Claims of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

In the recent case of Davila v.Davis, the Supreme Court analyzed the limit of ineffective assistance of counsel. Depending on the results of the trial, the defendant could avoid being sentenced to death for fatally shooting a 5-year-old girl and her grandmother.

The main question in the case concerns whether the defendant’s first lawyer was ineffective for not challenging a jury instruction. In many cases, federal courts are prevented from reviewing a defendant’s claim of improper procedures that occurred at a state level. In order to raise a strong ineffective assistance of counsel, individuals often require the assistance of a different and much more skilled attorney. Depending on the outcome of this case, the Supreme Court’s decision could have a substantial effect on the criminal appeal process and provide defendants with an additional method for recourse in the event of improper jury instructions.

The Argument Involved in the Case

This case has gained much publicity with several contrasting viewpoints. The American Civil Liberties Union and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers both filed briefs in support of the defendant, while 30 state attorneys filed briefs in support of the state of Texas. The plaintiff argued that providing the defendant an additional appeal would result in federal courts being forced to grant many other appeals. The defendant’s side, however, argued that the standard for an additional would still remain high if the defendant was granted an additional appeal. Justice Breyer asked whether there was evidence that loosening rules would result in an increased number of appeals.

Applicable Law Concerning Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

The Supreme Court of the United States has articulated that an ineffective assistance of counsel claim requires the court to determine whether the attorney’s counsel fell below “an objective standard of reasonableness” and whether there is a reasonable probability that the factfinder would have had a “reasonable doubt” regarding the guilt of the individual. As a result of this holding, a person must demonstrate to a court that an attorney’s handling of a case is so deficient that the trial would have resulted in an acquittal if the error had not occurred. Some of the most common types of ineffective counsel include the following:

  • The attorney never responds to you or is very late in responding to matters.
  • The lawyer behaved differently and in a more unprofessional manner than other attorneys.
  • The leg misunderstands terminology or procedure that is essential to a case.

Obtain the Services of a Skilled Attorney

If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the defendant who has filed an appeal, the defendant will not be released from prison but will receive an additional review of the case in question. If you appeal a case involving ineffective assistance of counsel, it is a wise idea to obtain the assistance of the best legal counsel possible. A skilled attorney like the legal counsel at Federal Criminal Law Center can prove to be particularly helpful in your case. Contact our office today at  404.633.3797 or by filling out our convenient online case evaluation form.