If you have been charged with a crime, you likely have many questions you want answered, some of which may be about the role of your defense attorney. A criminal defense attorney has many duties once they have been appointed to defend their client in court. In this blog, we will give a brief overview of these duties so you know what to expect from your criminal defense attorney.
The first requirement of your criminal defense attorney is to zealously defend you in court. “Zealous representation” means that your defense attorney is fully engaged in representing you. They must have active involvement in every process related to your defense, both before and during the trial. Your attorney must respond to any inquires made of them, and they must promptly attend any criminal proceedings and represent you there.
Next, your attorney must advocate on your behalf. This means that your defense attorney must represent you to the very best of their abilities and raise any potential viable defense in court. However, they are not required to raise any frivolous or unfounded defenses on your behalf.
Effective And Adequate Representation
Lastly, your criminal defense attorney must effectively and adequately represent you. Effective representation means that your defense attorney has followed all of the necessary procedures conscientiously, and has represented you in all of the proceedings, both pretrial and during the trial. Additionally, it means that your attorney properly advised you about the charges against you, and informed you of your rights.
If Your Counsel Isn’t Effective
Under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, you are entitled to a fair trial, which includes effective assistance of counsel. In the event that you don’t believe you have received effective or adequate representation, you may appeal your conviction on these grounds. In order to successfully do this, you must demonstrate that your attorney’s conduct was detrimental to the proceedings of your trial, so much so that the results of the trial are unreliable. This does not mean that your defense attorney cannot have made any errors. Rather, you are protected from your defense attorney’s performance if it directly undermined the adversarial process of the trial. If proven correct, you may be entitled to a retrial.
If you need a criminal defense attorney in South Carolina, contact The De Bruin Law Firm. We provide our clients with effective legal counsel for a variety of charges. Call us today for more details.