Motion for Ginther Hearing-Ineffective Counsel

Post-Trial Motions and Appeals

Motion for Ginther Hearing Based on Ineffective Counsel

If you have been convicted of a crime because of ineffective assistance of counsel, one legal option is to file a motion for Ginther Hearing. The term for this motion is derived from the decision People v Ginther, 390 Mich 436 (1973).

A Ginther Hearing is an evidentiary hearing on a defendant's motion for new trial claiming they received ineffective assistance of counsel.

If a plea bargain is accepted by a trial judge, most of the defendant's rights to an appeal are forfeited. It is extremely challenging to appeal a criminal conviction and sentence after a plea bargain or an open plea to the court.

A Voluntary, Informed Plea Must Have Been Made by the Defendant

However, a defendant's waiver of their rights and plea of guilty must be made voluntarily. "Voluntary" does not simply mean that the defendant was not coerced, but that they understood the consequences of the plea and were capable of making an informed decision. If the defendant received ineffective counsel and did not understand the plea, or the rights that were severed with the acceptance of the plea, there may be cause for involuntary plea based on ineffective counsel. If successful, it may be possible for the defendant to withdraw the guilty plea and request a new trial.

A defendant has no legal recourse simply because they did not like their attorney or were unhappy with the outcome of their case. However, an attorney is required to meet certain standards of diligence, including investigating the facts of the case and presenting them properly to the courts. A failure to perform "due diligence" or to follow proper court procedures that results in a conviction may be a cause of filing based on ineffective counsel. In other words, if an attorney failed to reasonably uncover evidence that, if presented would have likely resulted in a different outcome, they may have provided ineffective counsel.

Other examples that might be considered ineffective counsel in a criminal case include:

  • The attorney failed to relay a plea bargain offer by the prosecutor to the defendant;
  • Failing to locate witnesses or verify an alibi;
  • Failure to discover prior convictions that resulted in an increased sentencing;
  • The defendant was given incorrect, false, or misleading legal advice that lead the defendant to plead guilty, thereby waiving their rights to an appeal;

Michigan Criminal Appeals Attorney to File Motion for Ginther Hearing

Reversing a guilty plea and waiver of rights based on ineffective counsel is not an easy legal feat and an experienced criminal appellate lawyer is recommended. There are strict and short time limits on filing motions and appeals in criminal cases so you need to act quickly.

If you believe you received ineffective counsel, contact the law firm of Grabel & Associates today to explore any possible legal options you may have.