When you are convicted of a crime, the sixth amendment gives you the right to a lawyer. However, this does not always mean you will be given an effective lawyer who is capable of defending your case. In situations like these, a person may lose the case simply because they were forced to work with a lawyer who was not effective for their specific case or type of crime. Not all lawyers have experience in every field, which is why ineffective assistance of counsel can be a reasonable appeal if you lost the case. Talk to a Criminal law lawyer in Tennessee if you have questions about this process.

What is Ineffective Assistance of Counsel?

The is a right to reverse criminal convictions and punishments as long as you can prove the lawyer that was appointed to you or hired by you, was ineffective. Ineffective can mean different things when it comes to a lawyer’s performance. This might mean the lawyer had little to no experience with your type of crime, they sabotaged your case or failed to put forth sufficient effort.

For an ineffective assistance of counsel to be taken seriously, you must demonstrate two factors. First, you need to prove your lawyer fell below objective standards and second, you must prove that a different lawyer could have changed the outcome of the proceeding. Doing this requires strong logical arguments. 

Factors of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Different factors can affect the ineffective assistance of counsel. The court must test the lawyer’s overall performance on your case to determine whether the criteria for ineffective assistance of counsel have been met.  can include preparation for your case and conduct during


Preparation is often a key process for criminal trials. Poor preparation can significantly alter the outcome. A lawyer who fails to gather all the evidence and examine all the facts and evidence for both sides might fall into the ineffective assistance of counsel category. 

Conduct describes the lawyer’s objections during the trial. If the lawyer failed to make appropriate objections, this may have been what led to an insufficient outcome. For example, your lawyer may have failed to object to the other lawyer when leading questions were asked at the wrong time. One instance may not sound like much, but this can greatly affect your case. Not following through with your decision to appeal may also count as a violation of conduct. 

What ineffective assistance of counsel cannot be applied to is situations in which your lawyer used a legal strategy you disagreed with or tactical decisions. Tactical decisions can be things like choosing which witnesses to testify.