PCRA | POST CONVICTION RELIEF ACT
In Pennsylvania, you can attack your conviction through the Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA). A PCRA appeal is different than a direct appeal. You can file a petition under the Post Conviction Relief Act for any grounds in 42 Pa.C.S. 9543(a)(2).
First, you may file a PCRA petition for violation of the Constitution of this Commonwealth or the Constitution or laws of the United States which, in the circumstances of the particular case, so undermined the truth-determining process that no reliable adjudication of guilt or innocence could have taken place.
Secondly, you may file a PCRA petition for ineffective assistance of counsel which, in the circumstances of the particular case, so undermined the truth-determining process that no reliable adjudication of guilt or innocence could have taken place.
Thirdly, your may file a PRCA petition if a plea of guilty was unlawfully induced where the circumstances make it likely that the inducement caused the petitioner to plead guilty and the petitioner is innocent. There are other instances for which PCRA claim may be raised as well.
Holt Law will use the PCRA to argue unconstitutionality, ineffective assistance of counsel, illegal sentence, withdrawal of guilty plea, government interference from filing an original notice of appeal, no jurisdiction, or newly discovered evidence.
The standard applied in a petition under the post conviction relief act is the issue has legal merit, the mistake was made, and the outcome would have been different had the mistake not been made. The PCRA petition is filed in the Court of Common Pleas of the county where the conviction occurred. The matter is then appealed to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
Contact us with your questions for a free consultation for the grounds of the PCRA, timeliness issues, the forum, the actual procedure, and the validity of your issues.
If you want to attack a conviction under the Post Conviction Relief Act, the Holt Law at (717) 562-1777.