If you've been convicted of a crime, the good news is that all criminal cases at the trial level in Montgomery County can be appealed. The circumstances in which they can be appealed, however, may vary. Some appeals require more stipulations than others to be successful, while some require a number of events to occur before they can effectively be filed. In this article, we'll address the types of appeals that are available for Montgomery County defendants. For more information about what appeal is applicable in your particular case, contact us today.
Withdrawing a Plea
At the beginning of the criminal prosecution process, defendants will attend court for their arraignment. During the course of an arraignment, a number of important things will occur. Defendants will be notified of their charges, the amount for bail will be set, and most importantly, a plea will be entered. Making a plea is one of the most important decisions that will be made in this process, so it's recommended that an attorney is there to help them make a sound decision.
When a person pleads guilty, it means that they give up their right to a jury trial. There won't be a trial to debate the issues, concerns, and arguments that will ultimately be decided by a judge and jury. Basically, all that's left with this plea is to sentence a defendant.
Since a number of questions are posed to a defendant before filing a plea, it's incredibly difficult to appeal this decision later. The only ground for this appeal is that you would not have been found guilty of your charges if you would have pleaded “not guilty.” This is a very hard ground to establish, but it's possible with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
An interlocutory appeal requests an appellate court to review an important aspect of a case that could potentially prevent a case from being properly decided. It's typically submitted before a trial has concluded. With an experienced criminal appellate attorney to defend you, the chances of you winning this appeal are increased.
Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA)
Pennsylvania's Post-Conviction Relief Act, referred to as PCRA for short, affords defendants who are serving a sentence the right to challenge their conviction based on a specific argument. There are several arguments defendants can choose from, but people using this act for relief usually argue that their attorney's representation was ineffective.
However, this belief isn't enough to get this type of appeal granted. To obtain relief under the PCRA, one must prove the following three points:
- The mistake an attorney made in your case is of arguable merit
- The mistake an attorney made in your case was unreasonable and cannot be justified whatsoever
- If the mistake made did not occur, there's a likelihood that the result of a criminal trial would have been different
Montgomery County Criminal Appellate Attorney
For a more detailed account of the types of appeals in Montgomery 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.