Sometimes people are wary of hiring a
criminal defense attorney for their case because they are anxious about how much to discuss with
their attorney. For some, there is an inherent fear that the attorney
will “rat them out” to the prosecution or the judge.
However, understand that there are several legal protections that have
been established to prevent this. This is the relationship that is established
at the very beginning when the client decides to retain that attorney;
this is called the attorney-client privilege.
Essentially, a client does not need to provide full disclosure and can
prevent others from gaining knowledge of the information that has been
discussed by keeping the conversations confidential. The attorney is not
allowed to go against this or break the agreement under any circumstances.
This regulation was established so that the client will provide all of
the necessary to information to the counsel freely, without the fear of
the knowledge leaking or used to undermine him or her.
Are There Any Exceptions to Attorney-Client Privilege?
The attorney-client privilege protects a clients’ rights for most
communications, including the client’s right to confidentiality
and full disclosure. However, there is one main exception to this, and
that is the crime-fraud exception. A judge will always use this exception
when evaluating cases.
The crime-fraud exception dictates that the attorney-client privilege is
void if the person involved used it intentionally to cover up a crime
or an act of fraud. It might also be enforced if the client told the attorney
that he or she intends to commit additional crimes or fraudulent acts.
These might extend to the following:
- Witness tampering
- Concealing assets or income
- Destroying, withholding or covering up evidence
- Asking your criminal defense lawyer to present false evidence
Rest assured that most of the time and regardless of the circumstances,
an attorney will not attempt to turn you into authorities or undermine
your case. It is not in a lawyer’s best interests to do so, and
certainly is a violation of your rights if you have been accused of committing
some form of wrongdoing. You would do well to hire our Richmond criminal
defense lawyers to assist you. With more than 75 years of collective experience,
our team at Carlson & Collier can provide you with results-oriented strategies.
For assistance with your case, please contact our firm to
schedule a case evaluation.