JOURDAN E. HUERTAS v. COMMISSIONER OF CORRECTION, SC 18818

Judicial District of Tolland at Somers

 

†††† †Habeas Corpus; Ineffective Assistance of Counsel; Whether Sixth Amendment Confers a Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel in Matters Pertaining to Credit for Presentence Confinement. The petitioner was arrested on March 29, 2005, and was held in lieu of bond until he posted bond a number of months later.† Subsequently, he was arrested and arraigned again on other charges and held in lieu of bond in those cases.† After being sentenced, the petitioner filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, claiming that he was deprived of the effective assistance of counsel because of counsel's failure to maximize his presentence confinement credit by not seeking, after his later arrests, an increase in the bond imposed for the first arrest.† The respondent contended that there is no sixth amendment right to the effective assistance of counsel in matters pertaining to credit for presentence confinement.† Relying on the Appellate Court's decision in Gonzalez v. Commissioner of Correction, 122 Conn. App. 705 (2010), which held that the right to effective assistance of counsel attaches at the arraignment stage and that the petitioner therein was deprived of effective assistance due to counsel's failure to seek a bond increase, the habeas court rendered judgment for the petitioner.† The court found that if counsel had asked for an increase in the bond securing the petitioner's pretrial release in connection with his first arrest, the petitioner would have received additional days of presentence credit, assuming that his request was granted.† The court further found that there was no strategic reason for counselís failure to seek the bond increase.† The Supreme Court will consider whether the habeas court's decision was correct.† It will be considering, in a separate appeal (SC 18688), the propriety of the Appellate Court's decision in Gonzalez. †See Gonzalez v. Commissioner of Correction, 298 Conn. 919 (2010).