What You Need To Know To Appeal Your Conviction: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Gavel depicting What You Need To Know To Appeal Your Conviction

Have you or has someone you love received a guilty verdict in your criminal case? Are you wondering if you can appeal your conviction?

So much emphasis is put on the part of the criminal case that comes before the verdict, it’s important to remember that’s not the end.

Much more of your case is yet to come if you have received a guilty verdict in court.

Your legal battle is just beginning even though you may be in prison.

For instance, you can file an appeal to have your sentence reduced or to have your conviction overturned, which could completely clear your name if you won.

Or you can file a post-conviction motion.

What Are Post-Conviction Motions?

There are several types of post-conviction motions you can file. I won’t go over all of them today, however, they are different from an appeal.

An appeal, as you may know, is your legal right after losing a trial or taking a plea. Appeals can usually only be made about legal errors that occurred at your trial – errors the judge made, in other words.

A motion is a way to touch on issues that can’t be raised by filing an appeal.

The most common type of motion or challenge is one that encompasses the ineffective assistance of counsel.

In other words, you’re saying to the court that your trial lawyer made egregious errors on your case or didn’t do his or her job.

Your Right To An Effective Lawyer

We have talked about how difficult it is to get the help you need with a court-appointed lawyer due to a lack of resources.

Whether or not you felt you could afford an effective lawyer, you have a constitutional right to one.

If you believe your lawyer didn’t do his or her job, you may be able to use this information to reverse your outcome.

However, you have to be able to prove two things to a judge:

  1. That your lawyer didn’t do the job as well as they should have.
  2. That their mistake had a significant impact on your case and its outcome.

When you choose to work with me as your appellate lawyer, one of my first jobs is to demonstrate both of these things to a judge so that the wrongs of your trial can be set right.

How Can You Demonstrate Ineffective Assistance of Counsel?

In order to prove ineffective assistance of counsel, you have to prove that your trial lawyer’s performance fell below:

  • An objective standard of reasonableness,” and
  • A reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result of the proceeding would have been different.

What is an objective standard of reasonableness?

And how can you prove that it would have mattered if your lawyer had done something differently?

A good example of a post-conviction process that is also fascinating is the first season of the popular podcast “Serial.”

Defendant Adnan Syed had a friend who could place him at the library during the time investigators say he murdered classmate Hae Min Lee.

Since Adnan’s trial lawyer did not interview this person, this gave his appellate lawyers evidence to show a judge that, had his lawyer done her job and interviewed the witness, it would have made a difference in the outcome of his trial.

It’s not always the case that trial lawyers don’t do their job.

As I have said before, they are often overworked and without the necessary resources. If Adnan’s lawyer missed this witness, it might have just been because she had too much other information to sift through in Adnan’s case.

However, her oversight was still a problem for Adnan, and he can prove it.

These are the kinds of details we will work to uncover and present to a judge when you hire me to work on your post-conviction case.

Are you ready to appeal your conviction?

If you have been convicted of a crime in court, don’t give up. You still have a life and a reputation to defend.

I want to make sure we leave no stone unturned to help you get the outcome you are hoping for.

Call today to set up your free initial consultation. Let’s get to work.

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