A criminal conviction may be daunting, but it isn't the end of the road for defendants. They, with the help of an experienced attorney, can overturn a conviction by filing for an appeal. But the circumstances in which a decision is appealed varies. Some appeals require strict stipulations to be successful, while others require a number of events to occur before they can be effectively filed. In this article, we'll address the types of appeals that are available for Delaware County defendants. For more information about an appeal in your particular case, contact us today.
Withdrawing a Plea
During an arraignment, a number of things will occur. The court will notify you of your charges, a bail amount will be set, and you'll be asked to enter a plea. The plea you decide to enter will be one of the most important decisions you'll make throughout this process. So it's important to have an attorney to help you make a sound decision. When a person pleads guilty, it essentially means that they give up the right to a jury trial, and all of the issues, arguments, and concerns that are argued by a judge and a jury when a defendant pleads “not guilty.” Ultimately, all that's left in these situations is to sentence the defendant.
It's important to note that since a series of questions are posed to a defendant before filing a plea, it's very difficult to appeal this decision later. Usually, the only ground for this type of appeal is that you would not have been found guilty of your charges if you decided to plead “not guilty.” This is a very high burden to prove, but it's possible with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
An interlocutory appeal is an appeal that is filed before the trial itself has ended. It requests that a higher court review an important aspect of a case that could possibly prevent a case from being properly decided.
Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA)
Pennsylvania's Post-Conviction Relief Act, known as PCRA, affords defendants who are serving a sentence the right to challenge their conviction based on certain circumstances. People who use this act for relief oftentimes make the argument that their attorney's representation is ineffective.
But dissatisfaction with your attorney isn't enough to be granted relief. Defendants who want to appeal under PCRA must prove the following three points:
- That the mistake an attorney made in your case is valid
- That the mistake an attorney made in your case was unreasonable and cannot be justified whatsoever
- That if the mistake made did not occur, there's a likelihood that the result of a criminal trial would have been different
Delaware County Criminal Appellate Attorney
For a more detailed account of the types of appeals in Delaware County, and the appeals process, you should contact skilled and experienced appellate attorney Joseph D. Lento. He can help you evaluate whether an appeal is an ideal option for you. He's helped many of his clients successfully overturn their convictions and win their new trials. Contact him today online or by phone at (215) 535-5353.