It can happen to almost anyone; one minute you are driving home from a get-together, and the next you find yourself under arrest for DUI. Before you get too upset, you should realize that being arrested is far from actually being convicted, and your attorney knows just what to do to ensure that justice is done. No matter how skilled your attorney, you need to understand that this is not going to be an easy process, and you will need to place your trust in your attorney. You may be wondering how honest you can be and what you should tell that legal professional, so read on to learn more.
Understanding Attorney-Client Privilege
This term is widely used, but little understood. To put it simply, you must be able to trust in your attorney not to disclose information you provide, no matter what. This is a right guaranteed by law based on the importance that those accused are afforded every opportunity to put up an adequate defense, and that means the client should feel comfortable saying almost anything to their attorney. That attorney need never be forced to reveal anything said to them by a client.
What This Means for You
From the first moment of contact with a DUI attorney like Heath Wilding, every single thing you say, write, send, draw, hand signal, fax, or otherwise convey to your attorney is protected by the client-attorney privilege. You do not have to actually contract with your attorney, pay your attorney, or have any sort of understanding with an attorney to be protected by this privilege, and it exists as long as you are living; it never expires.
Exceptions to Understand
As with all rules, there are some fairly rare exceptions to the rule. Your best course of action when speaking to an attorney is to check with them before you speak, since it will be too late if your communication is not covered by the privilege.
1. Intent: The reason, or motivation, behind your communication with an attorney is an important aspect of the attorney-client privilege. You must be speaking with an attorney for the express purpose of seeking help or advice about a legal matter. For example, if you just happened to be seated next to an attorney on a long flight and began chatting with her, what you say to her is not necessarily covered by the privilege.
2. Future Acts: While all past acts are protected, threats or speech that lead the attorney to believe that you are planning to commit a crime in the future are not considered privileged information, and the attorney likely has a duty to report the potential for any future bad acts to law enforcement.
3. Third party: If there is the potential for others to overhear you, there is chance for those people to be called to testify about what they heard you say to your attorney. Be careful when speaking to your attorney in crowded conditions like elevators, restaurants, on the street, and other public places.
Speak to your criminal DUI attorney for more information about this privilege.