If you have been convicted of a crime, you may have options available to challenge it. You may feel that you have been treated unfairly by a prosecutor, a judge or even your own lawyer. Under federal and most state laws, prisoners may challenge their convictions and sentences based on alleged constitutional violations. Both state and federal courts provide remedies for the violations of your rights that could not have been raised on direct appeal or violations that you did not know about in time to raise before the trial or appellate courts.
One option that is available is the Motion for Appropriate Relief (MAR). Sometimes referred to as a "2255" or "Rule 35" motion, it allows for an attack on a conviction that has violated an individual's constitutional rights.
Unlike a trial, post-conviction relief is not meant to determine your guilt or innocence. Instead, it is intended to correct constitutional violations, procedures or injustices that occurred in your case. Unlike a direct appeal in which you are generally limited to the trial or plea court record, in a post-conviction action you can raise new evidence or other issues, including such things as prosecutorial misconduct, discovery of new evidence and sentences in excess of the maximum authorized by law.
Availability Of Habeas Corpus
Habeas corpus relief may be accessible to you if you are a prisoner who has been wrongfully detained. Habeas corpus relief does not determine actual guilt or innocence, but is used strictly to determine whether your imprisonment was lawful.
As a general rule, there are many procedural rules that apply in this area of the law — it is technical and complicated, and governed by strict time and issue limitations. All too often, convicted persons lose their right to seek relief based on their misunderstanding or confusion concerning the rules for post-conviction relief or habeas corpus relief. To preserve your rights, a criminal defense attorney experienced in this area is essential to seek either post-conviction or habeas corpus relief on your behalf. Not all criminal defense attorneys handle post conviction relief and habeas corpus relief.
The experienced criminal defense attorneys of Grace, Tisdale & Clifton P.A. will guide you through all stages of criminal procedure and provide exceptional representation to individuals seeking post-conviction relief or habeas corpus relief in North Carolina. Located in Winston-Salem, we represent clients throughout the state. Call our office at 888-441-8522 or contact us online for more information.