Law Offices of Michael T. Nolan, Jr.

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Appeal leads to new trial in murder case

People who are accused of serious felonies in New Jersey can understandably feel scared and unsure of their futures. Whether a charge is for murder, assault, arson, burglary or something else, penalties can be stiff and have long-lasting impact on a person's life. However, it is important for defendants to remember that the laws allow people to appeal trial decisions.

In 2002, the body of a 19-year-old man was found in a body in a river. Three other men were accused of his death and each faced a murder charge. The alleged motive for the death was the concern that the dead man had stolen some drugs from the defendants. Eventually, one man was convicted of first-degree murder. The other two were convicted of second-degree murder. Life sentences were ordered for all three defendants.

Since that time, the man convicted of first-degree murder has initiated an appeal and is awaiting ruling on it. One of the other men was given a new trial in which he pled guilty to third-degree murder which will see him spend a maximum of 20 years in prison. A new trial for the third man has just been granted. In the original trials, two of the men were prevented from testifying on their own behalf. This led to the determination that they had not received proper legal help and therefore opened the door to the new trials.

When facing a felony charge, the need for help is great. Finding an experienced criminal defense attorney at this time can be important for a defendant.

Source: New Jersey Herald, "Man gets new trial in 2002 kidnapping death of acquaintance," September 19, 2015

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