Contrary to what many people believe, you cannot appeal a criminal conviction simply because you do not like the result. In New Jersey, there are certain recognized grounds for appealing a conviction for criminal charges—different types of reasons why the judge or jury may have come to the wrong conclusion or result.
If you were just convicted of an offense in Municipal Court or found guilty at the end of your trial in Superior Court, you are undoubtedly disappointed to say the least, but you may also be hesitant to go through the entire process again by filing a criminal appeal. However, by obtaining the representation of a skilled criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in handling criminal appeals, you can determine what grounds for appeal are available in your case and your likelihood of success in the New Jersey appellate process. Though you are probably exhausted and emotionally drained, it might not yet be the time to stop fighting. A successful appeal could result in your conviction being overturned, you obtaining a new sentence, or getting a new trial. Contact the Cranford law offices of Proetta & Oliver at (908) 838-0150 to speak with an experienced New Jersey criminal appeals lawyer about your specific case.
NJ Criminal Conviction Appellate Process
There are several different grounds for filing an appeal of a criminal conviction in New Jersey, including that the judge improperly admitted or excluded evidence, the jury was not given proper instructions, your sentence was excessive and unreasonable or the judge did not apply proper sentencing guidelines, you were prejudiced by misconduct from the prosecutor or police, or your case was negatively impacted by the judge’s improper grant or denial of a pre-trial motion.
You cannot file an appeal simply because you believe the result was unfair or even that you are truly innocent. While that may be the case, your criminal defense lawyer will need to examine every detail of your case and trial to determine if there were any procedural errors, problems with the evidence, or any other valid ground for filing an appeal of your conviction or sentence.
Your case can only be appealed if one of the grounds above are present. If so, you must file for an appeal of your conviction with the Appellate Division within 45 days for an indictable offense conviction entered in Superior Court or within 20 days for a disorderly persons conviction entered in municipal court. You may be able to receive a 30-day extension of the deadline, but only with a showing of good cause for missing the original deadline.
There is a $50 fee to file a motion for leave to appeal, $250 fee to file the Notice of Appeal, and a $300 transcript deposit fee for each day of the trial.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Criminal Appeal in NJ?
Whether you choose to work with the same lawyer who represented you at trial or find a different lawyer to handle your appeal is completely your choice. You also have the right to consult with other lawyers before making a decision about who to work with. However, you should absolutely employ the services of an experienced New Jersey Appellate Lawyer when seeking to appeal criminal charges. Mistakes in the criminal appeals process and unfamiliarity with the laws on appealing a criminal case in New Jersey can sink your appeal when you’re barely out of the gate. Don’t risk the potential rejection of your appeal by attempting to go it alone.
If you would like to set up a consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers about your potential criminal appeal in New Jersey, contact us now at (908) 838-0150. Our attorneys have handled many successful appeals for clients in Union County and throughout New Jersey. We are happy to review your case and discuss possibly handling your appeal, so call us today.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Mount Laurel, Point Pleasant, Princeton and Middletown. All major credit cards are accepted