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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

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What Do You Have To Show For Ineffective Assistance?

By Spodek Law Group | July 27, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 13, 2023)

Last Updated on: 13th October 2023, 08:21 pm

What Do You Have To Show For Ineffective Assistance?

Getting accused of a crime is scary. Even if you’re innocent, the legal system can be confusing and overwhelming. Where do you start? Who can you trust? If you end up with a bad lawyer, it can ruin your case. This article looks at ineffective assistance of counsel – what it is, how to spot it, and your options if it happens to you.

What is ineffective assistance of counsel?

The 6th Amendment gives you the right to an attorney if you’re accused of a crime. But not just any attorney – you’re entitled to a competent one. If your lawyer screws up badly enough, it’s called “ineffective assistance of counsel.” This means they failed to provide an adequate defense.

There’s no simple test for ineffective assistance. Courts look at two main factors:

  • Your lawyer’s performance was deficient. They made serious mistakes that no reasonable attorney would have made.
  • You were prejudiced. There’s a good chance the outcome would’ve been better with a competent lawyer.

If both are true, you may have grounds for an appeal. But the bar is high – minor mistakes usually won’t cut it.

Examples of ineffective assistance

Here are some common ways lawyers drop the ball:

  • Not investigating your case or calling key witnesses
  • Failing to get important evidence thrown out
  • Botching plea bargain negotiations
  • Missing deadlines or showing up unprepared
  • Refusing to let you testify or give your side
  • Having an obvious conflict of interest
  • Not objecting to serious trial errors

If your lawyer was drunk or asleep at trial, that’s ineffective assistance for sure. But courts give attorneys a lot of leeway for strategy calls. Just because you disagree with their tactics doesn’t mean it was deficient. You have to show they made objectively unreasonable choices that harmed your case.

How to identify ineffective assistance

If you have a bad feeling about your lawyer, trust your gut. Here are signs they may not be up to snuff:

  • They don’t return calls or show up to meetings
  • They pressure you to take a guilty plea
  • They don’t explain the case or answer your questions
  • They seem clueless at hearings or make no objections
  • They miss filing deadlines or show up unprepared

Of course, no lawyer is perfect. But if multiple red flags pop up, it may be grounds for a new attorney. Don’t wait until after conviction – the sooner you act, the better.

What to do about ineffective assistance

If you suspect ineffective assistance, first discuss it with your lawyer. Explain your concerns and give them a chance to fix mistakes. If that doesn’t work, consider getting a second opinion from another attorney. They can review your case and advise if your lawyer is incompetent.

If it’s too late because your case is over, you can raise ineffective assistance on appeal. You’ll have to show how specific errors affected the outcome. This can get technical, so work with an appellate lawyer. New evidence usually can’t be introduced at this stage – your argument must stick to the trial record.

Another option is to file a habeas corpus petition. This is a separate civil action claiming your imprisonment is unlawful due to constitutional violations at trial. New evidence can be presented in habeas proceedings. But the bar is still high, and you only get one shot absent special circumstances.

What happens if your claim succeeds?

If a court agrees you had ineffective assistance, the remedy depends on when you raised it:

  • Direct appeal – Your conviction is reversed and you get a new trial
  • Habeas petition – Your conviction is vacated and you’re released or retried

The court can also modify your sentence or plea while leaving the conviction intact. Bottom line, proving ineffective assistance gives you another chance to fight the charges and get justice.

Avoiding problems with your lawyer

While you can’t control how your lawyer handles your case, there are steps to reduce the odds of issues:

  • Research attorneys thoroughly and check reviews
  • Choose a public defender or hire a private lawyer?
  • Make sure you’re comfortable with their experience and fees
  • Interview multiple lawyers before deciding
  • Be proactive and communicate often
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions or voice concerns

The lawyer-client relationship is vital. You need someone competent who will fight for you. If it’s not a good match, don’t stick with a bad lawyer just because you already paid them. Your freedom is on the line.

The bottom line

Ineffective assistance of counsel is a nightmare, but not an automatic get-out-of-jail-free card. The grounds are limited, and courts give lawyers lots of leeway. But if yours makes serious mistakes that harm your case, you may have recourse for an appeal or new trial. Don’t wait – take action ASAP if you suspect you have a lemon lawyer.

Facing criminal charges? You need someone who will build the best defense and have your back. Get in touch today to discuss your case in a free consultation.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

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After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

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