Could your lawyer’s poor performance lead to a criminal appeal?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2021 | Criminal appeals

If you hired an attorney and decided to fight your criminal charges, you likely wanted to prove your innocence. Rather than pleading guilty to quickly put the issue behind you, you chose instead to fight back.

Sometimes, your chances of success will diminish because of the attorney that you work with for your defense. The wrong lawyer could do significant harm to your defense strategy and could even have a direct impact on your conviction.

Attorneys can hurt the cases of their clients in numerous ways. If you believe that inadequate representation played a role in your conviction, then you might have grounds for an appeal.

What constitutes inadequate representation?

Just being unhappy with the guidance provided by your attorney won’t be grounds to file an appeal for inadequate defense. You will need to have some kind of documented issue with how your lawyer handled your case.

For example, if court transcripts show that your attorney showed up to court drunk and got reprimanded by the judge or they fell asleep while the prosecution presented their case, those court records could play a major role in your appeal. On the other hand, you may need another attorney to review your court records to determine that some kind of legal malpractice occurred.

Another lawyer could explain to you how your attorney misinterpreted state law or failed by not referencing crucial legal precedent or challenging something the prosecutor did. Whether your attorney gave you bad advice, committed some form of gross negligence in the courtroom or lacked sufficient knowledge in the area of law where you needed help, you may be able to use their poor performance to secure an appeal.

You can’t assert your right to defend yourself with an incompetent attorney

The average person has very little understanding of the law and proper court procedure. You wouldn’t be able to navigate a complex hearing on your own or know exactly how the law protects you. You hired an attorney because they have that information and also the experience to challenge evidence or inflammatory statements made by a prosecutor in court.

If your lawyer failed to provide you with appropriate guidance or adequate representation, you may be able to appeal your conviction because of their failure. Learning more about the grounds for a post-conviction appeal can help you better assert your rights after a criminal conviction.