The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. constitution guarantees individuals the right to effective assistance of counsel.
Ineffective assistance of counsel is one of the most common bases for Utah criminal conviction appeals, but also one of the most difficult appeals to win.
To succeed in an ineffective assistance of counsel claim, a Utah defendant has to show that their lawyer’s representation fell below an “objective standard of reasonableness” after considering all circumstances in a case.
A few mistakes during trial isn’t enough to prevail on an ineffective assistance claim – a defendant not only has to show that their attorney made mistakes, but also that there is a “reasonable probability” that the proceeding would have been different.
This means that even the most serious professional mistakes are irrelevant in cases where there is overwhelming evidence of a defendant’s guilt.
Defendants also have the cards stacked against them in these type of appeals because there is a presumption that an attorney’s actions are “sound trial strategy.” Courts give counsel significant latitude in making tactical decisions during a criminal trial and will not second-guess these decisions unless there is “no reasonable basis to support them.”
The Salt Lake City criminal defense team at Greg Smith & Associates handles criminal appeals throughout Utah. If you or a loved one has been convicted due to ineffective assistance of counsel, call us at 801-651-1512 or contact us online.