Category Archives: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

What is Ineffective Assistance of Counsel?

Ineffective Assistance of Counsel is a hot topic for individuals convicted of crime.  If someone who is convicted of a crime believes that they were found guilty because of their attorney’s mistakes or lack of competence, the statute of ineffective assistance of counsel may be able to help them appeal their conviction. 

The landmark case Strickland v. Washington defined the meaning of ineffective counsel in 1984. The Court showed that an attorney’s assistance would be considered ineffective if it “so undermined the functioning of the adversary process that the trial cannot be relied upon as having produced a just result.”

Ineffective assistance of counsel is a violation of the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to a fair and speedy trial and to have the assistance of counsel as his or her defense, among other things.

Proving Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

It is a task of great effort to prove ineffective assistance of counsel due to stringent standards of proof. The onus of proof is on the defendant, since the courts start with the assumption that attorneys provide effective assistance.

The defendant must prove at least two points:

  1. The attorney made serious mistakes.
  2. These mistakes prejudiced the defendant’s case. Prejudice in court means that the trial’s outcome would have been different without the aforementioned mistakes.

If you believe that you were found guilty in a criminal case due to Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, Russell Spatz in Miami may be able to help you.  Because it is very difficult to prove ineffective assistance of counsel, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Please contact Russell for a consultation.