole case? Is that possible? And if so, would the charges be raised back to malicious or remain unlawful?
Also, is there any possibility if we appealed the sentence that he could get a sentencing bond? His original bond was denied and his lawyer claims he cannot get any kind of bond because it was a violent charge? (lawyer would not even ask the judge)