When you need help from a Pennsylvania criminal appeals lawyer, it means you or a loved one has been convicted of a crime and sentenced. While this can be an emotional time, not all hope is lost.
Contacting an attorney who understands how appeals work can help reduce your stress. Stay strong during this time, and remember you have a limited window for post-sentence motions and direct appeals. If there is a delay, appellate rights may be lost.
At the Law Offices of A. Charles Peruto, Jr., you can feel confident you have an expert attorney, who knows the laws and process, to submit an appeal on your behalf. Learn more about the legal services offered and how this process works here. Contact our office today if you have more questions or need legal advice regarding an appeal.
Types of Appeals in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, there are several types of appeals that can be pursued within the criminal justice system. These include:
- Direct Appeals: These appeals are made to challenge a conviction or sentence, often on the grounds of legal errors made during the trial or sentencing phase. Direct appeals are typically filed with the Pennsylvania Superior Court.
- Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) Petitions: The PCRA allows individuals to file post-conviction petitions, alleging that their conviction or sentence resulted from a violation of their constitutional rights. These petitions are heard in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas.
- Habeas Corpus Petitions: A habeas corpus petition can be filed in both state and federal courts to challenge the legality of an individual’s detention. It may involve claims of wrongful imprisonment or violations of constitutional rights.
- Appeals to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court: In certain cases, a party may seek an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which has the discretion to accept cases of significant legal or constitutional importance.
- Federal Appeals: If a defendant believes that their constitutional rights were violated, they can appeal their conviction or sentence to the federal courts, typically starting with the U.S. District Court and potentially progressing to the U.S. Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court.
Each of these appeals serves different purposes and follows specific procedures. If you have a particular question about a type of appeal or need more detailed information, please feel free to contact our office.
The Importance of Timely Action
You must act quickly if you plan to file a criminal appeal. The window to contest a legal decision is not indefinite; it’s bound by stringent deadlines that courts enforce rigorously. In Pennsylvania, for instance, the typical timeframe to file a Notice of Appeal is a mere 30 days following the final judgment. Missing this crucial deadline can have dire consequences, potentially foreclosing any chance of challenging the verdict.
Swift action ensures that your rights to legal recourse are preserved. Moreover, timely initiating the appeals process allows for a thorough review and preparation of your case, maximizing the chances of a successful outcome.
Delays can also be detrimental to gathering essential evidence or testimonies that could bolster your appeal. Prompt action is not just recommended—it’s critical to safeguarding your rights and seeking justice in the appellate system.
Let Us Be Your Advocate
With criminal appeals, time is of the essence. Criminal appeals can be complex, and although you can file them without an attorney, you have a much greater chance of success with an expert attorney by your side. With over 44 years of experience, The Law Offices of A. Charles Peruto, Jr. can handle your appeal with the expertise and knowledge you need.
Do not wait to seek legal representation. Contact the Law Offices of A. Charles Peruto Jr. to schedule a free and confidential case review. Call us today at 215-735-1010