As Philadelphia criminal lawyers with years of experience defending clients against all manner of charges, we understand that some trials do not end in a favorable result and that most individuals convicted of a crime wish to exercise their right to appeal in an appellate court. If you or a loved one have suffered from an unexpected conviction or feel the sentence given is excessive, the experienced criminal defense lawyers at our firm understand a conviction does not complete the proceedings. We stand ready to represent you in appellate court and aide in your quest to have a sentence reduced or conviction overturned.
Appeals taking place in federal and Pennsylvania state courts are distinctively different than trials. When a case is being appealed, it is the duty of the appellate lawyer to clearly show that the trial court or defense counsel made a mistake substantial enough to warrant the granting of the requested relief petition, whether it is a resentencing, a new trial, or an overturned verdict leading to custodial discharge.
An appeal is filed by a litigate, referred to as an “appellant,” who must demonstrate that the defense counsel, administrative agency, or trial court made a mistake that affected the court’s decision in their case. The decision made by the court of appeals is based on the trial court or agency’s record of the case and the briefs of both the appellant lawyer and the prosecuting body. The appellate court does not hear additional witnesses or receive any other additional evidence. That being said, it may overturn a conviction or sentencing decision if its findings uncover mistakes that were “clearly erroneous.”
A panel consisting of three judges decides the outcome of an appeal. The appellant or his or her attorney presents a written brief to the panel of judges in an effort to persuade them that an error was made by the trial court and a reversal of the decision is in order. On the other hand, the party defending the original decision, known as the “appellee,” tries to provide evidence in support of the original decision in their brief to the court of appeals.
While some cases are decided primarily on the facts presented in the written briefs, many appeals cases are selected for an oral argument in court. In the court of appeals, an oral argument is a structured discussion based on legal principles between the panel of judges and the appellate lawyers. Each side is only given approximately 15 minutes to present their arguments to the panel of judges.
Since appeals procedures and rules are drastically different than standard court procedures, it is not surprising that clients seeking an appeal in Pennsylvania prefer to utilize the services of an experienced Pennsylvania appellate lawyer with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully file, brief, and present an engaging oral argument for an appeal. Our experienced criminal lawyers have successfully handled countless appellate matters in federal and Pennsylvania state courts.
Hire a Pennsylvania Federal Appeals Attorney
Whether you were prosecuted in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Scranton, State College, Allentown, Harrisburg, Reading, or any other Pennsylvania community, we can help. We regularly file appeals for individuals throughout the state of Pennsylvania, regardless of whether they were convicted in a rural county or a metropolitan area. Our team of experienced and highly skilled attorneys has defended the rights of people in Common Pleas Courts, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
We are regularly contacted by Pennsylvania residents who are not satisfied with their trial results, unhappy with how they were treated throughout the trial process, and unhappy with the system in general. We take great pride in understanding their concerns and properly guiding them through the appeals process. Whether your case is an excellent candidate for a direct appeal or you choose to file a petition under the Post-Conviction Relief Act, our diligent lawyers are here to help you every step of the way.
If you have been convicted and are unhappy with the results of your trial, you are only permitted by law to seek relief from appellate or state courts for a certain period of time. Therefore, it is imperative that you immediately contact a Pennsylvania appellate lawyer to discuss your case and the best courses of action to fight and win an appeal.
To learn more about the appeals process, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.