When a client meets with me, I want them to “tell me where the bodies are buried.” Tell me everything – good, bad, and embarrassing – because I need that to develop your best defense.
In nearly all cases, our conversations cannot be revealed to others – your family, the DA, the judge — unless you want them to. This is called “attorney-client privilege.”
You may hear in the news about Donald Trump’s attorneys being required to testify about things he told them. That is a rare exception to attorney-client privilege. It’s called the “crime-fraud exception.”
Everything you tell me that occurred in the past is always protected by attorney-client privilege. But if you tell me that you are currently doing something or plan to do something that is illegal or that would defraud someone, I may later be required to tell someone.
In such cases, I don’t have to turn you in, but we will need to work something out. I will not be party to a crime. I will strongly advise you not to commit a crime or fraud and can help you work your way out of an ongoing crime or fraud. In a worst-case scenario, I may need to withdraw as your counsel. But even in that case, I don’t have to tell the judge why.
The most important thing to remember: be honest and forthcoming with your attorney. A lot of the nitty-gritty details may never see the light of day, but I want to have a plan in case they do. The second thing to remember: Don’t be a Donald. Don’t expect your attorney to help you break the law.
One final thing: It’s important to know that if there are other people involved in our conversations, there can be a breach of our attorney-client privilege. It’s common for my clients to have family and friends in the room during our initial meeting. When the conversation gets into details, you or I may ask the others to leave the room. They conceivably could be subpoenaed to testify, and what they heard in the room is not protected by attorney-client privilege.
Need Legal Advice?
If you are in Colorado and have been charged with a crime, contact Krizman Law TODAY for a confidential review of your legal case.
Mr. Krizman is a criminal defense attorney in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in providing relentless defense for domestic violence, DUI, and drug crimes. He is a former public defender who has also worked for a district attorney and is licensed in the State of Colorado, and the United States Federal Court, District of Colorado. Mr. Krizman is a member of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, Colorado Bar Association, Denver Bar Association, and Arapahoe County Bar Association. A Colorado native, he has a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and a bachelor’s degree in Government and World Affairs from the University of Tampa. Call him today at 720.819.7317.