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DAVID CLARK
Criminal Defense Attorney

Chester County Appeals Lawyer

A person can file an appeal immediately. As soon as they are found guilty, they could let their lawyer know they want to appeal. Their attorney could then inform the court that they intend to appeal. Generally, the lawyer has to draft the documents and review their notes so that they know exactly what they intend to challenge and then put that into writing for the court. An individual cannot wait more than 30 days after the judgment, before putting some sort of notice to the court that they intend to appeal.

For help with appealing your case, call a seasoned Chester County appeals lawyer today. Let an experienced defense attorney advocate for you.

Appealing at Different Stages of the Case

There many places that someone could appeal based on the judge’s rulings. At various stages, the defense attorney could appeal different issues. After their preliminary hearing, they could appeal the judgment of the preliminary hearing judge, the municipal court judge at that level, and argue there was not enough evidence for the preliminary hearing to be held for court and go to trial. That is commonly called a “quash” because it would be to quash the charges.

The defendant can also appeal if there is a bail motion that was denied and they think it should not have been denied. At the municipal court level, an individual could appeal almost immediately to a Common Pleas court judge. In the Common Pleas court, the defendant is usually going to have to wait to appeal until the end of the case.

How an Attorney Files an Appeal

A Chester County appeal attorney files an appeal with written motions. For misdemeanor court, they go to the second floor and file with the clerk right there. With felony court, they typically file an e-file on their computer, putting in the particulars of what they are appealing with some explanation of why there was a legal error. Sometimes it could be done in the courthouse immediately if the attorney already knows what they intend to do.

What to Consider When Appealing a Case

It is critical to preserve issues along the way of the case when thinking about appealing. If an error happens early, the defense attorney has to preserve that issue to the end of the trial. As it comes up again, they keep objecting. Maybe before the verdict is rendered or at the time of the verdict, they remind the judge that the issue was incorrectly decided and that they are going to appeal that issue, but there is a continuing objection to that ruling.

Sometimes the lawyer does a post-sentence motion, which is asking the judge to reconsider. They say they think that issue was decided wrongly and ask the judge to reconsider, and if not, they are filing an appeal to preserve it. Preserving issues is crucial so that later on no one can argue the defendant waived that issue.

What one stands to gain from an appeal is also important to think about. Some things would be harmless errors. For example, after much litigation, the Superior Court might say that it would not change any issue in the case, so it is a harmless error. With other more serious errors, the defendant will get a new trial or vacate the previous judgment against them. One needs a seasoned attorney’s advice to let them know what kind of error they are looking at and what their appeal would get them.

Why an Appeal Might Get Denied

Circumstances in which an appeal is automatically denied is if it is filed after the window in which it is supposed to be filed with no good reason and if the attorney does not go through the appellate process correctly. There are procedural reasons that an appeal could get denied and there may be legal reasons that an attorney could advise the defendant about if there is no appellate issue.

Updates in the law could render an appeal no longer valid quickly. It is up to the attorney to keep up with those changes, know what issues are still undecided or arguable, and know which ones have been newly-decided by the superior court. Call a Chester County appeals lawyer today to learn more.