In a criminal defense case, clients may be unsure of how much information to divulge to their attorneys and what kind of impact it will have on their potential trial. How much should you tell your attorney, and what are the consequences of being too open or too withholding? Here are our tips for working with your attorney to reach the best possible outcome:
Some lawyers may ask you not to disclose all of the details of your situation, only because they cannot offer advice that they know is false or advise you to give false testimony. Many lawyers, however, would rather know the full details of your situation so they can best guide you through your options for defense and represent you well through court proceedings.
Even if you are guilty of a crime, your lawyer may still be able to present a defense case for you at trial. If, for example, your rights were violated during an arrest or booking, if you committed a less severe crime than your charges, or if there is a history of trauma, abuse, or mental illness present, your lawyer may still advise you to go to trial to give all the details of your situation in hope of receiving a lighter sentence.
Attorney-client privilege is established legal doctrine that ensures that what a client shares with their attorneys regarding their case cannot be used against them. This helps establish trust between attorneys and clients and helps the attorney better represent their client by being fully aware of the client’s situation. Attorney-client privilege, however, has specific qualifications. To ensure that communication between you and your criminal defense attorney is protected and confidential, you must follow these guidelines:
- A client or potential client seeks legal advice from an acting attorney.
- The attorney is acting in their professional role, not as a friend, acquaintance, or other professional role.
- The client is sharing information with the intent of discretion and protection, or specifically requests client-attorney privilege.
Hire a lawyer you trust
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer that you trust to guide you through your legal proceedings is crucial to limiting stress in your situation and feeling open enough to discuss the necessary details of your case. Your lawyer is there to give you the best advice possible, so being open and honest is critical to both your and your lawyer’s success.
South Carolina criminal defense lawyer Sara Turner has a proven track record of success representing a range of cases in state and federal courts, including fraud, theft, embezzlement, murder, and other serious charges. Criminal cases are serious and often frightening situations, which is why you need to hire a lawyer with experience that will work tirelessly on your case. If you’re in need of legal help, don’t hesitate to reach out today.