In the State Courts of Pennsylvania, the lowest level court is called Municipal Court or District Court. All decisions made at this level, unless expressly waived, can be appealed to the trial court.

Essentially, there are three levels of PA State courts: trial (Court of Common Pleas), first appellate (Superior Court of Pennsylvania), and second appellate (Supreme Court of Pennsylvania).

If you have been found guilty of a crime at the trial level, you are entitled to an appeal to a higher court. An appeal may be based on prosecutorial misconduct, judicial error, ineffective assistance of counsel, police misconduct during the investigation, perjury by a witness, tainted evidence, jury misconduct, judge’s error, introduction of evidence that should not have been admitted, sentencing errors and other grounds. There are however time limits restricting your ability to file post-trial motions and appeals.

In some circumstances, Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure 704B may allow an attorney to argue the issues for appeal before you are sentenced. This strategy is helpful in that it provides notice to the sentencing judge that an appellate judge will likely review and possibly reverse the decision.

There is also a Federal Court System. In the Federal System, the trial court is called the District Court, the first appellate court is called the Circuit Court and the second and highest appellate court is the United States Supreme Court.

You must exhaust all of your legal remedies at the lower level before you can appeal your case to a higher court.

If you are unhappy with the way your case was tried or with the sentence you received, or if you did not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently enter your plea, you may have grounds for an appeal.

Our office often handles appeals for defendants who have been wrongfully convicted. From misdemeanors to felonies punishable by life sentences, your selection of the right attorney may affect the rest of your life. Contact our office today for your free consultation.

The information contained herein is dedicated to providing public information regarding Family Law issues in Pennsylvania. None of the information on this site is intended to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of attorney client relationship. Please contact our law firm for information regarding your particular case. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.