Melanson Law Office P.C. July 8, 2022

A conviction can have life-altering consequences. In addition to fines and potential incarceration, a conviction on your criminal record can follow you for the rest of your life, creating significant barriers to finding a job or housing. 

When facing criminal charges, you want to rely on the legal advice you can trust. Being represented by an incompetent or ineffective attorney can hurt your chances of a favorable outcome.

Ineffective legal representation is almost as detrimental as having no defense attorney at all. Inadequate assistance of counsel could cost you your freedom. That is why working with a knowledgeable and skilled attorney can make a difference between conviction and freedom.

As a trusted and qualified defense attorney at Melanson Law Office, I provide high-quality legal representation to clients facing criminal charges in Kingston, New York, and throughout the Hudson Valley, Highland Hamlet, Catskill Village, and the surrounding areas.

Ineffective Representation

When facing criminal charges, the choice of a defense attorney can directly impact the outcome of your case. That is why it is critical to choose effective representation to protect your freedom and minimize the negative impact of the charges on your life.

However, it is not uncommon for defendants facing criminal charges to receive ineffective representation from their attorney. That is why the law recognizes the right to effective counsel protected by the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If a private defense attorney or public defender fails to adhere to professional standards while representing their client, the defendant can bring a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel.

Some of the most common examples of ineffective representation by a defense attorney or public defender include:

  • Failing to conduct a proper investigation

  • Not conducting an investigation within a reasonable amount of time

  • Failing to attend hearings

  • Not filing motions on behalf of the client to secure a favorable outcome

  • Failing to challenge the evidence brought against the client

  • Not objecting to improper testimony

If a person chooses to represent himself or herself against the criminal charges, there cannot be a claim for ineffective representation to overturn a conviction.

Private Attorney vs. Public Defender

If you are looking for an attorney to represent you in a criminal case, it is vital to know the difference between a private attorney and a public defender:

  1. A public defender can be assigned to a defendant when he or she cannot afford to hire a private attorney. Public defenders typically have a heavier caseload, which means they may not be able to devote enough time to each client.

  2. A private attorney is chosen by a defendant when facing criminal charges. Private attorneys can be picky when taking on cases, and a private attorney can turn down a case if they feel their workload is too much.

Whether you received ineffective representation from a private defense attorney or public defender, overturning a conviction based on ineffective assistance of counsel can be challenging. The law places a burden on the defendant to prove that their counsel provided ineffective representation.

Qualities in an Effective Defense Attorney

Before hiring a defense attorney, you need to make sure that you have found the right one who can provide you with effective representation and fight for your rights to the end. Qualities to look for in a defense attorney include:

  • Listening skills

  • Communication skills

  • Loyalty

  • Diligence

  • Punctuality

  • Compassion

  • Discretion

  • Attention to detail

  • Decision-making skills

  • Experience with similar cases

The worst thing you can do is hire a mediocre defense attorney who provides you with ineffective representation that costs you your freedom. Finding an attorney who has the above-mentioned traits can be a challenge. However, Melanson Law Office is a good place to start your search. As a criminal defense attorney, I possess the qualities necessary to provide clients with competent and diligent representation.

Legal Advocacy You Can Trust

When facing criminal charges, you need an attorney with a thorough understanding of your situation and who has the skills and experience needed to provide you with the defense you can rely on. Get the legal advocacy you can trust by contacting Melanson Law Office in Kingston, New York. I have the necessary resources and expertise to build a strong defense for you and help you navigate the criminal justice system during these tough times.