FREE CONSULTATIONS

Email or Call (215) 564-0644

    PA PCRA Petitions – Can a Criminal Lawyer Be Ineffective During Plea Bargaining?

    Question: My son was convicted of second degree murder.  We just found out that the prosecutor offered a plea bargain before trial, but my son’s lawyer never told him about it.  Shouldn’t he have told my son about the plea bargain? What are our options? Can we appeal his case?

    Answer: Yes, you may appeal your son’s case; however, it is best to talk to a Philadelphia criminal appeals lawyer about your options.  There are different types of appeals you can make, and we will discuss direct appeals and PCRA petitions below.

    Direct Appeals

    There are different grounds for a direct appeal, and one of them is a judge’s improper ruling during trial.  Even though your question is about the lawyer’s action regarding a plea bargain, there may be grounds for a direct appeal.  However, we would need to review the trial transcript to properly evaluate the issue.

    The deadline for a direct appeal is within 30 days of the date the sentencing order is entered, or 30 days from the date of conviction.  Therefore, if your son’s sentencing order was entered 3 months ago or if he was convicted 3 months ago, then we would not be able to file a direct appeal.

    PCRA Petitions

    From your question, it seems that your son may be able to file a PCRA petition.  The deadline to file a PCRA petition is within a year from the date of judgment becomes final.

    Like direct appeals, there are different grounds of appeal for PCRA petitions.  One of the most common grounds is ineffective assistance of counsel, which is the likely ground of appeal in your son’s case.  Ineffective assistance of counsel occurs when an attorney’s legal representation of their client falls below an objective standard of reasonableness.  One of the times when an attorney can be ineffective is during plea bargaining.  Defendants may enter into a plea bargain under the guidance of their lawyers.  When a prosecutor offers a deal, a criminal defense lawyer must explain the offer and provide legal counsel/advice to their client.  When the parties enter into a plea bargain, a criminal trial is avoided.

    Related: PA Criminal Appeals & PCRA – Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

    Direct appeals and PCRA petitions are not exclusive of each other.  If a defendant’s direct appeal is unsuccessful, they may still file a PCRA petition.

    Philadelphia PCRA and Appeals Lawyer

    David Nenner is a Top Rated Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer and has been a criminal lawyer since 1985.  He has handled countless criminal defense cases, including PCRA petitions. Mr. Nenner offers FREE consultations.  (215) 564-0644

    Disclaimer: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. Our lawyers provide legal advice only after accepting a case. It is imperative that any action taken is done on advice of counsel. Read full disclaimer below.

    David S. Nenner

    "Top Rated Criminal Defense Lawyer"
    (2015-2022)

    MURDER, Att. Murder CHARGES – Negotiated Significantly Lower prison sentence (Feb. 2022, PHILA)

    Mr. Anderson faced murder and attempted murder charges after an incident in Northeast Philadelphia involving the shooting death of Anderson’s sister’s boyfriend and the boyfriend’s roommate who was shot 5 times and survived. The decedent had previously beaten the...

    Att. MURDER CHARGES – NOT GUILTY JURY VERDICT (April 2022, PHILA)

    The Commonwealth alleged that Mr. Shelton shot and seriously injured a male in a bar in North Philadelphia called Circles. There was video of the shooting which happened outside the bar. However, Mr. Nenner presented witnesses who testified that the person in the bar...

    MURDER, Robbery CHARGES – NOT GUILTY JURY VERDICT (MAY 2021, PHILA)

    Mr. Nenner's client was charged with multiple crimes (murder, conspiracy, aggravated assault, robbery, etc.) after a shooting death occurred at a gambling house in North Philadelphia. At trial, Mr. Nenner successfully presented a self-defense argument and convinced...

    MURDER CHARGE – NOT GUILTY JURY VERDICT (MAY 2021, PHILA)

    Mr. Nenner’s client was charged with murder and gun charges in Philadelphia. The client was accused of shooting and killing another male on Arch Street near the 5600 block of Ithan Street in Philadelphia. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty after deliberating...

    Drug Possession Case – Motion to Suppress Granted

    Mr. Nenner presented evidence that to show that the traffic stop was a pretextual stop. The officer had no reason to pull the car over. The judge agreed and suppressed the evidence. As a result, the prosecution withdrew the charges.

    Drug Charges in Philadelphia PA State Court – Possession of a Controlled Substance

    In most criminal drug cases in Philadelphia, there are two common charges or offenses: Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver. In addition to these drug charges, there are other drug related charges, such...

    Drug Charges in Philadelphia PA State Court – What is “Possession”

    Page last reviewed and updated: October 20, 2019 One of the most common types of criminal state (PA) cases in Philadelphia is possession of drugs. Possession of a Controlled Substance (PCS) and Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (PWID) often...

    Pennsylvania Second Degree Murder (AKA: Felony Murder) Law

    Philadelphia criminal lawyer David S. Nenner discusses the current status of second degree murder law in Pennsylvania. This is also known as the felony murder rule. Get info about PA court decisions and the agency theory. Not every case of death during the commission of a felony will result in a second degree murder conviction in PA.

    Philadelphia Murder Cases – Police Investigation Tactics

    Questioning Police Officer Tactics in Philadelphia Murder Cases Within the last 10 years, there have been several murder Philadelphia criminal cases in which the accused individuals were acquitted of the crimes. In these cases, the individuals spent months, if not...

    Murder Charges in Pennsylvania – Murder Law in Pennsylvania

    An explanation of Pennsylvania murder laws including Section 2502. What is murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree and murder in the third degree. Get a summary of the definitions under Pennsylvania criminal law.