Pleading: A One-Way Ticket to Ride

There are no “do-overs” usually in criminal court when a defendant “freely,” “voluntarily,” and “intelligently” enters a guilty plea with the “assistance” of “competent counsel.” Once the plea is entered, accepted by the court, and the defendant is sentenced- – the defendant must live with the whole ordeal (even if the defendant is unsatisfied for whatever reason). There is no redo or rework or second chance, and the plea is final in most respects.

A Few Reasons Why Convictions Are Forever (and What You Should Know)

Generally, outside of the rarest situation, if you are convicted of a felony, then you will live with the conviction for the rest of your life. Period. At common law, a felony was an offense that was punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. As such it is of vital importance that you understand the rights and privileges you will give up, waive, or otherwise lose as a convicted felon (whether the conviction comes by guilty verdict or plea bargain).

4 Parts of the Miranda Warnings

“They didn’t read me my rights. They have to dismiss my case, right?” This is a common refrain from the accused. Unfortunately, the answer is almost certainly “no.” This is super common misunderstanding that people have about their constitutional criminal rights. People mistakenly believe that because the police did not read them their [Miranda] rights, the case must be “thrown out of court.” Sadly, this is not how it works.

the Strickland Standard: a Primer for Ineffective Assistance of Counsel Claims

The benchmark for judging any claim of ineffectiveness must be whether counsel’s conduct so undermined the proper functioning of the adversarial process that the trial cannot be relied on as having produced a just result. A convicted defendant’s claim that counsel’s assistance was so defective as to require reversal of a conviction