What Happens After You Win a Motion for Appropriate Relief?

Have you been convicted of a criminal offense in North Carolina ? If so, you might have questions about your options to appeal the decision. Overall, we as Americans enjoy a functional and fair justice system. However, no justice system is perfect. In some instances, the criminal justice system in North Carolina does not work correctly. Injustices can and do happen to defendants in the North Carolina courts.

When injustices happen, North Carolina law provides defendants with a few different ways to appeal the decision. The type of relief that a defendant can seek depends on the type of error or constitutional violation that occurred at the trial court level. Many defendants submit Motions for Appropriate Relief after their conviction as a way to seek relief from an erroneous conviction.

Contact Our Law Firm as Soon as Possible

If you have been convicted of a criminal offense, time is of the essence. The North Carolina criminal code imposes strict time limits on some types of motions and appeals processes. You may have options to appeal your criminal conviction. At Arnold Smith Law, we can review your case and discover which options for attempting to reverse your conviction might work for you. Contact our skilled personal injury lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.

Understanding Motions for Appropriate Relief in North Carolina

Motions for Appropriate Relief provide defendants with a way to challenge their criminal conviction and sentence. A defendant can file a Motion for Appropriate Relief before, during, or after filing a direct appeal of a criminal conviction. Some time restrictions apply, however, when it comes to raising certain types of claims.

The Benefits of a Motion for Appropriate Relief

Motions for Appropriate Relief are beneficial as compared to direct appeals in some situations. With appeals, the appellate court focuses on reviewing the record of the district court proceedings. However, with a Motion for Appropriate Relief, the court can hold an evidentiary hearing regarding the motion. Defendants will be able to submit evidence at the hearing. They are not restricted to claims that the district court made an error of law. The defendant can also raise issues of fact in a Motion for Appropriate Relief.

The Process of Filling a Motion for Appropriate Relief

It is essential that the defendant follow the strict procedural rules laid out in North Carolina laws. The Motion for Appropriate Relief must be in writing in most cases. The defendant does have the right to file the claim orally in the open district court within 10 days of the conviction. The Motion for Appropriate Relief must state the grounds for the motion. The Motion must also state which type of relief the defendant is seeking. Importantly, the Motion for Appropriate Relief must be filed in a timely manner.

After the clerk schedules the matter on the court calendar, the defense prepares for the hearing. A trial judge will review the Motion for Appropriate Relief. If the judge does not dismiss the Motion, he or she will schedule a hearing for the motion. The defendant has the burden of proof during the hearing. This means that the defendant must prove that the alleged error or constitutional violation happened by a preponderance of the evidence.

The Outcome of a Motion for Appropriate Relief

After the hearing, the judge will rule on the Motion for Appropriate Relief. If necessary, the judge will make a finding of fact. When a judge decides to grant a Motion for Appropriate Relief, he or she may order any of the following types of relief:

The North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission is a North Carolina agency established in 2006. The purpose of the agency is to investigate and evaluate claims of innocence from defendants who have already been convicted of a crime and sentenced. The Commission is made up of eight members who carefully review any new evidence and investigate criminal convictions in an impartial manner.

The Commission focuses on exonerating defendants when new evidence of the client's innocence comes to light. To seek review by the Commission, the defendant must show credible new evidence of evidence or new evidence of innocence that the jury did not hear, or that was not available prior to the defendant's plea bargain. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to receive a case review. Call our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.