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Middlesex County Criminal Appeals Attorney
If you feel that the court or jury in your criminal case made a decision that was in error, you have a right to appeal the ruling. The appeal may involve a motion, suppression hearing, sentencing or any other question raised in your criminal or DWI case. If you believe that there was a criminal ruling that was contrary to law or fact, you can request that a higher court review the matter. This process is referred to as appeal. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have handled many appeals over the last several decades arising in Middlesex County Superior Court and municipal courts like the one in Milltown, Plainsboro, South River, Helmetta or North Brunswick. If you would like to speak to an attorney on our staff immediately, call one of our conveniently locations for an immediate consultation.
Appealing a Lower Court Decision
Litigants often believe that an appeal will involve what is essentially a new trial or re-hearing of the matter which was decided below. That could not be further than the truth. As a general rule, appellate courts will only consider those facts and legal arguments that were raised in the proceedings being appealed. They typically do nothing to conduct new factual proceedings. A litigant has to live with the facts raised below and seek relief based on what was presented. Nonetheless, if the court makes an evidentiary ruling that precludes presentation of certain facts and it was in error, the appellant (i.e. person who is appealing to the higher court) will have the right to present those facts when the case is reheard. The following some additional dynamics of appeals that you would want to know.
- Time to Appeal. A notice of appeal must be filed within 45 days of the judgement of the court being appealed.
- Standard on Review. The standard for review by an appellate court can take one of six forms: (1) de novo review which is essentially a full review of the proceedings below based on a transcript; (2) sufficiency of evidence to support the decision based on the presence or absence of evidence below; (3) clearly erroneous which requires something so erroneous that no reasonable analysis could produce the ruling made by the lower court; (4) mistaken exercise of discretion; (5) miscarriage of justice standard for reversal means that the court must conclude that a miscarriage of justice would result if the ruling was permitted to stand; and (6) arbitrary or capricious contemplates that either the decision was without logic with regard to the facts presented, or without any reasonable criteria that would support the decision that was reached.
Post-Conviction Relief. Appeal is a stage of the criminal process which is much different from post-conviction relief proceedings. The typical post-conviction relief involves an application to vacate a criminal conviction or to secure relief from its application in subsequent court proceedings. For example, a post-conviction relief motion is often filed to secure relief from a conviction that is the basis for removal of a defendant from the United States because of revocation of his or her VISA or Green Card. Another situation where this arises is where a DWI defendant seeks relief under State v. Laurick so that a prior conviction cannot be used for enhancement purposes.
New Brunswick NJ Criminal Appeal Attorney
New Brunswick is the county seat in Middlesex County and the site where most appeals are generated. Our New Brunswick Office is available to assist you in appealing a Superior Court or Municipal Court ruling arising in the county. If you would like to speak to an attorney immediately, call us at 732-246-7126.