New Jersey Criminal Appeals

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How Do You Choose the Right Appellate Lawyer?

Here's what you need to know for purposes of finding a qualified attorney to prosecute your appeal from a conviction in a New Jersey court.

First, you have 45 days from the entry of judgment to file the appeal. This clock runs from when the "Judgment of Conviction" is signed and filed, typically the same day as the sentence is imposed. While lawyers can ask for short extensions on this schedule, you should bear in mind the importance of moving quickly, even before a sentencing date. You'll want to interview lawyers, get cost estimates, and choose a course of action under difficult circumstances.

Obtaining Trial Transcripts

All appeals require production of transcripts from trial court proceedings. Whether your case was tried to a jury or resolved by plea agreement, there is a transcript of those times you and your lawyer were in court with a judge. Filing an appeal means sending a document to the appellate court that includes proof that you have ordered and paid for those transcripts in advance. In the case of a trial, transcript deposits can run to thousands of dollars, all the more reason to move quickly in finding the right lawyer.

The Appeals Process

After an appeal is properly filed, lawyers wait for transcripts before they can review them, conduct legal research, and write a brief describing what went wrong at the trial court level. It is not an opportunity to bring new evidence into the case. Most importantly, if the problem with your conviction stems from problems with your own lawyer, your proper course might well be a petition for post-conviction relief ("PCR").

Scott Krasny and Jack Furlong lead an appellate practice group that has handled literally hundreds of appeals. They can review your case with you quickly, make recommendations, and guide you through this challenging process. Located in West Trenton, we serve clients throughout New Jersey.