A Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains What Is Confidential and What Is Not

As a criminal defense lawyer, I have years of experience representing people who have been accused of all sorts of crimes. Whether you have been accused of committing a robbery, a sex crime, domestic violence, assault, arson, driving under the influence, or something else entirely, I can help. It is important to work with an attorney who understands the process, knows the prosecutors, and has a firm grasp of the types of cases that could be best dealt with prior to heading to the courtroom. For example, a plea bargain can often be reached prior to going to trial. I have this level of experience and will be happy to answer your questions during a consultation.One of the questions I am regularly asked is whether or not it is safe for someone to speak freely. This is an understandable question given that many of my criminal clients actually have broken a law. Even if they are partially innocent or have not committed the level of crime they are accused of, most people I represent are concerned about making their case worse. In many situations, I am looking for how to reduce the charges brought against my clients and how to minimize the penalties they could face if convicted. With that in mind, it is important to understand a few key facts regarding confidentiality and what you can and cannot say.

  1. What you say to your lawyer is confidential. The key word here is “YOUR” lawyer. If you say something to another attorney, it is not under lawyer-client privilege. For example, the prosecutor is an attorney, and there will be other attorneys around the jail or the courthouse. That does not mean that you can speak with them without having your conversation repeated. In fact, if the prosecutor finds out you had a conversation with anyone outside of your attorney, that person could be subpoenaed and asked questions about your conversation on the stand.  This makes it necessary for you to retain or hire a specific attorney and not discuss your case with anyone else. As a criminal defense lawyer I can explain the concept of confidentiality and how to retain my services during a consultation.
  2. Do not speak with the police. When you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent and need to use it. Anything you say to the police can and will be used against you – even if you are simply blustering. This is not a time to make a joke or be sarcastic, because what you say can be interpreted as factual, even if you did not intend for it to be. Instead, only speak with the police when you have a criminal defense lawyer with you.

If you or someone you know has been arrested, I encourage you to hire an attorney right away. It is critical that your rights are protected and an experienced criminal lawyer is the best person to do that.

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