Criminal Appeal Success

The criminal appeal success stories of criminal defense attorney Steve Trialonas are summarized below:

Criminal Appeal of a Sentence of 4-16 Years Vacated, Case Remanded for New Trial

With another attorney, a Centre County man pled guilty to four counts of 18 Pa.C.S.A. §3126 Indecent Assault, all Felony offenses. Prior to sentencing, the client attempted to withdraw his guilty plea and take the matter to trial. The trial judge denied the client’s motion and proceeded to sentence him to a prison term of 4-16 years and ordered that he register as a sexually violent predator for the rest of his life. Due to the nature of the offenses, the client probably would have served 75-85% of the maximum sentence before being paroled.

State College Criminal Lawyer Steven Trialonas immediately lodged an appeal with the Pennsylvania Superior Court, arguing that the trial judge erroneously denied the motion to withdraw the guilty plea as the client asserted his innocence. After extensive research into the issue, Centre County Attorney Trialonas filed his appeal brief setting forth the argument and case law supporting his position. The Commonwealth filed a brief in opposition, and both attorneys argued the case before the Superior Court in Harrisburg, PA. The main contention in the case was whether, as required by case law, the Commonwealth could establish the plea withdrawal prejudiced their ability to prosecute the case in any way.

After a contentious oral argument on criminal appeal, the Superior Court agreed that the Commonwealth had failed to establish prejudice, and the trial court had therefore erroneously denied the withdrawal of the plea. The sentence was vacated, the guilty plea withdrawn, and the matter was remanded back to the Court of Common Pleas for a trial.