Recently, 30-year-old Drew Buechlein’s appeal of his burglary plea conviction was denied by a New Jersey appeals court. Buechlein, who is said to be homeless, pleaded guilty to committing burglary in Westville in 2009. He was sentenced to 364 days in jail, and probation according to a news article at NJ.com. At issue was whether Buechlein’s attorney represented him effectively in the case.
Buechlein claimed that his lawyer did not clearly explain the potential consequences of pleading guilty, which he argues his lawyer pressured him into doing. He also says that his lawyer did not make any effort to suppress his identification as a suspect in a photo array. Buechlein also attempted to present a defense to appeals judges, saying that he could not have committed the burglary in Westville, because he had been charged in a Brooklawn burglary. Brooklawn borders Westville, according to the article.
The suspect was released from jail in March of 2014 after having been incarcerated since December of 2011 on prior burglary and drug charges.
In the current burglary case, the Gloucester County Superior Court ruled that Buechlein’s attorney did not represent him ineffectively; the New Jersey appeals court appellate judges agreed.
Michigan criminal appeals attorneys understand that appealing a conviction or even claiming ineffective counsel in a situation where the defendant believes his/her legal counsel misguided him or her into pleading guilty is tough. However, there are factors which may convince the appeals court that you deserve a second chance. For instance, in addition to ineffective counsel, grounds for an appeal may include violation of the defendant’s rights during the trial or sentencing process, juror bias or misconduct, or even something the judge in the case did that was inappropriate, or failed to do.
In order to be successful in an appeal, it is vital to have a capable and experienced attorney who has a proven track record in having clients’ convictions or sentences overturned. While winning an appeal is not easy and does not happen often, it can and does happen with the right lawyer who is diligent and thorough in presenting the case to the appeals court. When choosing a Michigan criminal appeals lawyer, choose wisely.