Q: I had a summary trial court date. The judge was confusing. And somewhat of a jerk. After I explained to him it was accident, he was having none of it. He said you can either plead guilty or I’ll find you guilty. I said, “either way you are screwing me”. On the form I got from the clerk it says I pleaded guilty. I don’t know why I’d show up to court just to plead guilty. Did not even notice until I was home. Can I still appeal? Or should I? (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: You can file a summary appeal if you are found guilty or if you plead guilty. It doesn’t matter. You need to go to the Allegheny County Clerk of Courts, fill out the Summary Appeal form and pay the filing fee which is around $100. As you hopefully have learned, the case will go better if you have a lawyer. Your next hearing will be in front of a Court of Common Pleas judge and the you will be treated better, but you need to be prepared.