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Information On Appealing A Dui Conviction In Pennsylvania

Is it Possible to Appeal a DUI in PA?

There is no doubt that being convicted of a DUI has life-altering consequences. When you are imminently facing jail time, fines and a loss of your driver’s license, you want to be sure that you exhaust every effort in protecting your rights and your freedom.

Being found guilty of a DUI is not necessarily the end of the road. In some cases, a DUI conviction may be overturned on appeal. The best way to know for sure if your case might be eligible for appeal is to speak with an experienced Pittsburgh DUI attorney as soon as possible.

This is your life. You have rights.

If you were convicted of drunk driving or DUI / DWI of a controlled substance in Pennsylvania you need a tough and experienced Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer to help explain your rights, your options and whether or an appeal is an option in your case. Beating DUI charges in PA is possible.

At SMA Law Group, we offer free case evaluations to anyone charged with a DUI in Allegheny County or Western Pennsylvania.

Call Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer Christopher Thomas today. He is here to answer your questions, listen to your situation, explain your rights and offer the best steps to defending your rights and getting your future back on track.

Information On Appealing A Dui Conviction In Pennsylvania
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Qualifications For Dui Appeal In Pennsylvania

Not every DUI conviction will be considered for appeal. In order to appeal your DUI conviction, your case must have an issue of law, not fact. In most cases, this will mean at least one of several issues occurred in your original trial:

  • Misrepresentation by your attorney;
  • Evidence was allowed that should have been excluded;
  • An incorrect application of law was used.

Generally, on appeal, there are two types of errors that are considered by the court:

  1. Procedural. This asks the question, “Was proper procedure followed in the defendant’s trial?” For example, an error in taking a guilty plea.
  2. Substantive. This asks the question, “Was the defendant’s rights violated in any way?” For example, the court allowed evidence in trial that should have been suppressed.

If your case involved either a procedural or substantive error of law, you may have grounds for appeal.

Speaking with a knowledgeable DUI attorney and having your full case reviewed is the best way to determine your next step.

HOW TO APPEAL A DUI IN PENNSYLVANIA

The first step in your DUI appeal will be to meet with your attorney and have a full review of your entire case. This will require you bringing everything – from pre-trial through trial – so all steps can be properly analyzed.

Next, you must file your notice of appeal with the Appellate Court. This step is extremely important. Most DUI appeals must be filed within 30 days of the trial court’s entry of judgment. This deadline is strictly construed. If you miss the appeal window by even one day, you lose your right to appeal forever.

Your attorney will submit a written brief outlining any and all instances of errors of law that occurred during your trial. The brief will also request what relief the defendant is seeking such as, dismissal of the case, a re-trial, or re-sentencing, based on the errors of law. The appeal cannot be based on issues of fact. The general facts of the case will remain the same and the Appeals Court will not review anything claimed to be an issue of fact.

The Appellate Court will review the record from the lower court, the written briefs from both sides and they may hear oral arguments regarding the issue(s) of law(s). An appeal is not a full re-trial. The Appellate Court will not hear all the facts again or re-hear witnesses or take any new entries of evidence. They will strictly review the prior case to make sure that the defendant’s rights were not infringed upon during his/her original case.

It is important to note that since The Birchfield Ruling in 2016, many DUI cases have become eligible for review. You can read more about The Birchfield Ruling and speak with a DUI attorney to determine if this applies to your case.

Pittsburgh DUI Attorneys That Can Make A Difference

Our aggressive and compassionate attorneys are here to guide you through a difficult time. Everyone has unique situations and we take the time to listen to your story and fully understand the situation so that we can do everything possible to defend your rights.

Call Pittsburgh DUI Lawyer Christopher Thomas for a free legal evaluation of your case. Attorney Thomas is here to answer your questions, listen to your situation, explain your rights and offer the best steps to defending your rights and getting your future on track.

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Call 412-765-3345 for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys are available by phone, email or in-person.

SMA Law Group attorneys believe in aggressively representing our clients while maintaining the personal compassion needed when counseling clients through difficult situations and navigating a complex legal system. Contact us today.

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