Appealing a Conviction in New Jersey Courts

April 7, 2013

If you wish to appeal a conviction in a New Jersey court, there are several things you should be aware of.  First, you need to make sure you file your appeal within the appropriate deadline.  If you are appealing the decision of a municipal court, you have only 20 days to file an appeal. If you are appealing the decision of a Superior Court, you have 45 days to file an appeal.  An appeal from the final decision of an administrative agency must be filed within 45 days.  If the court does not receive your appeal within the time frame noted, you may forever lose your right to file an appeal.

If you are appealing to the New Jersey Supreme Court for a petition for certification, you have 20 days to file your appeal and another 10 to file the actual petition.  The Supreme Court does not have to hear your appeal, however, unless: (1) your case involved substantial questions involving the Constitution of the U.S. or New Jersey; (2) one judge dissented in the Appellate Division; or (3) death penalty cases.  If your case does not fit within one of the three circumstances, you must first apply for permission to file an appeal through what is known as a petition for certification.

To file an appeal in New Jersey court, you must first file a timely Notice of Appeal.  The Notice of Appeal needs to be served on the court you are appealing from as well as on the court you are appealing to as well as any other parties in the case.  You must also order the transcripts of the trial or hearing you are appealing from.  After reviewing the transcripts, you must then prepare a brief, outlining your legal arguments and basis for your appeal.  Each court has specific requirements as far as the length, format, and contents of the brief and appendix.  Your adversaries may also file briefs of their own.  After receiving the briefs, the court will set a hearing date at which you will argue your case to the judge.

New Jersey appellate law is highly specialized.  The process is highly technical.  Not following each and every specific rule can lead to the appeal being dismissed.  As experienced criminal defense lawyers in New Jersey, the attorneys at the Law Office of Randolph Wolf have handled many appeals in the Superior Court, Appellate Division, and the New Jersey Supreme Court.  Contact us today for a free consultation regarding your appeal.

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