May 18, 2022 | Criminal Law
You may have reservations when a lawyer says you can tell them anything because you have an attorney-client privilege. However, rest assured that your discussions remain confidential as long you meet certain requirements. A good criminal defense attorney diligently protects your rights, including what you tell them in confidential conversations. Here’s what you need to know about attorney-client privilege and how it might affect your case.
What Is Attorney-Client Privilege?
Attorney-client privilege refers to the legal concept that most communication between lawyers and their clients is protected and confidential. The idea is that your lawyer can only give you adequate representation if they know the entire story. But knowing the complete story could put them in a position where they would be required to testify against you without this protection.
Your lawyer cannot be compelled to release privileged information about you, and they cannot voluntarily do so either. You may waive this right, but your lawyer cannot waive it for you. To establish an attorney-client privilege in Dayton, you must meet three requirements:
- You communicate with a lawyer
- In confidence
- To obtain legal advice
Practically speaking, this means that you need to have a lawyer representing you. If you meet a lawyer at a restaurant and ask them a few questions about your case, you probably have not established a relationship and do not have any attorney-client privilege. If you make an appointment with the lawyer and meet them at their office to discuss your case, you may have established a relationship such that the attorney-client privilege exists.
To give you proper representation, your lawyer will need you to be forthcoming and provide them with as much information as possible. This is how your lawyer can be best equipped to help you.
Attorney-Client Confidentiality in Dayton
The attorney-client privilege means that your lawyer cannot provide any information about your case which could be used against you in court.
Under the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct, your lawyer cannot reveal any information about your case. This Ohio rule goes beyond privilege and disallows your lawyer from revealing information about your case to anyone else outside of their law firm. Your lawyer cannot discuss your case with family or other lawyer friends without your consent. If a lawyer is found to violate confidentiality under this Ohio rule, they could face harsh penalties, including disbarment.
Exceptions to Attorney-Client Privilege
Whenever you have a conversation with your lawyer, it’s presumed to be confidential communication. As with most legal matters, there are exceptions.
Your lawyer is permitted to break privilege in any of the following circumstances:
- You threaten to harm yourself or someone else
- You threaten to murder someone
- If you attempt to use your attorney’s services to commit a crime
- If you allege malpractice against your lawyer
It’s important to recognize that an attorney-client privilege does not provide you with absolute protection from anything you might say or do. It provides you with peace of mind that your communication with your lawyer will remain confidential.
Your lawyer’s ability to provide you with sufficient legal representation depends on your willingness to be absolutely truthful. The attorney-client privilege is meant to protect your conversations so your attorney can advocate for your best interests and guide you effectively.
Establish an Attorney-Client Privilege
The legal concept of attorney-client privilege provides you with confidence that your discussions with your lawyer will not be used against you. But before you are completely forthcoming, make sure you have established an attorney-client relationship that gives you the protection.
Contact the Dayton Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Dayton
130 West Second Street, #310
Dayton, OH 45402