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Appealing the Denial of a Motion for Appropriate Relief

Filing a Motion for Appropriate Relief is a valuable legal option for those who have been convicted of a crime in North Carolina. Unlike in a criminal appeal, in a Motion for Appropriate Relief, the trial court can hold an evidentiary hearing. This makes filing a Motion for Appropriate Relief beneficial when claims depend on facts outside of the trial court record. For example, a defendant can bring a motion on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel and present evidence outside of the trial court record.

At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we have successfully represented many clients in the criminal appellate process. We have an in-depth understanding of North Carolina’s criminal appeals process and use our knowledge to fight hard on behalf of our clients.

Appealing the Denial of a Motion for Appropriate Relief From District Court

What happens when the court denies the Motion for Appropriate Relief? Is it possible to appeal a North Carolina court’s ruling on the Motion? When a North Carolina district court denies a defendant’s Motion for Appropriate Relief, the defendant will not have a right to appeal. The defendant will be entitled to seek a trial de novo in North Carolina superior court.

The State Can Appeal a Dismissal of Charges

The state has a right to appeal any decision on Motions for Appropriate Relief favorable to the defendant. When the district court grants a Motion for Appropriate Relief and dismisses charges or vacates a conviction, the state may issue their own appeal. The state must appeal the court’s dismissal of charges by filing a written motion within ten days. The state of North Carolina may also have a right to appeal the court’s acceptance of the Motion with a discretionary writ of certiorari to the superior court.

Appealing the Denial of a Motion for Appropriate Relief From Superior Court

What happens when a defendant seeks relief after filing a Motion for Appropriate Relief within ten days of the judgment? In this circumstance, review by an appeals court can only take place when it is sought as part of a regular appeal. In other words, an appellate court judge will review the Motion for Appropriate Relief as part of the regular appeals process.

Appealing a Decision From the Court of Appeals

When the grounds alleged in the Motion for Appropriate Relief is also part of a normal appeal filed within ten days of the conviction, the denial of the Motion does not affect the defendant’s right to assert an error on appeal. Even if a court denies the Motion for Appropriate Relief, the defendant might be able to bring up the disputed issue as part of a normal appeal.

By statutory law, a Court of Appeals’ decision on a Motion for Appropriate Relief is final and not subject to any other appeal. However, the Supreme Court of North Carolina has held that appellate courts may be able to hear a petition for a writ of certiorari on a Motion for Appropriate Relief.

Hiring a Lawyer Regarding Your Motion for Appropriate Relief

As you can see from the information above, appealing a Motion for Appropriate Relief is challenging and complex process. There are numerous complex rules related to Motions for Appropriate Relief. First, there are statutory time limits regarding how long the defendant has to file a Motion for Appropriate Relief. Additionally, there are different rules regarding appealing an adverse decision related to a Motion for Appropriate Relief.

If you have been convicted of a crime in North Carolina, you may feel hopeless and worry that you are out of options. As you face your criminal sentence, you may have significant fears about the future. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC, we understand how difficult it is to face a criminal sentence. That’s why we work so hard on behalf of our clients during the post-conviction process.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers as Soon as Possible

We understand the challenges defendants after sentencing. After listening to and evaluating our client’s situation, we discuss any potential post-conviction relief that might apply. Contact our Charlotte criminal defense law firm as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation.