Simply because a lawyer lost his client’s case does not mean they did a bad job providing representation. It is accepted the most accurate measure of a lawyer’s performance is if it can be considered reasonable based on objective professional legal standards. There is not a set of predetermined rules that specifically states what is considered reasonable. Each case a lawyer represents is different. All defense lawyers are going to make important decisions concerning legal strategy. These decisions are always judgment calls. A course of action can be reasonable because of the evidence in a case, and it meeting legal professional standards.
When someone receives a guilty verdict in their criminal case, their legal battle has not ended. In many cases, it is just the beginning. This is a time when they should review all their options for future legal actions. Many people decide to put in an appeal to get their sentence lowered or have their conviction overturned. An appeal may take a long time to be reviewed and be a challenge to win. People still have a right to appeal their conviction. A knowledgeable and experienced appellate attorney will know how to review a case and determine the best course of action. A good legal strategy could involve showing that an initial trial attorney’s representation was ineffective.
In most situations, a judge does not want to second-guess the judgment of a lawyer. They will assume an attorney knew how their client should have been defended. A defendant can prove they had ineffective representation in certain situations.
*An attorney advises their client, who holds a green card, to plead guilty to a reduced charge. They don’t explain to their client this plea could have immigration consequences. Their client is then unknowingly deported for their crime when other legal options were available.
*An attorney does not raise an objection when the prosecution introduces evidence that became available because of an illegal search. The reason is the attorney did not perform proper pretrial discovery to learn about the evidence and its source.
*An attorney files a motion to suppress evidence provided by the prosecution. They fail to include a memo detailing reasons why the prosecution’s evidence needs to be suppressed.
*An attorney does not hire an expert witness to counter what is testified to by the prosecution’s expert witness.
*An attorney behaves unprofessionally during the trial. This could involve wearing inappropriate clothing, not being on time for court, misinforming their clients about what is happening with their case, and more.
It is required for individuals to show they were prejudiced by their attorney’s ineffective representation. People will be required to show their lawyer’s mistakes were so significant they resulted in them not receiving a fair trial. They were deprived of an appropriate result. It must also be shown that an attorney did not do their job properly. It isn’t enough to show how a lawyer made mistakes during a trial. It must also be shown how those specific mistakes kept a convicted person from receiving a fair trial. Both of these elements must be proven to establish ineffective representation.
Statute of Limitations
When a motion is filed for ineffective representation, it is subject to specific time limitations known as a statute of limitations. This is the amount of time permitted to file this motion. The amount of time is determined by the state where the court action took place. It is common for the statute of limitations to be within two years after a defendant’s sentence and judgment becoming final. There are some exceptions.
*A defendant retained an attorney to file the motion within the acceptable time period, but the attorney failed to file it.
*The facts a defendant needs to file a claim were unknown to them or their attorney within the filing time period. It wasn’t reasonable for them to have been discovered.
*The fundamental constitutional right a defendant is asserting was not been established during the filing time period. The right was established during that time and determined to retroactively apply.
When a person believes they were found guilty because of ineffective representation, they have a right to appeal their case. It is time to hire a criminal appeals attorney. They will know how to review a case and determine the best possible approach toward an acceptable outcome. It can be complicated. The legal world has various barriers in place that make success a challenge. The attorneys at the Spodek Law Group have experience in handling such post-conviction appeals. They know the process and what is necessary to obtain an acceptable result.