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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.

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

  • Not only did Jeff know what he was doing, but he did everything that he said he would in a timely fashion.

    “Jeff is is fourth attorney that I have worked with regarding custody of my son. My previous attorneys were neither knowledgeable of the law as it applied to my case nor followed through on the actions they said they would take. Not only did Jeff know what he was doing, but he did everything that he said he would in a timely fashion. Given that my case involved an international relocation, allocation of sole custody for residency purposes...”

    Anonymous

  • He took the time to explain the process, understand the facts of my case and provide suggestions like retaining a private investigator.

    “I came to Shaffer & Engle Law Offices searching for hope after I entered a plea in my criminal case. I had a false allegation filed against me for a sexual offense that I did not commit. I was involved with another lawyer for 2 ½ years, when it came down to day before court we felt he was not prepared to represent me. I either took the plea of "Nolo Contendere" or went to jail the day of the trial. I felt trapped. I had this allegation against me and I was innocent. I met with the Attorney Engle. He took the time to explain the process, understand the facts of my case and provide suggestions like retaining a private investigator. He offered to represent me and quickly moved to withdraw my guilty plea. That was granted by the court and we proceeded to prepare for trial. They uncovered many things that our other lawyer did not bother to investigate. They met with character witnesses after hours to make sure my defense would be solid. Long story short, the DA in my case withdrew the charges. I went from a convicted man to completely being vindicated. Shaffer and Engle Law Offices also were able to assist me in another matter relating to the criminal case, but in civil court. The same results, all charges were dismissed. I appreciate the work they did, their prompt service, care and attention they showed to me and my family. I found their services to be affordable when compared to what they did for me. I would highly recommend them for anyone charged with a crime that they did not do.”

    JH

  • I wanted to thank you for the Support & Defense you provided me with on my last minute court case, you didn't have to defend me and told me to take a hike, buy you have a heart and that means a lot to some people.

    “I wanted to thank you for the Support & Defense you provided me with on my last minute court case, you didn't have to defend me and told me to take a hike, buy you have a heart and that means a lot to some people.”

    Tony

  • I will without hesitation, recommend you and your firm to my friends, family and colleagues in PA.

    “Thank you for taking my case and winning it! As you can see, I received my New York license today. Without your counsel and direction, this would have been an ongoing nightmare. I will without hesitation, recommend you and your firm to my friends, family and colleagues in PA.”

    Dan

  • Mr. Engle was able to explain the laws in PA and got the job done in days.

    “I am an attorney in the state of Washington. I have a family law client who was in desperate need of legal assistance in PA. The case against him was affecting his ability to work. Mr. Engle contacted me as soon as my email was received and helped my client. Mr. Engle was able to explain the laws in PA and got the job done in days. I have never encountered another attorney as eager to help and get the job done. I would highly recommend Mr. Engle to anyone.”

    Pamela