You aren’t a lawyer and, therefore, it can be extremely challenging to determine whether your attorney was competent during your criminal trial. Generally, an attorney is considered ineffective if there is reasonable cause to believe that your lawyer’s unprofessional mistakes were serious enough to change the outcome of your case. In other words, you may have been found not guilty or received a lesser sentence if it wasn’t for your attorney’s errors.
If you can prove ineffective assistance of counsel, you may receive post-conviction relief. In most cases, this will provide the prosecution another chance to try your case and for you to present a competent defense. The outcome of your case could be different.
When to Consider an Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claim
Some of the possible things that could lead you to suspect ineffective assistance of counsel in your case include your attorney’s failure to:
- Interview important witnesses
- Investigate or engage in discovery of evidence
- Tell you about a plea offer or makes decisions without consulting you
- File appropriate motions on time
- Protect your right to appeal
- Object to inadmissible and prejudicial evidence
- Assert appropriate defenses
Additionally, your lawyer’s failure to respond to your questions, confusion or uncertainty about the law after having time to do appropriate research, or unprofessional conduct in or in out of court could be signs of ineffective counsel.
The U.S. Constitution gives you the right to assistance of counsel. If you have not been afforded that right because your lawyer was ineffective, you should talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer you can trust about your right to post-conviction relief. The court acts under a presumption that your legal representation was effective. You may be able to seek post-conviction relief from the court if your legal representation was ineffective, but you also have the burden of proving your trial lawyer’s ineffectiveness to the court. Contact the Law Offices of Robert David Malove today to learn more.