The Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel Interactions








Northstate has divided felonies into several classes. A “Class A” felony is the most serious, “Class B” is less serious, and “Class C” even less so. In an effort to cut costs, Northstate legislature has passed a law stating that attorneys will be provided at trial for the indigent only if they are accused of a Class A or Class B felony. Is the law unconstitutional?
Choice 1 Yes, because the Fifth Amendment right to counsel requires that the state provide an attorney to the indigent for all felonies.
Choice 2 Yes, because the Sixth Amendment right to counsel requires that the state provide an attorney to the indigent for all felonies.
Choice 3 Yes, because the Sixth Amendment prohibits states from separating felonies into distinct classes for any purpose.
Choice 4 Yes, because the Equal Protection Clause requires that all defendant be treated alike.
Which of the following statements is TRUE?
Choice 1 The Fifth Amendment right to counsel and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel are both offense specific.
Choice 2 Neither the Fifth Amendment right to counsel nor the Sixth Amendment right to counsel is offense specific.
Choice 3 The Fifth Amendment right to counsel is offense specific but the Sixth Amendment right to counsel is not.
Choice 4 The Fifth Amendment right to counsel is not offense specific, but the Sixth Amendment right to counsel is.

Massahampshire defines larceny as “taking and carrying away the tangible personal property of another by trespass with the intent to permanently deprive that person of his interest in the property,” and grand larceny as “a larceny which involves the taking of a sum of $1000 or more, or the taking of property with a value of $1000 or more.” Frieda is arrested for stealing a new plasma TV from a local shop. She is charged with larceny. Freida is properly Mirandized and demands to see a lawyer before answering any questions. After an hour or so an officer comes back into the room, Mirandizes her again, and informs her that they just discovered the value of the TV is $3000 and that they are adding grand larceny to her charges. May the officer question her about the grand larceny without raising a Sixth Amendment issue?
Choice 1 Yes, because it is a separate offense and the Sixth Amendment is offense specific.
Choice 2 Yes, because when they first questioned Freida the police were not aware of the value of the TV.
Choice 3 No, because this is not a separate offense for Sixth Amendment purposes.
Choice 4 No, because police cannot add charges once a suspect has been taken into custody.
Hobie is indigent and is assigned Warren as his attorney by the court for his felony murder case. Hobie continuously tells Warren to tell the judge about the religious tattoo he has on his chest and to point out that a man with such a tattoo couldn’t possibly commit murder. Warren refuses to argue the point and Hobie is convicted. On appeal, Hobie claims that Warren’s representation was ineffective. Is Hobie likely to win his appeal?
Choice 1 Yes, because the client always has the right to present the defense as he sees fit, even if he is not paying for his attorney.
Choice 2 Yes, because Hobie was convicted and Warren should have used anything available to him, including Hobie’s tattoo argument, to avoid that result.
Choice 3 No, because if Hobie was indigent as was unable to hire an attorney there is no guarantee that the court-appointed attorney will be able to provide an effective defense.
Choice 4 No, because trial tactics are entirely within the attorney’s discretion.

Following Hobie’s appeal Warren is shaken and has lost all self-confident. The next indigent client appointed to him by the court, Ben, is accused of vehicular homicide. The minimum penalty for this crime is 10 years in prison, the maximum if 35 years. While passing through a toll plaza Ben apparently passed out drunk and ran into the toll booth, killing the attendant inside. The entire episode is caught on tape, as is Ben’s post-Miranda confession at the police station the following morning once he sobered up. Ben has been arrested for driving while intoxicated in the past and has served time for the crime. Warren’s performance in court is lackluster to say the least. He mumbles so badly that the jury can hardly hear him. He often seems lost in a daze and fails to object to questions from the prosecution which any first-year law student would know are impermissible. His closing argument is only ten words - “Please don’t lock this boy up. He’s a good kid.” Ben is convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He appeals arguing ineffective assistance of counsel. Is Ben likely to win his appeal?
Choice 1 Yes, because Ben was convicted and Warren did not exhaust every avenue of argument to defend Ben.
Choice 2 Yes, because Warren failed to object to improper questions by the prosecution and failed to present a professional closing argument to the jury.
Choice 3 No, because Warren tried his best given his depression and near-alcoholic binges late at night.
Choice 4 No, because even if Warren had done his job properly it is not clear that Ben would have avoided a guilty verdict.

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