In Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper, the Supreme Court expands review of the actions of defense attorney in counseling their client regarding plea negotiations by the judiciary. On Wednesday, March 12th, the court held that counsel may be found ineffective if he or she fails to properly inform the defendant of a beneficial plea agreement offered by the prosecution, or if he or she incorrectly advises defendant on the state of the law, leading the defendant to reject a beneficial plea agreement.
Galin E. Frye was charged with driving with a revoked license. Because of previous convictions, he faced a felony charge carrying a maximum sentence of four years. The prosecution offered Frye a plea deal by way of a letter to his counsel. The deal included an offer to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor and recommend a 90 day sentence. Counsel didn’t bring the offer to Frye and it expired. He pled guilty without an underlying plea agreement was sentenced to three years in prison.