We get a lot of questions about North Carolina House Bill 625. Many people want to know if it can benefit them or a loved one. Here's what you need to know.
What North Carolina HB 625 is:
HB 625 is a piece of legislation that proposes “an act to implement criminal sentence reduction reform.” It was filed on 4/20/21 in the North Carolina House. It has passed its first reading, and has been referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House. If enacted, the bill would enable an individual serving a term of imprisonment to file a Motion for Appropriate Relief (MAR) to request a sentence reduction under an expanded set of criteria. In short, it would make MARs available to more people.
What North Carolina HB 625 isnt:
HB 625 is not law. It is a long way from being enacted, and might not ever be enacted. (If you would like more information on how a Bill becomes a Law in North Carolina, this infographic shows the process). But if it does eventually become enacted, it is likely that the language will change from how it appears in the first draft. For this reason, individuals need to wait for a law to become fully enacted before they make plans or rely on bills that are still going through the legislative process.
Can HB 625 help me?
HB 625 has drawn a lot of interest from individuals who are serving terms of imprisonment because it offers hope for a reduced sentence. Though North Carolina House Bill 625 is not now (and may never be) law, there are individuals who may have an opportunity to file a potentially meritorious MAR under the current statute.
As a former prosecutor and a current defense attorney, Jonathan Friel has years of experience dealing with MARs and knows how to identify individuals who could file a potentially successful motion. Filing an MAR is costly, but in some cases it can have a very beneficial outcome. Contact Friel Law if you would like to know more about the process of filing a motion for appropriate relief.