Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

The Sixth Amendment right to counsel requires not only that a person accused of a crime have the assistance of counsel for his or her defense, but also that such assistance be "effective." Ineffective assistance of counsel is established when a defendant shows two things: first, that trial counsel's performance was inadequate in light of prevailing professional norms at the time of trial; and second, that the ineffective performance resulted in a fundamentally unfair or unreliable result.

The right to the effective assistance of counsel also includes the right to be represented by an attorney who is free from conflicts of interest. This right may be violated if an attorney has a potential conflict of interest that results in prejudice to the defendant, or an actual conflict of interest, which adversely affects the attorney's performance. 21A Am. Jur. 2d Criminal Law § 1135.

The two-prong test for determining the validity of a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel provided in Strickland asks whether counsel's performance was deficient and, if so, whether this deficiency prejudiced the defense. In other words, whether there is a reasonable probability that the outcome of the proceedings would have been different, but for counsel's deficiency.

If a Defendant believes that his or her trial counsel provided ineffective assistance, there are avenues to address that claim. If successful, the court may enter an order for a new trial. In Federal cases, an ineffective assistance of counsel motion is filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 2255.

In Florida, an ineffective assistance of counsel motion is filed pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 3.850. For information on post-conviction motions, including ineffective assistance of counsel motions, please see our appeals and post-conviction motions page. Be aware that there are strict deadlines when filing ineffective assistance of counsel claims and it is imperative to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • Badge 1
  • Badge 2
  • Badge 3
  • Badge 4
  • Badge 5
  • Badge 6
  • Badge 7
  • Badge 8

Contact O'Brien Hatfield, PA for a free case evaluation today

In Tampa, call (813) 345-4909. In Orlando, call (888) 496-5916 . For fast answers, email us using the form below.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

This site uses Google's Invisible reCAPTCHA, which is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Footer Brand

Tampa Bay Office
511 West Bay Street Suite 330
Tampa, FL 33606

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 813-345-4909
Tampa Law Office Map

Central Florida Office
121 South Orange Avenue Suite 1500
Orlando, FL 32801

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 407-686-1696
Orlando Law Office Map

South Florida Office
Northbridge Tower
515 North Flagler Drive
Suite P-300
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 407-686-1696
South Florida Office Map

South Florida Office
Brickell Bay Office Tower
1001 Brickell Bay Drive
Suite 2700 M-1
Miami, FL 33131

Toll Free: 888-496-5916
Phone: 305-859-0046
Miami Law Office Map