Can I Sue My Criminal Defense Attorney: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

When you’re sitting behind bars because your attorney failed to effectively represent you in your criminal case, one question you should be asking yourself is: “can I sue my criminal defense attorney?” The answer to that question depends on whether or not your attorney’s representation was truly ineffective. If you can prove that your attorney gave you ineffective assistance of counsel, it is possible to bring a legal malpractice suit against your lawyer and collect money damages. So, what is ineffective assistance of counsel and how can it be proven prior to bringing a legal malpractice claim against your attorney?

Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 allows the court to vacate a conviction, judgment, and/or sentence, when your attorney fails to render effective assistance, such that had effective assistance been offered, the outcome of your case may have been different. When could something like this happen? Some common forms of ineffective assistance occur with your attorney fails to properly file pretrial motions, fails to convey a plea offer, fails to advise you of the consequences of a plea, fails to investigate exculpatory witnesses or evidence, and fails to preserve the right to appeal. A common instance of ineffective assistance of counsel is when an attorney fails to advise you that a plea could subject you to deportation if you aren’t a US citizen.

Having the court grant you post-conviction relief in the form of ineffective assistance of counsel is crucial to being able to survive a claim for legal malpractice against your criminal defense attorney. If you feel that your attorney did not represent you effectively, contact your team at The Ison Law Group and we will walk you through the steps of obtaining post-conviction relief and additionally filing your claim for legal malpractice. 

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