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U.S. Supreme Court recognizes that bad legal advice during plea bargaining can have life-altering repercussions

The decision of whether or not to accept a plea deal, prior to trial, is a crucial one in an individual’s life.  It is a decision that may have life-altering consequences.  For example, the plea deal may involve prison time and/or loss of professional licenses which would directly affect an individual’s liberty and livelihood.  A decision of such magnitude should only be made with sound, competent advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney.  And prior to giving any such advice, the attorney should have a comprehensive knowledge of the individual client’s case, the evidence involved and of course the applicable law – at a minimum.  After being dormant on this issue for many years, the U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled to expand defendants’ rights during plea negotiations.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/22/us/supreme-court-says-defendants-have-right-to-good-lawyers.html?pagewanted=1&sq=us%20supreme%20court%20&st=cse&%20pleas&scp=1