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The Costly Consequences of Ineffective Representation 

Roth Legal, A Professional Law Corporation Dec. 7, 2022

Close up Golden Scales with Blurry Lawyer as BackgroundIf you’ve known someone who’s been accused of a crime or if you yourself have faced charges in the criminal justice system, you know just how important it can be to have a solid attorney on your side. All too often, people underestimate how difficult it will be to mount a successful defense and they think any lawyer will be able to help, or worse—that they can do it themselves. It’s essential to understand the consequences of ineffective representation and why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney you can trust. Reach out to Roth Legal, A Professional Law Corporation, if you’re in the Modesto, California area or anywhere in Stockton, Manteca, Merced, and throughout California. 

Ineffective Representation  

One of the first questions you may be asking yourself after being arrested is, “Do I need a criminal defense attorney?” After all, won’t the state assign you a public defender? Do you really need to hire a private practice attorney? The answer almost always is yes. If you aren't working with an attorney who has the skills, experience, and time necessary to devote to your case, they may fail to adequately investigate all the available evidence or raise a motion that could have helped. They could also fail in preliminary negotiations with the prosecution which are often key to reducing charges or striking a plea bargain that reduces the penalties you’ll face. 

There have been several instances of individuals who have failed to secure a capable criminal defense attorney and suffered because of it. For example, in the 1993 case of West v. United States, the defendant’s counsel should have objected to not receiving the presentence report within the proper time frame and because of this, failed to find key errors in the report. In another case, United States v. Conley in 2003, neither of the defendant’s attorneys noticed that the sentence handed down by the judge exceeded the statutory maximum. 

The Consequences of Having Ineffective Representation  

There are a number of consequences that could befall you when you choose a subpar attorney to represent you. One of the biggest is the amount of time you can lose. An experienced attorney will work efficiently yet thoroughly on your case because they know how valuable your time is. You also risk having increased penalties and higher fines if your attorney fails to negotiate with the prosecution. Often, your initial charges can be reduced or even thrown out completely based on the available evidence, or if there were any errors made during the arrest (for example an illegal search and seizure). This is especially important if you feel you’ve been wrongly accused. 

Qualities in an Effective Defense Attorney 

When you work with a qualified private attorney, you’ll get the experience and professionalism you need to mount a convincing defense. Look for a lawyer who has direct experience with the criminal charges you’re facing—be it an assault charge, DUI, or domestic violence accusation. Even the best attorney can’t be an expert in all fields. By hiring your own private attorney, you’ll know you have the most capable person for the job. You also want to work with someone you trust to truly listen to your side of the story and who will communicate with you directly and honestly. Lastly, if you work with an attorney in your area, they’ll be more familiar with the local courts, judges, and prosecuting attorneys and they can use this knowledge to aid in your case. 

Criminal Defense Attorney in Modesto, California 

Anytime you’re facing criminal charges, you need legal representation who will be with you every step of the way. If you’re in the Modesto, California area, get in touch with Roth Legal, A Professional Law Corporation to schedule a consultation.