Post Conviction Relief Attorney Harrisburg
Navigating the complexities of the legal system can be daunting, especially when faced with the aftermath of a conviction. It’s not uncommon to hear the regretful words, “I wish I had engaged your services earlier.” This sentiment often arises when individuals, initially represented by less experienced attorneys, encounter the harsh realities of inadequate legal defense. Such attorneys may lack the preparation for trial, neglect necessary motions, improperly handle evidence, or fail to effectively cross-examine witnesses. In some cases, they might even overlook the opportunity to call upon a witness desired by their client. These oversights can lead to wrongful convictions, leaving individuals wondering about their next steps.
Under both the United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution, the right to counsel is a fundamental guarantee, which inherently includes the right to competent legal representation. To uphold this standard, courts in Pennsylvania and at the federal level are empowered to review criminal case records to identify instances where the defense’s performance fell below acceptable standards. If it’s determined that such deficiencies could have influenced the case outcome, the possibility of a new trial may be granted.
Our law firm, based in Harrisburg, PA, specializes in the diligent pursuit of post-conviction relief for our clients across both state and federal jurisdictions. Federal courts address these appeals through Section 2245 and Section 2255 petitions, while in Pennsylvania, they are pursued under the Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA).
The discovery of a previous attorney’s error, whether during motion hearings, plea negotiations, or at trial, can be a critical turning point. Our seasoned defense team is adept at uncovering overlooked claims or errors that could pave the way for a new trial. Given the high stakes of significant incarceration periods, securing a legal team with extensive experience in these specialized proceedings is crucial.
Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA)
The PCRA offers a pathway for defendants to challenge their conviction or sentence if their initial appeal was denied by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. A PCRA claim must be filed within one year from the case closure date, except under specific conditions, such as new evidence coming to light or if the defendant is in custody, which may allow for exceptions to the one-year rule.
Eligibility for a PCRA appeal hinges on several factors, including constitutional violations, ineffective counsel, coerced guilty pleas, obstruction of appeal rights by officials, sentences exceeding legal maximums, newly available exculpatory evidence, lack of jurisdiction, or previously unchallenged errors.
Our firm receives countless communications from individuals disillusioned by their trial outcomes, the legal process, and their treatment within the system. We are committed to championing the cause of justice for every client, steadfast in our belief in the fundamental right to a fair trial. Our Harrisburg-based team of dedicated, experienced criminal defense attorneys is prepared to stand by your side, offering hope and legal expertise even when other avenues seem exhausted.
For those seeking to understand more about post-conviction relief, the appeals process, or to benefit from a case evaluation, we are here to assist. Reach out to us to learn more and to schedule a consultation with one of our seasoned Pennsylvania criminal defense attorneys. Contact us at 717-909-5858.