In terms of definition it does not. But in practice the 2 big mistakes mentioned in Part 1 can't be made by a criminal attorney. Since your attorney doesn't control the filing of the suit he can't miss the statute of limitations (although if the DA did and your attorney didn't notice that would be a very serious mistake).
Secondly since you are guaranteed a jury trial the attorney can't screw that up. Many other mistakes may not affect the outcome of your case. Common complaints: he didn't visit me in jail enough, he wasn't prepared enough, he doesn't like me and I don't like him. None of these complaints while they may be valid are enough for criminal malpractice.
Finally you must show that without the mistake you would have won. This requires a finding of factual innocence. If the DA had any evidence against you at all a Court will not find you factually innocent of the charges. For that reason legal mal suits against criminal attorneys don't go far.
What About Inaffective Assistance of Counsel?
IAC is usually raised on appeal although it can be raised in the trial court on the defendant's motion. It's not the same thing as malpractice. The attorney may have done everything the textbooks required him to do but still be ineffective in his representation. Unlike legal malpractice this claim if upheld by the court is not going to get you money damages but it may get your guilty verdict reversed.
Common failures of counsel: not interviewing you in jail, not investigating your case, failure to insist on speedy trial rights, conflicts of interest, sleeping during the trial and many more. But again you have to show these things prejudiced your case. If your attorney failed to turn up witnesses when there were not he probably did no commit IAC.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.
What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.