It has long been recognized by the Courts of the United States that a criminal defendant is entitled to “effective assistance of counsel” at a jury trial. That is, your lawyer’s performance, or lack there of, must not change the outcome of your case. However, the Supreme Court has recently ruled that criminal defendants are now entitled to effective assistance of counsel in plea negotiations. The Supreme Court cases are Lafler v. Cooper, No. 10-209, and Missouri v. Frye, No. 10-444.
This ruling by the Supreme Court is especially important because the majority of cases throughout the country are resolved via plea agreements. Because of this fact, it is especially important for a lawyer to be competent in negotiating a plea and communicating any plea offers to the defendant.
It is important that your lawyer is well acquainted with the charges, possible sentencing issues, and the tendencies of the judge. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you with your case, no matter how big or small the charge.