There are many examples of cases where an incompetent attorney failed to provide competent representation. A recent decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals serves as a striking example of how Michigan appellate courts will bend over backward to uphold a conviction, even if the attorney was useless. This case demonstrates how important it is to hire a good, aggressive, and effective criminal defense lawyer because there will be no second chances.
In the recent case of People v. Kequieantia Montgomery, Mr. Montgomery was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony (AKA Felony Firearm). The incident took place in Oakland County, Michigan.
According to the Court of Appeal’s decision, the defendant shot two individuals but told police that he shot them in self-defense. During the trial, the defense lawyer failed to object to legally inadmissible evidence. Essentially, the lawyer sat quietly while the prosecutor ran roughshod over his client.
The burden for ineffective assistance of counsel is high. Essentially, the defendant must prove that the lawyer’s performance was below an objective standard of reasonableness and that there is a reasonable probability that there would have been an acquittal if the lawyer had not made the alleged mistake or error at trial. There is a strong legal presumption that any “irregularities” in the lawyer’s performance were intentional and a matter of “trial strategy.”
The Court of Appeals agreed that the defense lawyer made major mistakes; however, the Court affirmed the conviction and found that any errors probably did not affect the outcome of the trial. In other words, the conviction stood because the Court of Appeals found that despite considerable and profound errors of the defense attorney, it just doesn’t matter. The Court of Appeals concluded its written opinion by finding that the conviction should stand because the Court could not conclude that the defendant was innocent.
The moral of the story is if a criminal defense attorney is necessary, you should hire the best attorney you can find. The best criminal defense attorney will be one with a dedicated defense practice, who is part of a collaborating team of attorneys, and who has a track record of successfully representing clients for decades.
The Impact of OWI and DUI Convictions
Many people believe that a first offense of Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs is not serious enough to invest in a good attorney. Failing to hire a top attorney would be a very big mistake. A criminal conviction for a misdemeanor or felony can be life-changing in a negative way. Not to mention the possibility of jail time, a defendant faces serious financial consequences, loss of reputation, loss of earning capacity, and countless other terms and conditions of probation. An OWI, DUI, or similar offense conviction can never be expunged and will remain on the defendant’s criminal history forever. A felony charge carries even more serious potential consequences. Don’t take these matters likely and make sure you, your family, and your future are protected.
Every Case is Defensible
Alcohol and drug-related charges are defensible in multiple ways. There are legal, constitutional, medical, scientific, and factual defenses that can be used to get charges reduced or dismissed and to convince a judge that a lenient sentence is appropriate. While prosecutors and over-zealous judges frequently demand incarceration in these cases, a persuasive defense lawyer may be able to convince a court to consider treatment and other rehabilitative measures.
“Can a defendant be acquitted at trial?”
Yes! Although few lawyers have ever successfully defended a client in an OWI jury trial, a strong and smart defense can result in an acquittal. The attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully defended clients at trial and achieved verdicts of not guilty. We have a well-earned reputation for being fearless in court, tenacious in defense of our clients, and tireless and unyielding in how far we will go to obtain the best possible outcome for every client.
Operating While Intoxicated Defense Lawyers
If you are facing felony or misdemeanor charges related to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is in your best interest to hire attorneys that will have your back and fearlessly defend you in court. Call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at (248) 263-6800 for a Free Consultation and confidential case evaluation or complete a Request for Assistance Form, and we will promptly contact you. We will find a way to help you.