When you are facing criminal charges, you may decide to enter a plea bargain, also known as a plea deal. A plea deal is a strategy for reducing your charges and shortening your sentence. You may attempt to strike a deal only to find out it is not doing you any good.

Thankfully, you may be able to overturn your conviction if you can prove your lawyer did not provide you with effective guidance. Understand how to prove your previous attorney did a bad job.

Lawyer duties

When you hire a defense attorney, you expect him or her to inform you about all the details of your case. One of the core responsibilities of a lawyer is to help you understand every aspect of your situation, including:

  • The potential results of a trial
  • The weaknesses and strengths of your case
  • The potential sentence(s)
  • The terms of a plea deal

Your lawyer should explain the benefits and drawbacks of going to trial or pleading guilty. If your lawyer did not help you understand these things, you may have entered a plea bargain based on ineffective assistance. 

Overcoming a bad deal

The Supreme Court supports the rights of criminal defendants to proper legal counsel during plea bargains. You may be able to overturn your sentence if your attorney did not adhere to his or her constitutional duty. Here are some examples of inadequate representation:

  • Failure to explain complete, correct or unbiased information
  • Failure to negotiate on your behalf
  • Exaggerating risks to pressure you into accepting a plea deal 
  • Downplaying risks to pressure you into going to trial

Essentially, you must prove your attorney did a bad job, which impacted the results of your case.

When a plea bargain goes wrong, it is more than a simple inconvenience; it can affect your entire future. If you have questions about your situation or believe you did not fully understand the risks, you should look into appealing your plea or working with a competent lawyer.