New Jersey Criminal Appeals
“If you want to appeal a criminal conviction, court decision, or sentence in New Jersey, there are time limits to file an appeal and specific rules and procedures that apply to Appellate law. This page provides important information about criminal appeals in NJ.”
If you are unsatisfied with a decision in a criminal Municipal Court or Superior Court case in New Jersey, it is crucial to understand your right to appeal and how the criminal appeal process works. The experienced criminal appeal attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm are well-versed in state law regarding the appellate process and we can help ensure you are in the best position to achieve your desired outcome. If our clients are seeking to appeal a conviction from a Municipal Court Judge or Superior Court Decision, our attorneys immediately file all the necessary appeal papers, certifications, and briefs. Occasionally, the County Prosecutors office may even negotiate a plea bargain to a lesser offense with our skilled team if permitted under New Jersey law. When you are facing prison time, driver’s license suspension, thousands in fines, DMV surcharges, possible car insurance increases, and other consequences of a criminal conviction in New Jersey, the Tormey Law Firm will provide the necessary legal representation you need to appeal the court’s decision. For additional information about the criminal appeal process in New Jersey and a free consultation about your case, contact us anytime at (201)-556-1570 or send us a message to arrange a free consultation.
Appealing a Criminal Conviction, Decision, Sentence in NJ Municipal Court and Superior Court
New Jersey’s court system has several different tiers. In ascending order of superiority, the courts in New Jersey are the following: Municipal Court, Superior Court, Appellate Division Courts, and the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
The Municipal Courts are the lowest tier and these courts have the least amount of authority. If you are charged with a disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense, municipal ordinance violation, DWI, or other traffic offense, your case will be sent to the local Municipal Court where your charges arose. There are no formal trials in Municipal Court, and the judge without a jury will adjudicate the case. In Municipal Court, a judge can impose a variety of sentences if a defendant is convicted, including imprisonment for up to 6 months, fines, driver’s license suspension, community service, probation, and/or restitution to the victim(s).
Superior Courts are the tier above Municipal Courts. There are three distinct components of the New Jersey Superior Courts: criminal, family, and civil courts. The Superior Court hears cases that involve indictable criminal offenses (first degree, second degree, third degree, and fourth degree crimes), as well as juvenile cases, divorces, restraining orders, and other family matters, civil suits, and appeals from municipal court judgments. Unlike the Municipal Courts, criminal defendants have a right to a Jury trial in the Superior Court.
The Appellate Division, the next tier, hears appeals of decisions made in the Superior Courts. This includes criminal convictions, family court decisions, and civil judgements. Lastly, The New Jersey Supreme Court hears appeals of Appellate Division decisions. You can read more about the Superior Court, Appellate Division and the appeals process for NJ criminal cases by visiting their site.
Criminal Appeals in NJ: Understanding the Process
The process for filing a Criminal Appeal in New Jersey depends on the court in which the original decision was made. For appeals of Municipal Court decisions, including excessive sentences, guilty findings after trial, and rejections of suppression motions, the appeal must be filed in the Superior Court, Law Division, in the County where the case was heard and decided. Our criminal defense attorneys make sure every step of the Municipal Appeal process is completed in accordance with New Jersey law. We will file a notice of appeal with the municipal court within 20 days after the entry of judgment. After filing the notice of appeal, our lawyers will serve the prosecuting attorney and the county clerk within five days together with the filing fee and an affidavit of timely filing of the required notice. Our firm will assure compliance with the municipal court requirements to prevent dismissal by the Superior Court, Law Division without further notice or hearing.
In New Jersey, a criminal appeal of a Superior Court conviction is filed in the Superior Court, Appellate Division. A Superior Court Criminal Appeal is a highly complex legal process that is best left to an experienced criminal attorney. Our lawyers understand the rules and nuances of the Appellate process. We know the appeal must be filed in the Appellate Division within 45 days of the conviction so a panel of two to three Judges can overturn the conviction. Our lawyers request the transcripts from the trial court to help make our case, unlike a municipal appeal, where the Judge makes new findings of facts.
When arguing your appeal case before the Appellate Division, we seek to demonstrate that the Superior Court Judge erred in ruling on a motion, denying a suppression motion, deciding the admissibility of important evidence, charging the jury in your case, or imposing your sentence. Our appellate attorneys prepare a brief citing legal precedent as to why the trial court was in error in its rulings and either argue orally before the Appellate Judges or waive oral argument and have the case decided on the briefs. We know the stakes and how best to manage the complexities of the criminal appeals process in New Jersey and will do everything in our power to position you for a favorable outcome when the Appellate Division issues it opinion deciding the case.
Consult a New Jersey Criminal Appeal Lawyer Today
Remember, there are stringent time limits to file a Criminal Appeal in New Jersey, so you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you want to appeal a court decision, conviction, or sentence in your criminal case, call The Tormey Law Firm now at (201)-556-1570 to speak with an experienced NJ criminal appeal lawyer who can help.