Defendants in federal prosecutions have the right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment. That privilege includes the right to effective assistance of counsel.
If your lawyer did not advise you properly or made legal mistakes during your trial resulting in a negative outcome, you have the right to appeal. Demonstrating that your attorney provided ineffective representation can get your conviction overturned.
Proving Ineffective Assistance
To prove ineffective counsel, you must show that your lawyer’s performance did not meet the fair and objective standards of professionalism. You must also offer logical reasoning that indicates you would have had a different outcome if not for your attorney’s inadequate representation. As the defendant, the burden of proof is on you and must exhibit the probability that your verdict resulted from deficient counsel.
Obtaining Post-Conviction Relief
When your lawyer made errors in your original defense, there are three general routes to tackle your conviction:
- Direct post-conviction appeal
- State post-conviction appeal
- Federal or state habeas corpus claim
A different judge hears your direct post-conviction appeal than the original presiding judge in your case. If this first appeal fails, you may make additional appeals. When a court finds that you had insufficient representation during your first appeal, it can lead to a reversal of your conviction.
When your conviction is the result of inadequate legal assistance, you have the right to appeal your case. The procedures and rules governing these types of claims in Maryland are complex and demand strict deadlines. For a successful appeal, it is crucial to understand the requirements and process.