Many people have the misconception that one should appeal a case simply because they did not like the result.  Others, think they should appeal simply because they feel that the Commissioner took the cops word over theirs.  Both of these are wrong, these are not reasons to appeal a case.  While it is true that you can appeal any traffic case, you should first analyze the law and the probability for success.  If you don't you may just be wasting a lot more time, energy and frustration.

The main reason why someone would appeal a traffic case is because there was an legal error made by the Court in deciding the case or the Court may have abused it's discretion.  An example of a legal error may be, to admit into evidence a traffic engineering survey that does not meet the elements of the hearsay exception.  An example of an abuse of discretion of part of the Court, is to allow the Officer to re-open the case after you have made your closing argument.

Here are the steps of a Traffic Case Appeal:

  1. File your Notice of Appeal (NOA) within 30 days of the finding of guilt.  You cannot default on this it is jurisdictional and there are very few reasons that the Court will allow relief if you miss this deadline.
  2. You must file the Statement on Appeal within 20 days of filing the NOA.  You must serve a copy on the City Attorney and or District Attorney, depending on your jurisdiction.  Here you must also designate your record.
  3. You will be given a court date to appear in order to settle the record.  This means that you will meet with the Commissioner/Judge who heard the case in order to discuss and agree to what the testimony was presented at trial and just as important what objections were made at trial.
  4. Once all of the above is completed, the case will be certified to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.
  5. The Appellate Division clerk will then notify you that they have received the record on appeal and that your Appellant's Opening Brief will then be due in 20 days.  If you cannot meet this deadline, you can request and extension.
  6. Once all briefs are in the Court will issue a court date to appear and argue.  Some Courts will allow argument in front of three justices and some will only use one.  One is all that is required by law on an infraction appeal.
  7. Lastly, once argument is completed the Court will notify you, by mail, of their decision.  If you are not satisfied with the decision, you can ask for a transfer to the Court of Appeals.  If you are denied the transfer by both the Court of Appeals and the Appellate Division, you can then writ that decision.