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Georgia residents who have been accused of committing a crime are entitled to adequate legal representation, whether the attorney has been appointed by the court or retained by the defendant. It should be noted, however, that "adequate" representation does not necessarily mean that the person will receive perfect representation. If the attorney is found to be negligent or fails to adequately represent the defendant, a guilty verdict could potentially be thrown out.

Essentially, those who are accused of a crime have the right to a fair trial. If the attorney is ineffective, the court must determine if the attorney's conduct prevented the judicial process to function as intended. There are two steps that the defendant must do to prove that the attorney was incompetent. First, the defendant must provide evidence that the attorney's performance was not sufficient. Second, the defendant must show that the incompetence resulted in an unfair trial.

If the defendant cannot prove that the attorney was incompetent or that the trial was unfairly prejudiced against the defense due to the attorney's incompetence, the result of the trial may be upheld. However, the court usually presumes that the attorney's conduct is acceptable.

A person who is facing criminal charges may also be facing serious consequences that could potentially include incarceration if a conviction is obtained. A criminal defense attorney can assist in building a strategy to combat the charges, depending upon the nature of the crime. For example, if the charges relate to drug possession, the attorney can challenge the constitutionality of the search that led to the seizure of the drugs.

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