If you are on trial accused of committing a crime, the worst outcome you could face is being convicted guilty of the charges against you. You depended on your attorneys to represent your interests, and while most attorneys will meet this duty there are some that will practice in an incompetent manner leading to ineffective assistance of counsel.
All defendants in the U.S. have a right to counsel, which includes a right to effective assistance of counsel. If this right is violated, meaning that counsel provided was ineffective, there could be a habeas corpus claim. This means it may be possible to have a conviction overturned.
Proving ineffective counsel
If a defendant wants to prove ineffective counsel, the following elements must be met. First, the attorney’s performance must fall below an “objective standard of reasonableness.” Second, it must be shown that there is a reasonable probability that but for these errors, the result of the trial would have been different.
The following are some signs you should look for to ensure you are receiving effective legal counsel. One is that your attorney is being treated with respect from other attorneys and the judge. A second is the presence of appropriate communication between you and your attorney. A third is the timely filing of legal documents. If any of these factors are missing, you may want to learn more about whether you have a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel.
Standing up for your rights
Ultimately, if you believe you or a loved one was subjected to ineffective assistance of counsel, you will want to take steps to defend your rights. With the right assistance, you can pursue a legal claim if you believe your loved one’s attorney did not meet their constitutional duties.