Can You Tell All? Understanding How Confidentiality Affects Your DUI Case

Posted on: 18 April 2018

Few people ever think that they could spend a night in jail after being arrested for DUI. Once you get over the embarrassment and anger, however, seek legal help. A DUI conviction carries very serious penalties and you already know how uncomfortable a jail cell can be. You and your defense attorney will have a unique relationship that should be built on honesty and integrity, but you may be naturally reluctant to open yourself up to judgment and censure. You can do that with your attorney, though, and here's why.

The Attorney-Client Privilege

When the nation's laws were compiled the founders wanted to ensure that all those accused of crimes had a clear path toward fighting for their innocence. The ability to be totally honest with your attorney is a right and a very reliable and useful right at that. Only by having all the facts of the case at hand can your attorney fight for you and obtain justice.

What the Privilege Means for You

Open up to your attorney and don't hold back on the gory details of your DUI stop and arrest. It will help the attorney prepare your case and you can rest assured that they will never have to tell anyone what you said. Since the attorney-client privilege is a very old and well-respected facet of law, you need never worry that your attorney can be forced to divulge anything about you, your case or even random bits of conversation you may have had with them.

This covers you from the time you provide the communication until you die; there is no expiration rate. What if you interviewed a few attorneys but only signed a representation contract with one out of the three? None of those attorneys can divulge what you said to them, even though you did not end up hiring them.

Exceptions

There are a few rare situations that might not be covered by the privilege, such as the following:

1. You threaten to perpetuate a future bad act.

2. You are overheard speaking to your attorney and the person who overhears you can be questioned.

3. You are not seeking legal help at the time you spoke to an attorney.

You might want to double-check with your attorney before you begin speaking just to make sure that what you say is privileged. The main thing to keep in mind is to be honest and forthcoming with your DUI attorney so that you can see justice done.

 

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