ODILIO GONZALEZ v. COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTION, SC 18688

Judicial District of Tolland at Rockville

 

†††† †Habeas Corpus; Ineffective Assistance of Counsel; Whether Petitioner had a Sixth Amendment Right to the Effective Assistance of Counsel for a Matter that Concerned Petitionerís Presentence Confinement Credit.† The petitioner was arrested on three separate occasions in 2006 and 2007.† After his first arrest, he was released on bond, and, after his second arrest, he was released on a promise to appear.† The petitioner remained in custody after his third arrest, however, because he was unable to post bond.† Thereafter, on March 30, 2007, the petitionerís attorney requested that the bonds in connection with the petitionerís first two arrests be increased so that he would be unable to obtain bail and thereby receive presentence confinement credit for those arrests.† The trial court granted this request, and, ultimately, the petitioner was sentenced to a term of incarceration after he pleaded guilty to charges that only related to the first two arrests.† The petitioner subsequently filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, claiming that his attorney was ineffective in failing to request that his bonds be increased on January 16, 2007, which was the date on which he was arraigned in connection with his third arrest.† He maintained that, because his attorney did not request that his bonds be increased until March 30, 2007, he was deprived of seventy-three days of presentence confinement credit.† The habeas court agreed with the petitioner and granted the petition.† On appeal, the respondent argued that the petitioner had no sixth amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel for a matter that merely concerned presentence confinement credit and that, in any event, the petitioner failed to establish that his attorney was ineffective.† The Appellate Court (122 Conn. App. 705) determined that the right to the effective assistance of counsel attaches at the arraignment stage and, therefore, the petitioner had such a right at his January 16, 2007 arraignment.† It next concluded that the performance of the petitionerís attorney was deficient because a reasonably competent attorney would have asked for an increase in the petitionerís bonds during that arraignment, not over two months later.† It further determined that the petitioner was prejudiced by his attorneyís deficient performance in that he lost seventy-three days of presentence confinement credit.† Accordingly, it affirmed the habeas courtís decision.† In this appeal, the Supreme Court will decide whether the Appellate Courtís conclusions were correct.