You get accused of a white collar crime, a type of financial fraud. You’re worried about your freedom, your career and your family life. You never thought this would happen to you and you understand how serious the stakes are.
When talking to your legal team, though, you’re wary about what you say to them. You know that people who talk to the police sometimes make mistakes and accidentally incriminate themselves. You’re careful with everything you say and you even hold some things back.
Let’s be clear: You should be careful when talking to the police. However, when talking to your own legal team, you don’t need to worry. You can be open and honest.
This is because you and your attorney share attorney-client privilege. All the communications between clients and attorneys remain confidential. Your attorney cannot disclose what you say and the courts or the authorities can’t compel your attorney to break this rule.
For this reason, even if you committed the crime that you are accused of, you need to tell your legal team everything that you know so that they can help you work on your defense strategy. Even a stark admission of guilt to your attorney will never make its way into court.
There is one caveat — an attorney cannot put a client on the witness stand if the attorney knows the client will lie under oath. This is subornation of perjury and can land the attorney in legal hot water.
No matter where you stand or what you’ve been accused of doing, you can see that it’s crucial to understand exactly how the legal process works. Knowing the ins and outs of the system helps you navigate it confidently.