The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the constitutional right to effective legal assistance in cases of plea bargain deals that are rejected or lapsed due to bad lawyer advice. The days of reasonable plea offers from the State Attorney’s Office are no more. The Supreme Court has effectively taken away any incentive criminal defendant’s may have had to enter a plea, as they may simple claim at a later date that their counsel was inffective during conversations with them regarding potential offers. It is yet to be seen how high of a standard defendant’s claiming such ineffectiveness will be held to, but there will most certainly be more colloquys placed on the record by defense counsel and more cases set for trial. Regardless, an already swamped criminal justice system should prepare itself for even more backlog as more and more cases appear on the trial docket.
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