Judge’s Failure to Advise Appeal Rights Extends Filing Time – State v. Johnson

This morning’s decision in State v. Johnson stands for the proposition that the failure of a Superior Court judge to advise a defendant of his appeal rights following the imposition of sentence indefinitely extends the defendant’s right to appeal. In Johnson, the defendant pled guilty to indictable drug offenses and was given a probationary sentence. The sentencing judge never informed the defendant of his appeal rights as required by the Rules of Court. Within a matter of a few months, the defendant violated his conditions of probation and was re-sentenced by the judge to jail. Thereafter, the defendant filed a notice of appeal some 11 months after sentence had been imposed. The Court ruled that the failure of the sentencing judge to have advised the defendant as to his right to file an appeal within 45 days automatically extended the time to appeal indefinitely.

Download a copy of State v. Johnson.

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