We’ve all been there. You have a secret that you just can’t keep anymore and you need to tell someone. But what if telling that person could get you in trouble? That’s where attorney-client privilege comes in. This legal protection helps keep communications between lawyers and their clients confidential. However, there are limits to what it can conceal. In this blog post, we will discuss the limitations of attorney-client privilege and how it affects criminal cases.
You should be honest with your lawyer
Telling your lawyer the truth and disclosing important facts that can affect your case is important. This is especially true in criminal cases
. If you withhold information from your lawyer, it can jeopardize your case. Your lawyer needs to know everything in order to provide the best possible defense. For example, at Rohan Law, we had a case where a client had been charged with a DUI
, and we prepared a defense based on our understanding that it was the first time for a charge like this. But when the court date came, we learned that the DUI charges were not the first and that our client had failed to tell us about all of his previous criminal charges. This threw our defense strategy out the window.
The attorney-client privilege law protects you
Being honest with your lawyer will help us create a better legal strategy for you. There are laws to protect you from the negative consequences of sharing your secrets with your lawyer. In fact, there are some things that you can confess to your lawyer without worry. For example, if you have committed a crime in the past, and you tell your lawyer about it, your lawyer can’t be forced to testify against you in court. This is because of the attorney-client privilege
. The attorney-client privilege is a legal protection that keeps communications between lawyers and their clients confidential. This means that you can tell your lawyer almost anything without worrying that it will be used against you in court.
The limits of attorney-client privilege
However, there are some limits to the attorney-client privilege that are designed to protect others and discourage conspiracies between clients and their lawyers. For example, if you are planning to commit a crime in the future, your lawyer can’t help you do that. In fact, if you tell your lawyer about your plans, he or she is required by ethical standards to report it to the authorities. If questioned, your lawyer cannot lie on your behalf without risking his or her law license. Additionally, if someone’s life is in danger, your lawyer may have to break confidentiality in order to save that person’s life.
The crime-fraud exception rule can compel attorneys to talk
There are instances where an attorney may want to maintain their client’s confidentiality and still be compelled to talk. There is a crime-fraud exception rule that can override attorney-client privilege rights. This rule states that if a crime is being committed or planned, the attorney must reveal what they know to the authorities, even if it violates confidentiality. Failing to do so makes the attorney a party to the crime and subjects them to the same criminal penalties as the defendant.
Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the fraud exception rule
An example of how this fraud exception rule can come into play is the case under investigation here in Georgia, where ex-New York Mayor and Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani
was questioned in the criminal election fraud investigation in Georgia
. He is being accused of conspiring with Trump to cover up his plans to commit fraud in the 2020 elections. While Giuliani is refusing to testify against Trump, citing attorney-client privilege, there is a possibility he may be compelled to talk under the fraud exception rule.
While attorney-client privilege is a valuable tool that can help keep your secrets safe, there are limits to what it can do. It’s crucial to be honest with your lawyer so they can prepare the best possible case on your behalf. It is also important to understand the limitations of this legal protection, so you know what to expect when you do share facts with your lawyer. If you have any questions about how attorney-client privilege may affect your case, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer today.
At Rohan Law
, we have experience dealing with cases where our clients have not been completely forthcoming with us. We understand that it can be difficult to open up about sensitive information, but if you have been charged with a crime, it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you understand the attorney-client privilege and how it applies to your case. At Rohan Law, we have extensive experience handling all types of criminal cases, and we will fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Contact us
today to schedule a free consultation.