Son convicted of statuory rape. He was advised to sign the paper because it was the best for him. The young lady changed her story and then wanted to drop the charges. But the parents took over. My son tried to tell his counsel that he didn't do it. His attorney told him that THE best for him was to plea or else he would get life. All through his incarceration he tried but the give up. At the trial his attorney told him to agree to what he was asked and he would probably get a lenient sentence. A condom was brought up that he never heard about it before. The attorney fail to investigate the fact that he had a male roomate. He fail to investigate that my son was severely depressed and had mental issue. I feel that his counsel wasn't aggresive enough to look into investigating his innocence
You have not told us the things that a lawyer would care about and would want to know. When did all this happen? Last week or five years ago? In one sentence you say he plead guilty, elsewhere you say he had a trial. Has he taken an appeal already? Depending on the law in his state and on the exact procedural posture of his case, he might or might not be able to ask leave to withdraw a plea, ask for reduction of his sentence, take an appeal, or bring some kind of petition for collateral review. Which, if any, would be appropriate and whether any would have much chance of success is something that only a lawyer familiar with criminal appellate and collateral remedies in your state can evaluate, and it is an evaluation might be rather involved just to get a preliminary answer as to what steps are possible. Any challenge to a conviction and sentence, and especially one involving a guilty plea, is a difficult uphill battle. But consult an attorney who is able to look into the situation.
Your son will have an uphill battle no matter what avenue he pursues, but I agree with the attorney who answered your question first - there are a lot more details to consider. If your son is serving time in North Carolina's state prisons, he may write to North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services and ask for help challenging his plea or sentence.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to form a client/lawyer relationship. I currently work for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc., a non-profit law firm which exists to protect the rights of prisoners in the custody of the state of North Carolina. I cannot accept clients outside of my work. If a loved one is in prison in North Carolina, advise the inmate that they may write to North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, Inc. NCPLS will review their case at no cost and will litigate at no cost to the inmate if the case meets NCPLS' standards. NCPLS can also provide some assistance to inmates seeking to represent themselves.
If it is true that your son's lawyer did not investigate the case, then there very well may be a decent argument that the advice given to take the deal was ineffective. A lawyer has a legal and ethical obligation to make informed decisions. Whether a deal is a good deal or not depends a lot more on whether it comes in shy of the maximum sentence. If that were the definition, all deals would be good deals. Seldom does the prosecutor offer the max and expect the defendant to take it.
Evaluating the value of any deal depends on the strength of the state's evidence and any defenses. The defense lawyer cannot intelligently advise his/her client without doing the necessary investigation.
If the claim is factual innocence, contact the local Innocence Project. http://www.nccai.org/ You don't mention whether there was any DNA evidence, but sex cases usually often have greater prospects of DNA evidence--even when nobody mentions it before trial.
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