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Ineffective Representation
Has Costly Consequences

The Law Office of John Goalwin Feb. 10, 2022

Judge gavel with Justice lawyersWhen you are facing criminal charges, you are fighting for your livelihood, your freedom, and in some cases, your life. This is no time to try to save money by hiring a criminal defense attorney who is inexperienced, overworked, or otherwise ineffective. You have far too much at stake.

All criminal defense attorneys are not created equal. Attorney John Goalwin has been representing clients in courtrooms throughout Los Angeles, Torrance, Van Nuys, Norwalk, and Compton, California, for 45 years. At The Law Office of John Goalwin, we combine talent, energy, and experience in criminal defense to deliver outstanding results for those we represent.

What Is Ineffective Representation?

Ineffective representation can take many forms and be the result of multiple circumstances, including time limitations, access to resources, and a lack of knowledge about the crimes you have been charged with. Here are a few examples:

  • An attorney lacks the relationships with the types of investigators clients need for their defense, as well as the resources to pay and oversee their work;

  • An attorney has so many clients at one time that there is no time to adequately prepare a defense strategy;

  • An attorney fails, either due to representing more clients than feasible or lack of experience, to object to the prosecution’s evidence or arguments when they are objectionable;

  • An attorney lacks the resources to provide expert testimony to refute the prosecution’s case or support the client’s criminal defense;

  • An attorney fails to obtain DNA and other testing that could prove a client’s innocence;

  • An attorney fails to conduct background checks and investigations of witnesses for the prosecution;

  • An attorney fails to protect a client from self-incrimination;

  • An attorney does nothing to determine if or present evidence that the client has been wrongly accused; or,

  • An attorney does not listen to the client, respect the client’s wishes, or protect the client’s rights under the law.

These are just a few examples of ineffective representation in a criminal case. Any of them alone or in combination with others can have dire results for those facing criminal charges. Cases can go to trial when they should have been dismissed. Objectionable evidence and perjury can convince a judge or jury of guilt. A client may plead guilty to a crime they did not commit. Justifications for the client’s involvement in or commission of a crime may go unheard, leading to a conviction. Clients may serve far longer prison sentences, incur greater fines, and pay the price of having ineffective representation.

Are Private Attorneys Better
Than Public Defenders?

Public defenders are criminal defense attorneys, just as private ones are. Most of them, however, are assigned to so many cases that they are unable to devote the same amount of time as a private attorney can to each and every client. Also, public defenders might lack access to the investigative resources a client needs to dispute prosecutorial evidence and find supportive evidence.

Another consideration is that public defenders usually don’t have the opportunity to review a case, spend significant time with a client, and talk to the prosecuting attorney before charges are actually filed. This early intervention can often lead to having no or reduced charges filed before you need to set foot in a courtroom. Most public defenders are assigned to a case only upon the filing of criminal charges, not before.

Ineffective representation by a public defender is rarely due to that attorney’s lack of experience, skill, or knowledge. It is usually a matter of time and money.

What Makes a Defense Attorney Effective?

There are some qualities that make a criminal defense attorney more effective than others, beginning with experience. Not just any experience makes an attorney more effective. They should have experience representing clients charged with the same or similar crimes. If they do, you can be confident they know the relevant law and are current with any recent changes to the law.

You should also retain the services of an attorney who defends clients in the jurisdiction you have been charged in. What that means is that the attorney has relationships with the judges, the prosecuting attorneys, and even may have knowledge about others involved in your arrest, such as law enforcement.

Don’t assume every criminal defense attorney has the experience and local standing you want. Ask them directly about the charges their clients have faced, the case results, and the courtrooms they have appeared in.

Finally, make sure you hire a criminal defense attorney you feel comfortable with and confident about. You will spend time with your attorney and share highly personal information. You need to trust that your attorney will provide the most aggressive defense possible and maintain complete confidentiality.

Getting the Experienced
Legal Guidance You Deserve

At The Law Office of John Goalwin, we are dedicated to delivering the most effective legal representation possible to every client we serve. We don’t judge our clients based on guilt or innocence but rather use the law to protect their rights and achieve the best results we can for them.

If you are facing criminal charges in or around Los Angeles, don’t work with ineffective counsel. Call our office now.