Conviction Reversed due to Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

By: Wallin & Klarich

A defendant, Tyrone Miles, claims ineffective assistance of counsel by alleging that his attorney advised him to reject a plea offer of six years without alerting him that his crime was a third strike and punishable up to 25 years to life in prison. He later entered an open plea and the judge sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison.

In 1993 he participated and was convicted of 2 robberies, and went to prison for three years. In 2005, he picked up a case involving second degree burglary, forgery and cashing fictitious checks, with an allegation of two prior strikes, which were the 1993 robberies.

Lawrence Meyer was appointed to represent Miles. Meyers and Miles met on at a bail hearing and the next time at the preliminary hearing. There was no agreement reached and the case moved to superior court where the information was filed. He was offered a plea admitting the two prior strikes and would not be precluded of raising a motion to strike one or more of the strikes, called a Romero motion. The judge informed him that if he made this deal, “25 to life is probably what you are going to get”. Miles pled guilty anyways.

The trial court declined to strike the prior strikes and sentenced him to 25 to life. Miles alleged that when he met with Meyer, that there was a six year offer he could have accepted. However, Miles alleges that Meyer encouraged Miles to reject the offer and negotiate further. Miles alleges if he knew his exposure, that he would have accepted the deal. Miles alleges that he was never told by Meyer that he was exposed to 25 years to life in prison.

The Court Of Appeals, found that Meyer performed deficiently. The standard for ineffective assistance of counsel is to show that counsel’s performance was deficient and that the defendant was prejudiced. Strickland v. Washington,(1984) 466 U.S. 687. The Court found both of these conditions to be true and reversed the decision and remanded the case back to the trial court.

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Posted In: Appeals