What a criminal suspect tells his or her attorney in confidence remains confidential, even after the case is complete. It is always a good idea not to discuss the case with anyone other than the attorney, as this keeps the confidential nature of the details of the case in tact, which is to the benefit of the defendant. It is not uncommon to have undercover police officers attempt to elicit information out of criminal suspects, either in jail cells, in public, or even in courtroom lobbies. Unless the attorney authorizes such communication, the criminal suspect must avoid discussing the case with family members, friends, cellmates, news casters, reporters, probation officers, and police officers, especially since these people may be subpoenaed to testify against the criminal suspect. The criminal defense attorney is responsible for representing the criminal suspect to the best of his or her ability, whether the suspect is in fact guilty or innocent of the charges. In this respect, it is in the criminal suspect’s best interest to tell the truth to the attorney, but in strict confidence. This will also help avoid any surprises during a criminal trial or any plea negotiations with the state attorney. The location of witnesses is important in trial preparation. One way that a suspect can help the criminal defense lawyer prepare the case is by locating all of the defense’s witnesses and forwarding their information to the attorney. If the suspect is in jail, the suspect’s family can help with this task. When the client and the attorney are working together on the Investigation of the Case, the chances of receiving a good result increase. It is best not to talk to the state attorney’s witnesses or the state attorney once the suspect has retained a lawyer. Talking with the state attorney’s witnesses is both dangerous to the case and potentially a crime.
The information on this page does not represent legal advice. Because the law is continually changing, some of the provisions contained herein may be out of date. It is always wise to seek counsel from an experienced criminal attorney like Kenneth Hassett.