The stakes can be high in criminal cases. Convictions can see an individual facing fines, prison time and even potentially losing their jobs and families. When a person finds himself on trial, it is the duty of their legal team to provide them with effective counsel.
Anything to the contrary is simply unacceptable and might even be legally actionable. When a lawyer gets it manifestly wrong, this is often referred to as ineffective counsel, which is a valid route of criminal appeal.
Outlined below are some of the more common examples of ineffective counsel.
Timekeeping can be extremely important in criminal cases. If you are told to be in court on a certain day and time, then you are expected to be there. As your representative, your lawyer also has a duty to be there on time. But what if they don’t turn up on the day that it counts? Not only does this reflect badly on them but it could also have serious ramifications for your case.
Not keeping you in the loop
A lawyer is there to advise you, but ultimately, the big decisions fall on you. Legal teams can discuss strategy with you and reiterate your rights, but they can’t make decisions for you and keep you in the dark. If this becomes apparent during or after your case, then it could be grounds for ineffective counsel.
Lack of relevant knowledge
You wouldn’t expect someone without the relevant knowledge and training to perform open heart surgery on you. Well, the same can be said for criminal trials. If your lawyer makes significant errors because they simply do not know the law, then this is grossly negligent and could even be considered malpractice.
If your counsel has been ineffective and you’ve been convicted as a result, then you may be entitled to an appeal. Seeking guidance from an experienced team can help ensure that the same thing does not happen again.