Appeals & Expungement

Appeals

Pennsylvania has enacted special rules for those seeking an appeal. In fact, strict rules are applied, and there is a very limited amount of time to act before the right to appeal is lost forever.

To ensure that your right to appeal is not lost on a technicality, it is important to have the guidance of an attorney who is very familiar with the appeal procedures.

Appeals of Criminal Convictions and/or Sentences

  • Post Sentence Motions – AMust be filed in writing, with the Trial Court, within 10 days of the imposition of Sentence, asking the Court reconsider its decisions.
  • Direct Appeals – Must be filed, in writing, with the Appellate Court, within 30 days of the entry of a final judgment of the Court, asking the Higher Court to overrule the Trial Court’s decisions.
  • Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) Appeals – Must be filed, in writing, with the Trial Court, within one year of the entry of a final judgment of the Court, asking the Trial Court to find that the Criminal Conviction and/or Sentence resulted from one of a number of enumerated violations.

If you are considering the filing of an appeal give us a call at (610) 584-4416 and we can provide you with a free case evaluation.

Expungement

In January of 2009, a new law was enacted in Pennsylvania that allow for certain types of criminal “convictions” to be “expunged,” or erased.

If an individual has not been arrested or convicted during the five years following conviction of a summary offense, the summary offense may be expunged from that person’s record. This law applies to all summary offenses, including some of the most common ones such as public drunkenness, harassment, disorderly conduct, and retail theft.

To qualify for expungement, a petition must be filed and the individual’s criminal history must be checked. If your career or livelihood could be adversely affected by a tarnished record, we can investigate the option of having your criminal history expunged.

Criminal “convictions” subject to Expungement:

  • Post Sentencing Motions – After sentencing, the convicted person has up to 10 days to request the court reconsider its decision.
  • Direct Appeals – In some circumstances a direct appeal can be filed (e.g., constitutional issues, improperly admitted evidence, etc.).
  • Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) Appeals – Under limited circumstances, a PCRA petition can be filed to get relief for certain conditions that happened during the trial.
  • Habeas Corpus Actions – Relief may be obtained for people possessing valid claims under the U.S. Constitution.

There is a limit of time that an appeal can be filed. If you fail to act before this time limit expires, the right to appeal can be lost forever. At Mullaney & Mullaney, we are knowledgeable about the requirements and limitations involved in a petition for appeal. Contact us at (610) 584-4416 and we can explain the process and evaluate whether or not you are eligible for an appeal or expungement during your free consultation. Let us help you keep your record clean.