If you found yourself in trouble with the law at some point, your first action might have been to head to a local criminal defense attorney's office to ask for help. This is -- and should be -- the first step that many defendants take when they're facing criminal charges. You probably assumed that your lawyer would help you in any way possible, and he or she was supposed to do so. Unfortunately, there are some cases when criminal defense lawyers -- and other attorneys -- are negligent when it comes to representing their clients. These are some possible signs that your criminal defense attorney was negligent in handling your case.
1. Your Lawyer Didn't Stay in Contact
When you hire a lawyer to help with a criminal case, he or she is supposed to be there to help you through everything. Of course, many criminal defense attorneys are busy. However, it's reasonable for you to expect for your lawyer to get back in contact with you within a reasonable amount of time if you've tried to contact him or her to ask questions about your case. Additionally, your lawyer should never do things like accepting a plea bargain on your behalf without accepting it with you first. If your lawyer failed to communicate with you while handling your case, he or she might have been negligent.
2. Your Attorney Didn't Show Up for Court
Sometimes lawyers are busy juggling different court dates, meetings with clients, and other duties. All of this is understandable. However, your attorney is supposed to be present when you have a court hearing or trial date. If your attorney missed dates in court when he or she was supposed to be there, particularly if this happened often or if no one was sent in his or her place -- such as another attorney from the same firm -- then this is a sign that he or she did not provide you with the legal counsel that he or she was supposed to provide you with.
3. Your Lawyer Wasn't Mindful of Deadlines
In the legal system, there are often deadlines by which certain things, such as filing motions or submitting evidence, must be done. Failing to do these things in a timely manner can be very bad for the case. If your lawyer was not mindful of these deadlines, he or she might have been negligent.
If you counted on a criminal defense lawyer to help with your case and if he or she was negligent in doing so, work with a negligence attorney such as Franklin L. Jones, Jr. to get help.