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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    VA
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    6

    Question Getting a Sentence Reduced After Conviction of Unlawful Wounding

    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)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,846

    Default Re: Unlawful Wounding

    You're pretty much screwed as he plead guilty. What makes you think that he's entitled to have witnesses or tell any sort of story at the sentencing? He can try arguing ineffective counsel, but frankly it's not clear that the counsel was ineffective. You might be able to appeal the departure from the sentencing guidelines, but frankly, with a plead down from a class 3, it's not surprising the judge felt no particular need for leniency. His chances of a bond at this point are pretty nil. We don't let convicted violent offenders who are clearly going to serve jail time out because they want to appeal the length of their sentence.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    VA
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    6

    Default Re: Unlawful Wounding

    Basically the story that the "victim" told was false and one of the people that was there wanted to character witness for him because the "victim" tried to say my fiance was originally trying to hurt her, which is not true. & his lawyer told him since the first visit that she thought he was guilty of unlawful wounding. She also admitted staying up all night talking to the commonwealth attorney. Something was just not right about his case, it was too one sided and his lawyer would say one thing was gonna happen and the exact opposite would. His lawyer said he would get 8 months the day before sentencing and before court she said she was going to push for self defense, in court she didn't tell any part of his side or even defend him properly. She just pushed him to take the plea that he told her he didn't understand and needed to think.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2005
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    Default

    How did the victim suffer her injuries, then? Because both the charges and sentence are plainly a response to her having been injured by your gun-wielding fiancé. And why was he there, brandishing a gun, if he is innocent of any crime? (And why did he swear, under oath, that he caused the victim's injuries?)
    Quote Quoting Virginia Code § 18.2-51.2. Aggravated malicious wounding; penalty.
    A. If any person maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts or wounds any other person, or by any means causes bodily injury, with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony if the victim is thereby severely injured and is caused to suffer permanent and significant physical impairment.

    B. If any person maliciously shoots, stabs, cuts or wounds any other woman who is pregnant, or by any other means causes bodily injury, with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable or kill the pregnant woman or to cause the involuntary termination of her pregnancy, he shall be guilty of a Class 2 felony if the victim is thereby severely injured and is caused to suffer permanent and significant physical impairment.

    C. For purposes of this section, the involuntary termination of a woman's pregnancy shall be deemed a severe injury and a permanent and significant physical impairment.
    Self-defense isn't a claim of "I didn't hurt (shoot?) the person" - it's a claim if, "I did shoot the person, but only because I was in fear of being injured by the person if I didn't harm her." So if his claim is now "I didn't cause her any harm - she hurt (shot?) herself (with my gun?)", it's not factually consistent for him to simultaneously claim self-defense.

    Was this the conviction charge?
    Quote Quoting Virginia Code § 18.2-51. Shooting, stabbing, etc., with intent to maim, kill, etc.
    If any person maliciously shoot, stab, cut, or wound any person or by any means cause him bodily injury, with the intent to maim, disfigure, disable, or kill, he shall, except where it is otherwise provided, be guilty of a Class 3 felony. If such act be done unlawfully but not maliciously, with the intent aforesaid, the offender shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.
    Because "Class 3 felonies [carry] a a term of imprisonment of not less than five years nor more than 20 years and, subject to subdivision (g), a fine of not more than $100,000."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: Unlawful Wounding

    It matters not what the "victim" said. The victim didn't testify.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    VA
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    Default Re: Unlawful Wounding

    The victim did testify, he is the only one that did. No other witnesses were allowed to. & the victim threatened me and my fiances life and he had a gun too.
    Basically my fiance, another couple, the "victim" and I were at a party when a fight broke out and the "victim" threatened my fiance's and I lives by pulling out a gun and saying he was going to kill us. So my fiance did what he felt was needed to protect our lives.
    The story that the "victim" told was that the female in the other couple had a camera at the party so my fiance tried to shoot her and he pushed her out of the way therefore getting his injuries.
    The female of the other couple was at court willing to testify that this was not the facts of the story and at sentencing was even there to be a character witness for my fiance but they would not let her do either. They would also not let me get on the stand or the other male that was there. The only story they allowed to be told was that of the "victims".

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