Municipal Appeals

Municipal Appeals Attorney Representing Clients in Appeals from all New Jersey Municipal Courts

Municipal-AppealsThe New Jersey municipal courts are local courts that hear cases involving traffic infractions including, but not limited to, charges of speeding, careless driving, or driving while intoxicated/driving under the influence. Municipal courts also hear lower-level criminal cases involving the possession of relatively small quantities of illegal drug and simple assaults. Many New Jersey residents will have to appear in a municipal court at some point, and this will probably be their only encounter with the criminal justice system.

What to Expect in Municipal Court

Municipal court cases are frequently resolved in a single appearance with a negotiated guilty plea to a reduced charge, and payment of a fine and court costs. Sometimes, a case may not be resolved so easily, and a trial will be necessary. Municipal court trials are non-jury trials; the municipal court judge, working alone without a jury, will take the evidence (witness testimony and physical evidence), and then decide the case.

These trials are generally conducted quickly. Because the trial court record is relatively concise, identifying viable issues for further review can require considerable skill and experience.

Municipal Appeals are Different From State-Level Trial Court Appeals

The procedures for commencing a municipal appeal are also very different from those that are followed in appeals from decisions of the Superior Court. Under current New Jersey law, the appellant has 20 days to commence the appeal by filing the appropriate papers in the Superior Court of the county where the municipal court is located, and in the municipal court. Further, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court does not hear the initial appeal from the decision of a municipal court judge. A criminal trial judge in the Superior Court in the county where the municipal court sits will hear the matter.

Finally, even though it is generally referred to as a municipal "appeal", it really is an entirely new trial. The Superior Court judge will do more than just focus on discrete errors in the municipal court record. Instead, they will render a completely new decision based upon the entire municipal court record, which may or may not be in accord with the decision of the municipal court judge. As such, reviewing the municipal court record, developing an effective brief, and arguing the case, all require skills that differ considerably from those employed in a conventional appeal. A municipal appeals lawyer in New Jersey will understand this, and will know how to handle the matter in a way that protects and advances the client’s interests.

The municipal appeals law firm of James S. Friedman, LLC, represents defendants in municipal appeals throughout the state of New Jersey. We bring all of our appellate experience to bear upon municipal appeals so that all viable issues are identified, properly briefed and presented to the Superior Court judge that will hear the matter.

Protecting Your Driving Privileges

Experience has shown that many municipal appeals arise from a second or third conviction for driving while intoxicated. That is not surprising, since an adjudication of guilt in such a case can result in an extended suspension of a New Jersey Driver's license, as well as county jail time. Anyone living in New Jersey knows how difficult daily activities can be without access to a car. Driving privileges are worth protecting. Defendants who lose that important right may be able to have it restored by means of an appeal.

Contact James S. Friedman, LLC

If you have had an adverse result in a New Jersey municipal court matter and want another judge to take a fresh look at your case, contact municipal appeals lawyer James S. Friedman, online or call toll free at 800-361-6554 to learn more about municipal appeals.

Client Reviews
"I hired Mr. Friedman to represent my son in a criminal matter that could have landed him in jail. Nobody in our family had ever been involved with the criminal justice system before, so this was all very new to us. He was very patient, answered all of our questions, and made sure we understood everything each step of the way. By the time the case was over, my son had a reduced charge for which he only had to pay some fines." Anonymous
"Mr. Friedman represented me when I was one of several students caught with drugs in a college dorm room. I was set to graduate at the end of the semester, and thought this case would ruin my life. He got my charges dismissed, and the record expunged. This lawyer was a total lifesaver!" Anonymous
"Our daughter has mental health issues. She got into a scuffle with the police and was charged with assaulting an officer. Our attorney, Jim Friedman, was able to show the prosecutor and Judge that the real problem here was her mental stability. She was placed on probation and avoided jail time. Most other lawyers we spoke to refused to take this case, but Jim Friedman took it and got us a great result. Thank you Mr. Friedman!" Anonymous
"I had federal criminal charges and felt totally lost. I was one of who knows how many defendants in this case, and I read on the Internet that almost everyone in federal court end up with a prison sentence, so I was really scared. My first lawyer, who told me that I would probably spend at least some time in prison, barely gave me the time of day after I paid him. Then I hired Jim Friedman to represent me. He stayed with me throughout the entire process. He was always available to answer my questions, and never let me lose hope. He negotiated aggressively with the federal prosecutor and I ended up with a short term of probation. I knew I would get convicted of something, but this lawyer kept me out of jail." Anonymous
"The only part of my trial that was better than watching Mr. Friedman question the witnesses was when the jury came out and said “not guilty” over and over again. You have to see this lawyer in court!" Anonymous