30 days. To appeal a criminal conviction in Pennsylvania, the notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days from the date you are sentenced. If you filed a post-sentence motion after you were sentenced, you have to appeal a criminal conviction to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania within 30 days from the date your post-sentence motion is denied. It is not 30 calendar days. It is 30 days - period. This deadline is strict. If you do not appeal your conviction on time within those 30 days, you risk having to file petitions which will only delay your ability to fight your conviction on appeal.
You must file a notice of appeal with the Clerk of Courts in the county where you were convicted to appeal a conviction in Pennsylvania. While you can file a notice of appeal without a lawyer, it is best to hire a lawyer to ensure that you file the paperwork properly to avoid having your appeal dismissed.
A notice of appeal is a formal document that is filed with the criminal clerk in the court where you were convicted. The notice of appeal contains:
A notice of appeal must be filed in writing with the Clerk of Courts for the Criminal Division in the court where you were convicted. You can access a copy of the Rule here. Some courthouses permit you to file the notice of appeal online. Other courthouses require the notice of appeal to be filed in hard copy.
The cost to file the notice of appeal with the Clerk of Courts in the county where you were convicted to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania is $130.25.
It depends. If you missed a deadline to appeal your criminal conviction, the court will look to whether you asked your lawyer to file the notice of appeal. Did you write your lawyer a letter? Did you call their office and leave a message? If you have proof that you asked your lawyer to file a notice of appeal and appeal your criminal conviction, then you may be able to appeal your conviction even if a long period of time has passed since the deadline to file. To do so, you would need to file a petition pursuant to the Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) requesting your appeal rights be reinstated or a PCRA petition arguing ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to file the notice of appeal.
Philadelphia criminal defense attorney Lauren A. Wimmer has been recognized as one of the top attorneys in Pennsylvania since opening Wimmer Criminal Defense Law. She started her career working for a homicide judge in the Court of Common Pleas where she was responsible for drafting opinions to support the judge's rulings and the jury's findings after the defendant files a notice of appeal of a criminal conviction to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. Ms. Wimmer has appealed convictions for charges including murder, aggravated assault, rape, drugs and weapons offenses. She has experience handling all types of direct appeals, that is, appeals filed to the Superior Court directly after someone is convicted. Ms. Wimmer has successfully litigated appeals resulting in new trials for her clients.
At Wimmer Criminal Defense Law, we understand how a criminal conviction affects the rest of your life. If you have been convicted after a jury trial, bench trial, or pleaded guilty and sentenced, the next step is to appeal your conviction. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer who knows the appeal process is important to ensure your rights and claims are protected and properly raised before the trial court and the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. To discuss filing to appeal a criminal conviction, request your consultation here or call 215-712-1212.