Ineffective Assistance of Counsel is Cause to Withdraw a Plea When Counsel Failed to Have Defendant’s Statements Excluded

By: Wallin & Klarich

An ineffective assistance of counsel claim is one reason to withdraw a plea agreement. In order to prevail on an effective assistance of counsel claim, defendant must demonstrate that his counsel’s representation was “deficient” and that deficiency caused a result that would not have happened but for the inadequate representation.”Deficient” means that the counsel’s representation fell below an objective standard of reasonableness; meaning, the attorney did not handle the case as a reasonable attorney would.

In Moore v. Czerniak, the defendant pled no contest to felony murder under the advice of his counsel. July 28, 2000, DJR, No. 04-15713. However, police obtained an illegal confession from the defendant that should have and would have been excluded from evidence. The attorney mistakenly thought that the confession would have been admissible and is the reason why the attorney advised his defendant to plead guilty to felony murder.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that this was deficient representation that caused the defendant to plead guilty in a situation where he otherwise would not have pled. Therefore the court allowed the defendant to withdraw his plea.

When an attorney’s misjudgment causes a defendant to accept a plea that he or she should not accept, a defendant needs an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for his or her rights. If you or a loved one has had his or her right to a fair trial denied because he or she pled guilty under deficient advice of counsel, please contact the experienced California defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich.

Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience handling criminal defense. Let Wallin & Klarich advise you and ensure your rights and freedom are protected under the law. Contact Wallin & Klarich for a consultation at 1-888-280-6839. Also, visit us online at to learn more about your case and what can be done

Posted In: Criminal Defense