top charlotte traffic attorneysA motion for appropriate relief (MAR) is a motion filed in a traffic or other criminal case to correct errors made at the trial or other criminal proceeding. If you were convicted of speeding, reckless driving, hit and run violations, or other serious traffic offenses, filing a motion for appropriate relief may help you avoid the conviction and harsh penalties you face.

What Is a Motion for Appropriate Relief?

Under N.C.G.S. § 15A-1420, an individual is allowed to file a MAR to challenge their conviction if there has been an error made in finding them guilty. It is not an appeal, and the court can conduct an evidentiary hearing when deciding the motion.

Grounds for a MAR include:

  • The person did not understand the consequences of pleading guilty.
  • The judge misapplied the law or used an incorrect law.
  • The evidence did not support the jury’s finding that the defendant was guilty of the traffic offense.
  • New evidence has become available or new technology has been developed to analyze the evidence.
  • The individual’s attorney was ineffective in representing them.
  • A new law was passed that retroactively affects the conviction.

How Do You File a Motion for Appropriate Relief?

A MAR is most often a written motion filed with the court. In some cases, this motion can be raised orally at a court hearing. It cannot be filed until after a person is found guilty of the crime. When filing the motion, the defendant must show the following:

  • They have reviewed the trial transcript.
  • They have identified a legal basis for filing a MAR.
  • They are filing the motion in good faith.

The motion for appropriate relief should be filed in the superior court in the district where the defendant was convicted. The District Attorney must be served with the motion.

The judge has discretion on whether or not to hear the motion and can schedule an evidentiary hearing if they believe this is necessary. If they grant the motion, they will order appropriate relief, which can result in the conviction being overturned.

Have you Received a Traffic Citation in Charlotte, NC?

If you received a traffic citation, you need to speak with an experienced traffic ticket attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Charlotte office directly at 980.207.3355 to schedule your free consultation.


Howard W. Long, II
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Charlotte Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer