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Criminal Appeals in Harrisburg

Providing Strong Representation Since 1951

After a criminal or traffic conviction, there is still the appellate process that may be utilized to rectify your situation. There are different types of appeals for different types of cases. For instance, a direct appeal may be done in cases where one is convicted of a state or federal offense. A direct appeal involves appealing your conviction to the next highest court, often called an appellate court. In Pennsylvania, that may be the Superior Court or the Supreme Court. A collateral appeal involves the raising of a Post-Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) petition in the trial court and raising any issues on further appeal to the next highest court.

Summary non-traffic or traffic convictions from a magisterial district court may likewise be appealed by what's known as a "summary appeal" to the court of common pleas. There, your case will be heard de novo. Meaning, it's heard as though there was no prior outcome and all the evidence is heard once again from the beginning.

Elisabeth K.H. Pasqualini, Esq. has successfully argued in front of state and federal appellate courts, while Jeffrey B. Engle has made arguments at the Pennsylvania Supreme Court level. You can trust our criminal appeals lawyers in Harrisburg to provide you with the strong representation you deserve.

Appealing Trial Court Decisions

Whether you are taking a direct, collateral, or summary appeal, there may be many grounds for seeking review of a conviction on appeal. However, one issue remains constant in all types of appeals. You are looking for a different outcome than what transpired in the previous court.

It's also important to realize that there are time frames for all appeals. In most situations, you will have a maximum of 30 days to file an appeal to the next court. Even if you don't file your appeal on time, there are possibilities that may be available, such as an appeal nunc pro tunc (now for then). Once you've been convicted, you should not delay in seeking an appellate attorney.

When it Comes to Appeals, Experience Matters

At Shaffer & Engle, we have dealt with a multitude of appeals to the various courts of common pleas (trial court), the Superior Court, the Supreme Court, and the Commonwealth Court. Attorney Engle has handled over 100 appeals. He has argued before every appellate court in Pennsylvania at least twice.

Most recently, Mr. Engle argued the constitutionality of Megan's Law III before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. It is rare to have a case heard before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court because the Court will only grant the right to appeal based upon the merits of the claims raised.

Contact One of Our Dauphin County Criminal Appeals Lawyers

If you believe a trial court erred, contact the experienced criminal defense law firm of Shaffer & Engle. We provide free initial consultations and our knowledgeable criminal appeals attorneys in Harrisburg can help you with all your criminal defense needs. Contact us online today or call (717) 268-4287.


Recent Cases Argued on Appeal with Successful Outcomes

Com v. Neiman

Attorney Engle successfully challenged the constitutionality of Megan’s Law III, pursuant to PA CONST. Art. III, Section 3. The Supreme Court found that the law was void ab initio. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, in a 6-1 decision for Attorney Engle determined that Megan’s Law III did not exist from 2005 through 2012.

Varner v. Swatara Twp Board of Commissioners

Attorney Engle successfully sued Swatara Township when it passed an ordinance to change from a single ward (“at large”) system of governance to a “by ward” (9 ward system). The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, in a 7-0 decision for Attorney Engle determined that the Township violated the First Class Township Code when it adopted such an ordinance.

Foundation for Elder Care

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania held that Attorney Engle was correct that the Foundation for Elder Care was not a tax-exempt entity under the Hospital Utilization Test. Therefore, the five (5) homes owned by the entity in Steelton, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania had to pay their fair share of taxes to the County, School, and Municipality.

Com v. Berger

The Superior Court determined that Attorney Engle was correct when it ordered to remand a matter where a defendant was seeking discovery from the Children’s Resource Center, when, as advanced by Mr. Engle, it was acting as a state agent. On remand, the trial court was to review the documents requested by Mr. Engle’s client in discovery and, if they were discoverable, to have them turned over to the defense.

Com v. Price

The Superior Court held that Mr. Engle’s clients, two twins, were less than the statutorily required 4 years older than their alleged victim. The twins, both were 1,460 days and approximately 10 hours older than the alleged victim. A full 4 years requires 1,461 days (counting an extra day for a leap year). Because the twins were not a full day older than the victim, they could not be held criminally liable and the judgement of sentence for both was vacated.

What Our
Clients Have to Say

  • We felt she was the strongest legal advocate we could have and feel very fortunate that she represented us.

    “We found Elizabeth Pasqualini to be fully engaged in all aspects of our case. She was proactive, caring and accessible. We felt she was the strongest legal advocate we could have and feel very fortunate that she represented us. We highly recommend her.”

    J.C.

  • Thank you for going above and beyond for the client I referred to you, but more importantly, thank you for the fantastic result.

    “Thank you for going above and beyond for the client I referred to you, but more importantly, thank you for the fantastic result. She was my most important client, and you really came through.”

    Attorney John D.

  • He treated me with respect and always made me feel like my case was his only priority.

    “Because I live out of state, I needed representation that I could trust to best represent me and my interests. Jeff Engle provided regular, thorough counsel throughout the legal process. He treated me with respect and always made me feel like my case was his only priority.”

    KH

  • Her work was impeccable and impressive.

    “Elisabeth was more than a great lawyer. She was thorough and always made us feel important. Her work was impeccable and impressive. She went above and beyond what we expected. Our situation was stressful but she made us feel confident and we could tell she cares. I'm so happy she was on our team - she is the tough lawyer you want fighting for you!”

    Anonymous

  • Ms. Collins took our case, she made us feel like we were her only client.

    “From the first day Ms. Collins took our case, she made us feel like we were her only client. She keeps us in the loop at all times, has put such heart and dedication into the case, and really wants the best outcome. She is positive and makes an effort to keep our spirits up with humor and a different perspective. I know for a fact she puts a lot of her personal time into her work because she wants to do the best job possible, including weekends and holidays.”

    Janay