You may believe that your attorney didn’t do the best job representing you in your criminal case. If this is true, the judge may overturn the conviction and order that you receive a new trial.
What Does “Ineffective Assistance of Counsel” Mean?
If your attorney is incompetent, it is very likely that you could be convicted on the crime charged. Because this is such a distinct possibility, you are allowed to state that your attorney was ineffective while your case was being tried. If you are convicted in the case, you can also make this claim after your conviction. If you make this claim during your trial, the judge will allow you to replace your current counsel. If you are going to make the claim after a conviction, you might be entitled to a new trial.
The Supreme Court’s Decision.
According to the Sixth Amendment of The Constitution, you are entitled to have an attorney represent you in a court of law. The Supreme Court decided that, if you have an incompetent attorney, this is just like not having an attorney in the courtroom with you. Therefore, ineffective counsel is a violation of your Sixth Amendment rights.
Lawyers are human beings, so they can make mistakes, and it wouldn’t be right to claim ineffective assistance of counsel every time a lawyer makes a mistake. For this reason, the Supreme Court established a test that would determine whether a defendant was a victim of ineffective assistance of counsel or just professional errors.
To show ineffective assistance of counsel, you must demonstrate that the following are true:
The Question of Reasonableness.
Your attorney will have to demonstrate to the judge that your trial lawyer did not perform his or her job in a “reasonable” manner. To determine that a lawyer performed his or her duties reasonably, the judge may consider the following:
Because judges rarely question an attorney’s strategies during a court case, they may also consider the following:
The Supreme Court’s Test as Applied to the Case.
Your attorney may have committed an act of omission or a lack of discretion, but if he or she can adequately explain these acts, the attorney cannot be found to have given you ineffective assistance of counsel.
Your attorney may be able to reasonably explain his or her strategy. If the attorney can do this, the judge will have no choice but to reject your motion. The attorney can be wrong, but employing an erroneous strategy does not constitute ineffective assistance of counsel.
Making Mistakes during the Trial.
An attorney cannot be penalized for making mistakes during a trial. Therefore, your new attorney must show that your trial attorney’s mistakes are the direct cause of the outcome of your trial. Your new attorney may demonstrate the following examples of ineffective counsel:
The Remedies for Ineffective Assistance of Counsel.
The court may do one of two things when it has been determined that you had ineffective counsel. These include the following:
If you believe that your lawyer was ineffective, hire a criminal defense law firm to protect your Sixth Amendment rights.
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