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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I am in Pa. I have been sentenced without a trial with a surrender

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I am in Pa. I have been sentenced without a trial with a surrender date of 30 November. The lawyer I had dropped me and I want to submit a motion to turn this case to the lawyer who is handling another case for me.
Hello, my name is Ely. I am here to help you. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not to tell you what you necessarily wish to hear. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

I am very sorry for your situation and I do hope this this matter concludes quickly for you.

What you are looking for is called a Motion for Substitution or a Notice of Appearance. Allow me to explain.

A Motion for Substitution is what your NEW attorney files with the Court if your OLD attorney has said "I am done here" but has not yet officially withdrawn. Once the NEW attorney files this motion and it is heard in a quick hearing, the NEW attorney becomes the attorney of record.

A Notice of Appearance is what your NEW attorney files with the Court if your OLD attorney has officially withdrawn by filing and having hears a Motion for Withdrawal. If so, then your NEW attorney simply files a Notice of Appearance and has the matter assigned to them, typically, without a hearing.

Now, notice I say "the attorney files..." - this is because your NEW attorney has to file one of these motions, not you. This is very standard and as soon as you retain them, they should be filing said motion the next day or so.

Also, since I was sentenced without a trial, can I issue a "stay"? to delay my surrender date until this "new" lawyer can research it?

You can ask the Court for a continuance before the sentencing via a Motion for Continuance, explaining that you are looking for a new attorney. Then, it is at the Judge'a discretion.


This is a CIVIL motion, but the verbiage and procedure would be much the same, as long as you change the styling of the case to reflect your criminal court and not the one that is on there.

The MOTION FOR SUBSTITUTION or NOTICE OF APPEARANCE is to be filed by your attorney when you retain them; you cannot file it ahead of time or, yourself, even once you retain them.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You have said that I can file a Motion for Continuance before sentencing. Since I've already been sentenced, can I still submit it before my surrender date?


I am sorry, I misread this.

Please disregard the continuance part. If you have a surrender date, then the COURT IS UNLIKELY TO EXTEND THAT DATE, I am afraid. I am sorry.