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Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

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Ineffective Assistance of Counsel refers to a situation where a criminal defendant's lawyer fails to provide competent or effective representation, resulting in the defendant being deprived of their constitutional right to a fair trial. The right to effective assistance of counsel is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. To prove ineffective assistance of counsel, the defendant must show that their attorney's performance was deficient and that this deficiency prejudiced the defense. In other words, the defendant must demonstrate that their lawyer's conduct was objectively unreasonable and that this conduct affected the outcome of the trial. Examples of ineffective assistance of counsel can include a failure to investigate important evidence or witnesses, a failure to object to improper evidence or testimony, a failure to adequately communicate with the defendant, or a conflict of interest that interferes with the lawyer's ability to provide effective representation. If a court finds that a defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel, the defendant may be granted a new trial or other relief, such as a reduced sentence. In some cases, ineffective assistance of counsel may also give rise to a legal malpractice claim against the lawyer.

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