Appealing a Criminal Conviction Resulting from a Plea Deal
As a criminal defense attorney serving the Phoenix Valley, Todd Coolidge is committed to fighting for his clients’ innocence. Having a case dismissed in pre-file representation or getting charges reduced is an ideal outcome. However, we know that on occasion a plea bargain may be the best option for a case that has weak or incriminating evidence.
But what if you feel that you may have pleaded guilty due to the ineffective assistance of counsel? Can a plea deal be reversed? Unfortunately, if a judge has accepted your plea deal and applied a sentence, it’s extremely difficult to have a guilty plea reversed because, under the law, you have waived your right to appeal. However, in cases where a defendant was represented poorly, there may be a chance to appeal.
Here are a few possible ways to appeal a bad deal if you feel you’ve received ineffective counsel:
1. Your Plea Was Involuntary
In order for a plea deal to be accepted by the judge, it must be voluntary as well as knowingly and intelligently made. This means that a defendant’s legal counsel must sufficiently inform them about the plea bargain and while they can encourage a client to take the deal, they cannot pressure them to do so.
2. There Was a Failure to Investigate
If a criminal trial lawyer is negligent in their duty to uncover all possible facts and alibis that would have provided a “substantial likelihood” the defendant would not have waived his rights to a trial and pleaded guilty, then they have a case to appeal on the grounds of ineffective counsel.
3. You Received Erroneous Advice about the Law
Most lawyers encourage their clients to take a plea deal when they truly believe that going to trial is too risky. On occasion, however, a lawyer may inaccurately interpret the law leading them to push a plea deal that will actually result in harsher sentencing.
4. Failure to Communicate a Plea Bargain
When it comes to striking a plea deal with the Prosecution, the deal may go through several iterations. It is required by law for an attorney to present any and all plea deals to their client, But some attorneys like to play hardball and may fail to bring a good deal to a client and then subsequently lose it.
If you feel that you may have received ineffective counsel resulting in a bad plea deal and criminal conviction, your case deserves a second chance before the law. Call Coolidge Law Firm today and we’ll discuss how you can have a plea deal reversed.