Criminal convictions can ruin your life and get in the way of life’s most important moments. A criminal conviction can put your life on hold, from buying a house to getting the job of your dreams. Don’t let this become your reality; Mosser Legal’s criminal appeals lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA can help.
Todd Mosser and his team of experienced criminal appeals attorneys have appealed hundreds of criminal convictions in Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding areas. If you have been convicted of a crime in Pittsburgh, PA, Mosser Legal may be able to help you.
Contact your trusted criminal appeals lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA today at 215-567-1220.
What is the Pittsburgh Criminal Appeals Process?
If you are convicted of a crime in Pittsburgh, you can appeal. This means you can ask a higher court to review the lower court or the jury’s decision to convict you in a criminal case or review whether the sentence imposed was appropriate.
To appeal a criminal conviction in Pittsburgh, you must file a Notice of Appeal with the Pennsylvania Superior Court within 30 days of being sentenced. In certain criminal law cases, we have found it necessary to first file a post-sentence motion with the trial court, which must be done within 10 days of sentencing. If the trial court denies post-sentence motions, we have 30 days to file a Notice of Appeal.
How Long Does a Criminal Appeal Take in Pittsburgh?
There are strict deadlines imposed by court administration to keep criminal defense appeals in Pittsburgh moving. However, the court’s caseload and any granted extensions to deadlines can delay an appeal, so the time it takes to receive a decision on your criminal appeal will vary.
Once we file your notice of appeal, the trial court will likely order us to file a document called the Statement of Errors Complained of on Appeal, as required by the Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 1925. The trial judge will then issue a Rule 1925 Opinion.
The Superior Court will then order us to file a brief explaining the legal reasons why we think the conviction or the sentence imposed was in error, usually within 40 days. We must also include a reproduced record of the trial. After we file our brief and reproduced record, the prosecution has 30 days to file its brief, arguing that the lower court was correct. We will then have the right to file a reply brief to the prosecution’s brief, if necessary.
Your case will then be submitted to a three-judge panel of the Superior Court, and at this point, a decision can be a few days or many months away. Oral arguments may be scheduled. Thereafter, the judges vote on a decision, and it need not be unanimous. If two judges agree, one will write an “Opinion of the Court.” The other judge in the majority may write a concurring opinion. The dissenting judge may write a dissenting opinion.
Learn About Your Rights in a Criminal Appeal Case in Pittsburgh
There are many reasons to appeal a criminal conviction in Pittsburgh. There may have been procedural or legal errors or an infringement upon your Constitutional rights. Common reasons to appeal a conviction include:
- Prosecutorial misconduct
- Juror misconduct
- Ineffective assistance of counsel
- Improperly admitted or insufficient evidence
- Incorrect jury instructions
- Lack of sufficient evidence to support a guilty verdict
How Many Criminal Appeals Can a Case Have in Pittsburgh?
If you lose your initial appeal, you can file a motion to have your case reviewed by a larger group of the Court’s judges. This is called an en banc appeal, and if your motion for an en banc appeal is granted, your case will follow the same briefing schedule as the initial appeal.
If your en banc appeal fails, you can petition The Pennsylvania Supreme Court to hear your case. If the Court accepts your case for review, each party files briefs and an oral argument is scheduled. After oral argument, the Court will issue a majority opinion and perhaps concurring and dissenting opinions.
If you’ve exhausted all of your appeals, you can petition for Post Conviction Relief (PCRA) within one year after your last appeal concluded.
Contact Todd Mosser, a Seasoned Pittsburgh Criminal Appeals Lawyer
In every step of the appeals process, you need the right attorney with experience and knowledge of the legal reasons your conviction should be reversed. We have helped many defendants in Pittsburgh with their appeals and PCRA petitions.
To get the justice you deserve, contact Mosser Legal today for a criminal appeals lawyer in Pittsburgh, PA.