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Post-sentence Motions pursuant to Pennsylvania Law

Once a person either pleads guilty or is convicted at trial, that person must be aware of his "post-sentence rights."  Once the judge imposes sentence, important timelines start running from that day of sentence.  For example, if the person wishes to fill a post-sentence motion to the trial judge he must do so within 10 days from the date of sentence.  If the person wishes to appeal, that appeal must be filed within 30 days from the date of sentence.

Post-sentence motion

A post-sentence motion, as stated, must be filed within 10 days from the date of sentence.  This motion must be filed in writing to the trial judge.  The motion must request one of the following reliefs: withdrawal of a guilty plea, modification of sentence, motion for a new trial, or a motion for judgment of acquital.  This motion must be in writing and state with "specificity" and "particularity" the reasons for filing the motion and why the motion should be heard.

Once that motion is submitted, the trial judge has 120 days from the date he received the motion to rule on the motion.  If, after the 120 days, the trial judge still has not ruled on the motion, the motion is denied as a matter of law.

The trial judge is also required to determine whether the parties should brief the issues listed in the motion and whether a hearing is required to be held on the motion.

Just because someone is convicted of a crime does not mean his rights are over nor does it mean there is nothing left to fight.  It is important to contact an experienced criminal attorney if you or your family has questions regarding the procedure after sentencing.

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