What You Can't Discuss With A Criminal Attorney

Many people operate under the assumption that attorney-client privilege is an unbreakable bond in criminal defense. In the strictest sense, it is. However, the real-world application of attorney-client privilege creates a lot of times when you should not discuss specific problems with your lawyer. Before you meet with a criminal attorney, it is a good idea to learn about these three scenarios and how to talk with counsel.

Asking How to Commit a Crime

Your attorney can't tell you how to commit a crime. Likewise, they can't participate in any way. Their foreknowledge of a crime would make them at the minimum an accessory and at worst a co-defendant.

Notably, you can ask what is and is not illegal. Be prepared to discuss hypothetical scenarios. The simplest approach is to just not bring up the topic.

The Facts of a Crime

At first, this might sound strange. You may wonder how a criminal attorney is supposed to defend you if they do not know what happened. However, if you tell your lawyer the facts of a crime, that can limit their options for defending you.

The big thing to remember is the law prevents an attorney from lying as part of a client's criminal defense. Suppose your defense hinges on the claim you were two states away. Your attorney can only present that defense if they do not know something else is true. If you tell your lawyer you were really at the scene, they can't state anything else in court. Otherwise, they risk losing their license if anyone finds out.

Missing Evidence

If you have evidence in your possession that the prosecution doesn't know about, you do not want to discuss that fact with your attorney. A lawyer's oath precludes them from hiding evidence, and this does not fall under your right against self-incrimination. The court can't compel you to incriminate yourself, but the law is perfectly happy to hold it against you if you blunder into it.

How Do You Discuss a Criminal Defense?

The best way to talk about a criminal defense is to only answer questions your attorney asks. By the time most folks have lawyered up, there are indictments or affidavits explaining what the state alleges you did. Your attorney can read those documents and figure out which questions to ask you. They can then frame these questions to avoid creating any further legal problems.

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When most people think of hiring an attorney, they picture gloom-and-doom situations like crime and divorce. But in fact, there are so-called happy times when you would need to hire a lawyer. Perhaps it is time to draft your will and make sure all of your possessions get handed down to the right people after you pass away. Or maybe it is time to establish a trust and protect some of your estate. General attorneys offer a wide range of services, including those for good times and those for bad times. You can learn more about these professionals and their profession right here.

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