How to Appeal a Criminal Conviction in Pennsylvania

This video features Frank Walker, a Criminal Law attorney based in Pennsylvania.

Pittsburgh Defense Lawyer Frank Walker

Video Transcript:

Rob Rosenthal: 

How can someone appeal a criminal conviction? Let's ask Pennsylvania lawyer, Frank Walker, for this "Ask the Lawyers" Quick Question.

Frank Walker: 

You have 10 days to file a post sentence motion, and you can withdraw your plea or conviction for one of four reasons. One, the court didn't have jurisdiction. Let's say it didn't happen in the area or county where that judge is sitting. Two, you didn't enter your plea knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily. Let's say at the time, you were intoxicated or you were high on some other narcotic, that you didn't understand what was going on. Three, the attorney that you had was ineffective, meaning that they weren't licensed to practice or they didn't do criminal defense, or they just had no idea what was going on that they didn't review the discovery. Or, fourth, judge gives you an illegal sentence. Let's say the maximum penalty for a sentence is 10 years, and they give you 11 years probation. That's in excess of the maximum penalty, therefore, that sentence is illegal. So you have 10 days to file that motion in state court in Pennsylvania. In federal court, you have 14 days to file a notice of appeal. And you definitely need to contact the criminal defense attorney who does criminal defense appeals to advise you of your rights.

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