Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

If You Hire the Wrong Attorney, it can Cost You Your Freedom

Even here in Pittsburgh, there are people who are found guilty of crimes because they were represented by an incompetent Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney. It can happen no matter the kind of case. From first-time Driving Under the Influence cases to theft to murder and everything in between. If it has happened to you, you might wonder if there’s any way to get the situation rectified.

Happily, under certain circumstances, you can get your situation rectified, and your case heard again. Pennsylvania has a law under which you can claim Ineffective Assistance of Counsel. This law, called the Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA), requires you to file a petition with the court, asking to appeal your conviction. If you prove your case, that your attorney was incompetent and his bad advice got you convicted, your conviction could be overturned, and you could be granted a new trial. This kind of second chance is invaluable when, because of someone else’s mistake, you have been found guilty and are facing jail time and fines. You may be able to avoid these hefty penalties. When you get that second chance, it’s vital that you make it work for you by making the right decisions.

Getting a Second Chance

Your conviction may be overturned if:

  • You can prove that your lawyer provided ineffective assistance.
  • You can show that his or her defense did not meet “an objective standard of reasonableness.”
  • You can show that there is a reasonable probability that the results of your proceeding would have been different if not for the lawyer’s unprofessional errors.

In the case of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel, the three items of the above list are the things you need to prove. If your attorney’s actions or lack thereof conflict with a rule of procedure, a statute, or the constitution, your claim has what is called “arguable merit.”

Another way that your claim has arguable merit is if your attorney ignored evidence that was both admissible and available which would have helped establish a viable defense for you.

To successfully appeal a conviction through a PCRA claim, you must also prove that your attorney’s action was unreasonable. Attorneys should not act in a vacuum. If his choice of defenses was not explained to you, it was unreasonable.

Another manner in which a defense action would be considered unreasonable is if no competent attorney would have chosen to do it.

Lastly, you must establish that your attorney’s actions or lack thereof prejudiced the court against you, and that had he acted differently, your outcome would have been different.

Unfortunately, getting a second chance is not easy. The state is not going to give up a conviction without a fight, once they have it, and they do not fight fair. To come against them effectively, you need an experienced, trained, professional, and skilled Pittsburgh criminal defense attorney who is aggressive and willing to fight for you.

If you believe that a bad lawyer got you convicted and that you are a victim of legal incompetence, don’t repeat the same mistakes you made the first time. Don’t just hire the first attorney you find. Investigate him or her, and check their reviews and the ratings they receive from professional organizations.

Sean Logue and his associates will work hard to represent you properly and get your conviction overturned. They are experienced and aggressive, with a winning record.

If you feel that your attorney was incompetent, and you are looking for a new one, give the team at Logue Law Group a call. The Logue Criminal Defense team serves Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding areas, including West Virginia and Ohio. To get in touch and schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced and determined Pittsburgh Criminal Defense lawyer from Logue Law Group, call us today at (412) 612-2210 or (412) 612-2210. Or, you can contact us online.

Don’t wait to call! The longer you wait to hire a new attorney, the more difficult it becomes for him or her to get a good outcome for you and your case. Call today!

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