The United States Supreme Court has recently ruled that it is ineffective assistance of counsel to not inform a client of a proposed plea offer in a case. In Missouri v. Frye, the court said defendant’s have the right to effective counsel at all stages of proceedings. Why is this important? The client has the right to be informed of plea offers. The client has the right to determine whether to proceed to trial based on a proposed plea offer. The client has the right to reject a plea bargain and has the right to be informed of what he/she is giving up by rejecting a plea proposal.
If you have an attorney who is not communicating proposed resolutions to you, you have the wrong attorney. You may not like the proposed offer and you may want a different offer but you have the right to know the offer. I recently represented a client who was not happy with the offer and could not understand why the prosecution would not dismiss a case. The prosecution doesn’t have to dismiss a case. You don’t have to like the offer. If you don’t like the offer, your remedy is to reject the offer and proceed to trial.
Communication between the lawyer and the accused is crucial. You must be able to speak with your attorney. If you have hired an attorney, you should at lease listen to the advice and counsel. You don’t have to agree with it, but an experienced attorney knows the lay of the land, and the risks involved and whether it is a good offer. If you don’t trust your attorney’s advice, get a second opinion. You have the right to get a second opinion. It is your case, your life and you have to live with the results.