Appeals

Understanding the appeals process.

After expending resources during the trial phase, you may not be happy with the result.  We can assist you in seeking the relief you sought at trial by filing an appeal.  A successful appeal will overturn the lower court’s ruling.

We will review the trial record to determine whether you have a claim that can be successfully asserted during the appellate process.  We will carefully review your case to properly advise you.

Time is of the essence to file an appeal. The New Jersey courts have very specific rules that address when and how an appeal can be filed.  Generally, you have 45 days from the imposition of a criminal sentence to file an appeal if the matter was adjudicated by the Superior Court or 20 days from the date of sentencing if the case was adjudicated by the municipal court.  There are ways to obtain extensions of these filing deadlines.

The purpose of an appeal is not to re-litigate a case.

During the appeals process, the party filing an appeal must convince the court that the lower court made a mistake based on the action or lack of action that it took.  One example is that the lower court admitted evidence that it should not have admitted into evidence.  Another issue that can be raised is that a motion during trial was incorrectly decided by the court.  Another example is that the lower court Judge improperly give instruction to a the jury.   The issues for an appeal will depend on the specific facts of your case, however below are several issues that can be argued on appeal:

  1. Denial of a motion to suppress evidence;
  2. Denial of a motion to suppress a statement made by defendant to a law enforcement officer;
  3. Denial of a pre-trial or post-trial motion;
  4. The trial court applied the incorrect law to the case;
  5. The trial court erroreousnly denied defendant the ability to admit certain evidence to the court;
  6. The trial court erroreously denied defendant’s motion to dismiss the prosecution;
  7. The prosecutor failed to disclose evidence to the defendant or the defendant’s attorney;
  8. The instructions to the jury were not proper;
  9. The prosecutor made inappropriate comments to the jury;

 

Appeals Process

A ruling by a New Jersey Municipal Court will likely be heard by a Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey.  If you are dissatisfied with this court’s decision, you can file an appeal with the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey.  If you are dissatisfied with this court’s decision, you can file an appeal with the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Will an appeal postpone imposition of sentencing?

Generally, the filing of an appeal will not postpone further proceedings or actions by the lower court.  The aggrieved party must petition the trial court to ‘stay’ proceedings.  The aggrieved party may petition a higher court to ‘stay’ proceedings if the lower court does not grant the petitioner’s petition.

Under certain limited circumstances, the court may expedite the hearing of an appeal that describes emergent circumstances.

Winning an appeal

Rely on our firm to carefully review your case and conduct research.  An appeal must be based on the decisions of the lower court that have been memorialized on the trial court’s record.  All stages of the trial should be reviewed.  This includes pre-trial procedures, jury instructions, opening statements, sentencing, and witness testimony.

 

Our Office is available 24 hours a day  / 7 days a week.  Contact our office for a free case review at (855) 380 – 0079 or via email at info@njcrimdefenselaw.com