Sometimes despite the best efforts of a skilled and competent DUI attorney, a client will be forced to endure an outcome they do not like. When this happens there Is a natural and understandable desire to place blame. We field many calls, mostly after a conviction, seeking an opinion about an attorney’s performance. Some ask whether or not we would be willing to undertake an appeal. To date, our answer has always been an emphatic “No!”
The purpose of this article is two-fold; the first is to re-emphasize the importance of selecting the best attorney for your case right at the outset. Most problems can be resolved by talking to your attorney about your case and about your expectations. The second purpose is to inform you of the legal standard your attorney is judged by and what burden you would carry in order to show that you had a “bad” lawyer.
The leading case on this issue is the United States Supreme Court decision in Strickland v. Washington (1984), 466 U.S. 668, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 80 L.Ed.2d 674. The Ohio Supreme Court adopts and applies the Strickland decision in State v. Bradley, 42 Ohio St. 3d 136 and the Second District Court of Appeals (which covers most of the Miami Valley) applied the Strickland reasoning in State v. Sparks, 2011 Ohio 3868. Speaking to the issue of ineffective assistance of counsel, the Court held,
“To reverse a conviction based on ineffective assistance of counsel, it must be demonstrated that trial counsel’s conduct fell below an objective standard of reasonableness and that his errors were serious enough to create a reasonable probability that, but for the errors, the result of the trial would have been different…Hindsight is not permitted to distort the assessment of what was reasonable in light of counsel’s perspective at the time, and a debatable decision concerning trial strategy cannot form the basis of a finding of ineffective assistance of counsel,” State v. Mitchell, Montgomery App. No. 21957, 2008 Ohio 493.
Therefore, to demonstrate that an attorney is ineffective, you must show:
- That the attorney’s actions fell below the standard that is reasonable, AND
- That, the actions of the attorney were so serious as to create a reasonable probability that the outcome of the trial would have been different.
The basis of an appeal for ineffective assistance counsel can not be based upon a reflection of an attorney’s strategy during trial as the higher court will not use hindsight to determine the appropriateness of the attorney’s strategy. Even if the strategy was wrongheaded or stupid, even if you did not agree to the strategy and even if the strategy proved amazingly unsuccessful, if the strategy is reasonable, the court will not remand based upon that fact.
DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Springboro, Huber Heights, Oakwood, Beavercreek, Centerville and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671. For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube. You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI.”
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