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  #1  
Old 07-09-2018, 08:45 PM
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I am not sure this is the correct place for this post. So, if not, please move it.

A little back story: My husband's legal issues started in July 2017. Due to his addiction, he stole some stuff and was caught. Then recieved a VOP. Final sentence was 30 months and he was transferred to FDC on April 10, 2018. He was assigned to a public defender, whom we feel did nothing to help him.

In November 2017 the public defender was arrested for a DUI. Her charges were lowered to Reckless Driving with Alcohol and she plead to 12 months probation. In May 2018 she was arrested again; this time for child negelect involving alcohol and subsequently a VOP. After talking to my husband he informed/reminded me that he used to smell alcohol on her when she would visit him in jail and there were numerous times the judge would get on to her for her lack of preperation on cases.

Question: Would hubby have a conflict of intereste or ineffective councel case, or who would we contact to find out? We realized that this might not make any difference on his case, but if there is a chance that he could go back and get the drug rehab and mental counseling that he asked the judge for, it would be worth it.

Thank you in advance for any information you can give on this matter.
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Old 07-10-2018, 10:35 AM
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He might indeed have an IAC case, but your problem is the time he has left to serve. He will probably be out before any case would be heard and adjudicated, and that would leave him with no time for programming anyway.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:30 PM
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He might indeed have an IAC case, but your problem is the time he has left to serve. He will probably be out before any case would be heard and adjudicated, and that would leave him with no time for programming anyway.
Where would I start in finding out? He and I discussed this and he wants to get information so he can make an educated decision.
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Old 07-10-2018, 07:13 PM
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Start by hiring an attorney. Alternatively, start looking up habeas corpus cases dealing with ineffective assistance of counsel due to substance abuse.

I will caveat a few things:
1. Misconduct in one case does not mean there was misconduct in all cases
2. You state that he frequently smelled alcohol on her breath yet he never said anything to the court. The State will argue that even if there was misconduct/ineffective assistance, he waived the issue because he did not try to fire his attorney.
3. You never say whether the sentence was within the sentencing guidelines for the crime and VOP. If it was, you will be hard pressed to maintain any sort of claim of IAC


Look, you can be an addict and even get a DUI and still be an effective attorney. You are basically positing that the attorney had a drinking problem during the time of representation, ipso facto, the representation was deficient. There’s a long way to go before you have. A plausible case. You have to show that the attorney's representation was so deficient, it violated his right to counsel (basically that he didn’t have counsel as a result). Beyond that, you have to show that you were substantially prejudiced by the conduct of the attorney - basically that you didn’t get a fair trial (it was a trial, right? If not, and he accepted a plea deal, he is probably very much SOL) and the result of the trial would have been substantially different if he had had competent representation.

You want to look at White v. Florida and Strickland v. Washington. Those are the cases that largely control IAC.

And again, this is all moot if it was a plea. Also look up 3.850 motions in Florida.

Good luck.
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Old 07-11-2018, 07:06 AM
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Start by hiring an attorney. Alternatively, start looking up habeas corpus cases dealing with ineffective assistance of counsel due to substance abuse.

I will caveat a few things:
1. Misconduct in one case does not mean there was misconduct in all cases
2. You state that he frequently smelled alcohol on her breath yet he never said anything to the court. The State will argue that even if there was misconduct/ineffective assistance, he waived the issue because he did not try to fire his attorney.
3. You never say whether the sentence was within the sentencing guidelines for the crime and VOP. If it was, you will be hard pressed to maintain any sort of claim of IAC


Look, you can be an addict and even get a DUI and still be an effective attorney. You are basically positing that the attorney had a drinking problem during the time of representation, ipso facto, the representation was deficient. Thereís a long way to go before you have. A plausible case. You have to show that the attorney's representation was so deficient, it violated his right to counsel (basically that he didnít have counsel as a result). Beyond that, you have to show that you were substantially prejudiced by the conduct of the attorney - basically that you didnít get a fair trial (it was a trial, right? If not, and he accepted a plea deal, he is probably very much SOL) and the result of the trial would have been substantially different if he had had competent representation.

You want to look at White v. Florida and Strickland v. Washington. Those are the cases that largely control IAC.

And again, this is all moot if it was a plea. Also look up 3.850 motions in Florida.

Good luck.


Thank you for your response. This is pretty much what we were thinking (that he is sol). Honestly, I wrote more than one letter to the judge about her, I called the her supervisor and his supervisor, and it was more than just him. I'll pass this info and the cases you mentioned on to him and see what he wants to do. Again, Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:22 AM
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Thank you for your response. This is pretty much what we were thinking (that he is sol). Honestly, I wrote more than one letter to the judge about her, I called the her supervisor and his supervisor, and it was more than just him. I'll pass this info and the cases you mentioned on to him and see what he wants to do. Again, Thanks!
You canít do dick when it comes to somebody else's representation. He had to do everything.

Judge was informed. Most judges will look at this stuff and question the attorney directly or indirectly, but that doesnít mean that the Defendant is actually challenging the representation. He had to do it. It was his representation. The onus was totally on him. Same with the PD's office - you cannot dictate anything. Only the client can actually make a complaint that will get traction, challenge the representation, or even fire the PD.

And again, just because there was misconduct in one case does not mean there was miscoduct in all cases. Each defendant would have to prove that the attorney made errors and that the defendant was substantially prejudiced by those errors such that the outcome would have been substantially different.
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