Kentucky residents may know that people are entitled to have an attorney if they if they are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor that could lead to incarceration. However, their rights do not stop here. They are also entitled to what is known as adequate representation. This means that even though a person may not have the best attorney, the attorney must be competent.
If a person’s legal representation is found to be incompetent, then a guilty verdict might be dismissed. However, courts operate from the presumption that an attorney’s conduct is professional, so a defendant must take significant steps to demonstrate this incompetence.
The first thing that must be proved in such a case is that the representation was so inadequate that the lawyer did not meet the standards for counsel as set by the Sixth Amendment. The second thing that must be proved is that the lawyer’s incompetence in turn damaged the person’s defense and resulted in the person not receiving a fair trial.
People who feel that they have had inadequate representation may want to contact another attorney if they receive a guilty verdict. Whether a person is facing a situation like this or is looking for an attorney for the first time, there are a number of aspects to consider such as how many cases the lawyer has successfully handled and what kind of reviews the attorney has online. Once people find an attorney they have a rapport with, there may be a number of strategies available to avoid a criminal conviction depending on the specifics of the case.