Appeals to Pennsylvania Supreme Court

For criminal defendants who wish to appeal a trial decision in the Court of Common Pleas, their court will go to an intermediate court known as Superior Court. If it's not successful in this court, some people's reaction is to ask their legal representation to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the highest court in the Commonwealth and the oldest appellate court in the nation. Appealing to this court doesn't resemble the process of appealing to a Superior Court for a multitude of reasons. One of the most obvious reasons being that in the majority of cases, there is no automatic right of appeal to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is given the authority to choose which cases it can review at its own discretion, whereas the Superior Court hears and handles almost all of the cases it gets.

Consequently, the Supreme Court reviews and adjudicates very little cases. Approximately 2,000 requests for an appeal are filed in the Supreme Court each year. Out of these cases, only an estimate of 40-50 cases is chosen for review. Unfortunately, this amount, which is already relatively low, has been steadily decreasing over time.

Reasons for Supreme Court Review

The Supreme Court only grants review for what it considers to be important reasons. Based on the decisions that have been reviewed and adjudicated by the Supreme Court, it can be assumed that some of these reasons include:

  • An issue of substantial public importance
  • An issue concerning whether a statute is constitutional
  • A decision made by the Superior Court that is substantially and plainly wrong
  • An issue that has not already been previously decided by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
  • A disagreement among different panels Superior Court on the same issue
  • A decision made by the Superior Court that contrasts with a prior decision made by the United States or Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

In the event that a Supreme Court decides to review a case, the likelihood of it reversing the decision of a Superior Court increases. In a Supreme Court review, there is almost always an oral argument. This is when choosing an experienced and skilled lawyer comes in handy. The justices will be well prepared for the case, and will ask questions in rapid succession to expose any weaknesses, inconsistencies, and discrepancies in your position.'

Pennsylvania Criminal Appeals Attorney

In the case of every criminal appeal in Pennsylvania, an experienced and skilled attorney will be able to maximize your chances of success in the state's Supreme Court. Attorney Joseph D. Lento knows what it takes to get your case reviewed and to get your appeal permitted. Contact him today for assistance.

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has nearly a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania and New Jersey attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, Outside of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance is educational advice, and does not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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