The State of North Carolina has made handling traffic tickets easy by allowing citizens to pay off their tickets online. Do yourself a favor: don’t! By paying that ticket, you are pleading guilty to that speed. A guilty conviction can lead to serious issues for you, such as a spike in your insurance premium, a license suspension, and even a misdemeanor criminal conviction.
I Read This After I Paid, Now What?
If it has been less than 10 days since you paid the ticket online, you have the option to appeal. But wait! This can be rather costly for a traffic ticket. There is a much easier, more cost-effective avenue: the Motion for Appropriate Relief (MAR).
An MAR is a motion made to correct errors made during a criminal trial or proceeding. Similar to an appeal, the MAR is more of a review of what happened prior to the conviction. It gives the Judge the opportunity to review the evidence presented and determine whether or not the conviction should stand.
An MAR is granted for numerous reasons, namely:
The defendant did not fully understand the consequences of a guilty plea;
The court misapplied the relevant law;
New evidence or technology to analyze the evidence has become available;
The defense attorney was ineffective in representing the defendant; or
A new law has developed which retroactively affects the conviction.
An MAR will be filed in the court where the conviction occurred. Once the motion makes it way to the Judge, the Judge will review any evidence attached to the motion, and either reverse the underlying conviction to be disposed of in a different way, require a hearing for additional evidence, or deny the motion. An experienced attorney will be able to forecast that probability to you.
The MAR is a handy tool for the traffic attorney who wants to help those who have paid their ticket online without consulting counsel, or even just tweak the sentencing judgment to include a Prayer for Judgment. Even if you did consult counsel prior to disposing of your ticket, there may be a reason to help you get the relief you need on your record.
Although you may think your traffic citation was “not that bad,” never handle one without speaking with an experienced traffic attorney first. We would be happy to take your call here at Granados Law Group, PLLC, where our attorneys handle these matters daily in court. You can reach us at 919-650-2851 and an experienced attorney will be waiting to take your call.