Many people are under the impression that once a verdict is given, that is the end of the road for a defendant, especially if it is an unfavorable case outcome. However, this isn't true. A defendant still has several options after a judge or jury makes a determination. One of these options is a motion for reconsideration. For the purposes of this article, we will address (1) what exactly is a motion for reconsideration, and (2) the general grounds for a motion for reconsideration in Pennsylvania.
What is a motion for reconsideration?
With the help of a knowledgeable attorney, a defendant may file a motion for reconsideration if he or she disagrees with a decision a judge has made in a case. The filing of this motion essentially asks the judge in your case to reconsider the decision in light of other circumstances, facts, and laws in relation to this determination that were not considered in the original hearing. In Pennsylvania, defendants are given a timeframe of 10 days to file a motion for reconsideration in the clerk's office of the same court where the case was originally heard. Once a motion is filed, it is sent to all parties involved in a case. If another party has an opposing response to the motion, opposition beliefs must be filed within 20 days after a motion is filed.
Motion for reconsideration grounds
Within a defendant's motion for reconsideration, he or she must include a number of details for it to be considered valid. It would need to contain a defendant's identity, what the defendant is asking for a judge to consider and what specific reasoning, or grounds, have justified your right to ask a judge to reconsider the decision. Typically, defendants establish at least one of the following grounds if applicable in their case:
- The final decision was based on an incorrect interpretation or application of the law;
- There has been an intervening change in the applied law; or
- A manifest injustice (that is obvious or apparent) will occur if this motion for reconsideration is granted
An attorney will be able to help you determine which grounds will be applicable in your case and present these grounds in a way that will be effective. Having an attorney on your side will maximize the likelihood of this motion be granted, as these motions are commonly denied if not based on solid and substantiated grounds.
Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have received a determination that you don't agree with, you should consult with an attorney to help you file a motion for reconsideration. Many people who may have grounds to potentially change a decision don't take advantage of their right to do so. Don't let an unfair or incorrect basis of a judge's decision continue to inconvenience your life. Contact knowledgeable attorney Joseph D. Lento today for help.