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Criminal Appeals Archives

Warrant required? Cellphone owners may not be protected in these situations.

When ringing in the New Year, you may have resolved to limit time you devoted to surfing or texting on your cellphone. If you're like many Americans, however, the urge to grab the phone to respond to whatever message has been sent your way may override any well-meaning goals proposed in the early hours of January 1. The desire to use this device to document all aspects of daily life, maintain a database of contacts and stream shows may have elevated the status of your smartphone in your eyes. Some people may claim they can't live without their cellphone; you may find yourself entering that camp of cellphone adherents.

Defendant's sentences to be revised due to new ruling

People in Pennsylvania who find themselves arrested for serious felony crimes must always try to remember that the criminal justice process offers them opportunities for a fair defense. This includes appeals that can be made even after a trial is complete and a sentence has been handed down. For some defendants, this can offer the opportunity for a new sentence or even a new trial.

When can you appeal a criminal conviction in Pennsylvania?

If you have been convicted of a criminal offense, or pleaded guilty to criminal charges, in the state of Pennsylvania, you may feel that your case is over. However, that is not necessarily the case. There are situations in which you may be able to appeal your criminal conviction. If the appeal is granted, your conviction may be overturned and you may avoid facing criminal penalties for that offense.

Is eyewitness testimony always reliable evidence?

If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Pennsylvania, or elsewhere, then you know that your arrest may have been based on eyewitness testimony. Identifications and testimony given by eyewitnesses have long been considered one of the most reliable types of evidence. More and more, however, it has been shown that eyewitness recall might not be as accurate as it was once thought to be. In fact, Science magazine reports that eyewitness testimony was the basis for approximately 75 percent of wrongful convictions for murder and rape.

Exonerees face innumerable challenges upon release from prison

Sometimes, the criminal justice system fails people in Pennsylvania, and elsewhere, and they are convicted of crimes they did not commit. Through the criminal appeals process, however, some may see these convictions overturned. The National Registry of Exonerations reports that 1,707 people have been exonerated in the U.S. as of December 1, 2015. Despite having their names cleared, many exonerees face numerous challenges after they are released from prison.

What is prosecutorial misconduct?

The criminal justice system is meant to protect you and others in Pennsylvania, and throughout the U.S. Certain transgressions on the part of prosecutors, however, may lead to your wrongful conviction. We at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., are frequently asked on what grounds people may appeal a criminal conviction. In this post, we will discuss one such factor, prosecutorial misconduct.

Can you appeal a criminal conviction based on witness perjury?

Sometimes, witnesses in Pennsylvania may lie on the stand. Judges and juries often base their decisions in criminal trials heavily on the testimony of witnesses. As such, false statements made during your trial may wrongfully incriminate you and result in you being convicted of a crime you did not commit. Since you are entitled to a fair trial, you could choose to appeal your conviction based on the grounds of witness perjury.

Understanding Pennsylvania’s Post Conviction Relief Act

Due to issues with the criminal justice system, ineffective counsel and a number of other reasons, you may feel that you were not treated fairly during your trial. In certain circumstances, you may be able to seek post-conviction relief from the court. At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., we are often asked what you can do about an unfair trial. In this post then, we will discuss the state’s Post Conviction Relief Act, or PRCA.

Ineffective counsel may allow you to appeal a conviction

A criminal conviction can be disheartening and even frightening. Once you've received a guilty verdict, what happens next? Is a conviction always set in stone? There may be some instances in which you can appeal your conviction. The Philadelphia attorneys at Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C., have a full understanding of the criminal appeals process. We know about the circumstances that may allow you to question your trial or conviction.

Jury tampering may allow a defendant to appeal a case

After the judge and jury have made their deliberations and concluded a trial, does that mean the end of the case? Not necessarily, if there is a reasonable legal basis to appeal a case’s outcome. Laws in Pennsylvania as well as other states permit some who are dissatisfied with the outcome of a trial to appeal, under certain conditions. This includes defendants facing criminal charges. In fact, the right to appeal can be extremely beneficial to a defendant, since it’s quite possible the final outcome may be different.

Gregory R. Gifford
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