New Federal Criminal Ruling on Preservation of Appeals Now Controls Federal Criminal Defense Practice In New Jersey

New Jersey Criminal Lawyers Schwartz Posnock

In an important ruling for federal criminal defense lawyers in New Jersey, United States v. Joseph, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that criminal defense attorneys must preserve legal arguments on appeal with an exacting degree of particularity. In its decision, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that preserving an argument was different from preserving an issue. Specifically, the court held that an issue is a broad concept or a question that may be addressed by multiple arguments or theories. However, the only arguments that are preserved for appeal are the same arguments made before a district court. In the Joseph case, the court ruled that simply making a suppression motion at trial does not allow a party to then appeal under all possible suppression arguments. The probable cause challenged at trial did not allow appellant to appeal the suppression decision based on a completely different theory.
The critical point of the ruling in United States v. Joseph, 2013 WL 5273120 (decided on September 19, 2013), is that raising one argument at trial does not preserve every possible argument that is related to an issue. A specific argument not raised at the trial level will be deemed waived on appeal. When arguments are not based on the same legal rule and the same facts, they are not the same for purposes of preservation in an appeal. This ruling covers all criminal cases pending in the Newark, Trenton and Camden divisions of the United States District Courts of New Jersey.
Attorneys practicing federal criminal defense in New Jersey should be mindful of this decision, as it significantly changes the rules for preserving appellate rights. If you have been charged with a federal criminal offense, it is important that you consult an experienced federal criminal lawyer. You can contact the experience criminal defense attorneys of Schwartz & Posnock, at our Essex County, Union County, Middlesex or Monmouth County offices, to discuss the various defense strategies that we can utilize on your behalf to achieve a positive result for you.

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