Is the Attorney-Client Privilege Bullet Proof?

Perhaps most sacred to the legal community, not just in Phoenix, but across the United States, is the attorney-client privilege. Generally speaking, whatever you say to your attorney cannot be repeated by the attorney to a third person. This can be especially helpful for clients charged with white collar crimes, drug trafficking offenses, and even murder who wanted to be open, honest, and candid with their criminal defense attorney (as they damn well should be).

You’ll note that I just wrote that “generally” privileged communications cannot be revealed to a third party. Having been a trial attorney for more than 25 years, the last 19 of which have been in Phoenix practicing criminal law, I can assure you that my word choice was quite deliberate and far from an accident.

There are exceptions to when an attorney can reveal privileged information and, in fact, there are times when an attorney must reveal it.

Ethical rules dictate those situations, and some of them include:

  • When it is necessary to prevent impending death or serious injury to another person;
  • When it is necessary to prevent significant damage or economic harm to someone’s property;
  • When the client is involving the lawyer in the client’s criminal activity.

What Have We Learned from This?

Of course, you want your attorney to do the best job possible for you. As one of Phoenix’s most experienced criminal defense lawyers, I encourage, if not insist, that my clients are honest and forthright with me. I don’t like surprises at trial and I certainly want to do my absolute best for my clients. But in the end, the force of gravity on an angle incrementally affects feces. In other words, shit rolls downhill.

If you lie to your lawyer and he gets blindsided by information presented by prosecutors, chances are that it is you who will suffer. Be honest with your criminal defense attorney, please.

Some other key things to remember in order to keep what you tell your attorney protected by the attorney-client privilege:

  • If you’re going to kill someone, don’t tell your attorney. In fact, don’t do it at all. It’s not very nice, and chances are you will get caught. Your attorney could be called as a witness against you. Believe me – you’d rather have me as your lawyer than you would as a witness for the prosecution.
  • Don’t involve me in your crimes. I’m here to defend you, not to be your co-conspirator. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I play hard and straight. I have enough foolishness to deal with from my children. I don’t need any more.

Jason Lamm Can Keep Your Secrets Safe

The attorney-client privilege is a big deal. Sometimes people hire me when they have been charged with crimes, and sometimes they do so when they need advice about charges that may be coming down the pike. It’s called pre-indictment representation.

Getting in front of serious felony charges before they happen is always a great move. You can do that by hiring a smart and aggressive criminal defense lawyer to discuss your situation and to plan and strategize your defense at an early stage. Sometimes, criminal charges can be avoided altogether.

The best part is that as long as you don’t tell me that you are going to kill or hurt someone, that you plan to destroy someone’s property, or that you want to involve me in your crimes, what’s said between us will stay between us. When I say my consultations are confidential, I mean it. Call me at (602) 663-9100 if you need help or think that you will in the future.

Don’t worry… your secrets are safe with me.

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