What is a Motion for Appropriate Relief?

A Motion for Appropriate Relief allows a person to correct any errors that were made during the criminal trial after a judgment has been made.

According to the University of North Carolina School of Government, a Motion for Appropriate Relief is a motion that can be filed after a judgment is made to correct any mistakes that were made during the criminal trial or proceeding. For instance, if a person receives a traffic ticket and then experiences difficulties from rising auto insurance premiums and finding a job after paying it off, a MAR is one tool that the driver can use to have the court reconsider the penalties of this offense.

The two types

The UNC School of Government states that there are two different types of MARs. The first allows a person convicted of a criminal offense to correct any errors that occurred during the trial process within 10 days after a final judgment has been made. Typically, this type of MAR is used to notify a trial judge of any mistakes that happened during the trial process so that they can fix them immediately. By doing this, the person convicted of a crime does not have to go through the lengthy and expensive process of filing an appeal.

The main difference between the first type of MAR and the second is that the second can be filed at any time after a judgment has been made. However, a person can only file this type of MAR if they are able to claim that any portion of their case's trial process violated the terms outlined in the state or federal constitution. For instance, a person may be able to find relief from a charge they were convicted of after filing a MAR if they can prove that they accepted a guilty plea or waived the right to be represented by a lawyer without full knowledge of the repercussions.

Filing an MAR

According to the State of North Carolina, an MAR must always be made in writing unless the following circumstances are present:

  • This legal request is filed in an open court
  • The desire to file a MAR is made known to the judge who presided over the original trial
  • The MAR is filed within 10 days after judgment
  • The intention to file a MAR is made known before the end of a session if the case is litigated in Superior Court

When a person files a MAR for a traffic violation or after committing another type of offense, they must state why this motion is necessary and what kind of relief they are seeking.

To ensure their MAR is successful, those filing one of these motions must strictly adhere to these guidelines. If you are thinking about filing a MAR, speak with an attorney who can help you draft this document and ensure your grounds for filing it are legitimate.

Keywords: trial, motion, arrest