Florida Legal Article: Lake County Attorney
A Lake County attorney can be a good ally for individuals who are charged with committing a criminal act. Criminal defense attorneys will consider the facts relating to your individual case and advise you how the law applies. The United States Constitution guarantees certain rights to all individuals accused of committing a crime, and Lake County attorneys work hard to make sure the government doesn’t trample on any of those rights.
According to the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right … to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.” Indigent defendants–those who can’t afford to hire their own Lake County attorney to represent them–will be appointed an attorney by the Court at no cost to them. While judges are only required to appoint public defenders for cases involving penalties of 6 months or longer in jail, they usually appoint them in all cases involving potential incarceration so they are not locked into giving unrepresented defendants little to no jail time at all.
United States Supreme Court case law holds that indigent defendants are as entitled to adequate representation as those who can afford to hire their own attorneys. Adequate representation refers to the fact that whateverLake County attorney represents you, he or she must do a reasonably good job defending the accused. This doesn’t mean Lake County attorneys have to do a perfect job representing defendants, of course, since that’s pretty much impossible to guarantee.
Here are some claims defendants have made to try to get guilty verdicts overturned and have been rejected by appellate courts:
- a Lake County attorney’s failure to appropriately call supporting witnesses at trial;
- a Lake County attorney’s failure to object when a judge gives jurors incorrect instructions concerning the burden of proof;
- a Lake County attorney’s use of cocaine during the time the trial took place; and
- a Lake County attorney’s representation of the defendant when suspended from practicing law because of failure to pay state bar dues.
The following are examples of behaviors that judges found shocking enough to justify overturning guilty verdicts:
- a lawyer leaving a law student intern alone to oversee the defense ;
- a lawyer admitting that the defendant had committed a lesser crime without obtaining the defendant’s permission beforehand, and
- a lawyer failing to challenge potential jurors who admitted they could not remain neutral if a defendant refused to testify.
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