It is very difficult to get a higher court in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to overrule a criminal sentence given by a trial court judge. The law of the Commonwealth in the realm of Appeals and appealing a criminal defendant’s sentence is that sentencing is generally a matter vested in the sound discretion of the trial court. expungements The Pennsylvania Superior Court has specifically found that the deference paid to the trial court does not necessitate a rubber stamped approval of the sentences imposed by the sentencing court, however, great discretion is given to the sentencing court. An accused or criminal defendant found guilty and sentenced by a sentencing court should strongly consider hiring an experienced Chester County Appeal Attorney.

Generally there are several factors that a trial court must consider when deciding whether a criminal defendant should be sent to prison as part of his or her sentence as opposed to being sentenced to a period of probation. The general principle that the sentence imposed should call for confinement or prison time if the crime is consistent with the protection of the public, the gravity of the offense as it relates to the impact on the life of the victim and on the community, and the rehabilitative needs of the defendant. A sentence is rendered invalid if a trial court relies on any factors in deciding on a prison term that they should not have relied upon. Appeals A trial court does abuse its discretion by imposing a sentence that is excessive even when that sentence was within the statutory limits.

Accordingly, whenever a court sentences a defendant to prison, the Judge should put on the record the reasons that he or she decided t impose a prison sentence. If a judge does not put such factors on the record, then the sentence could be overturned on appeal.