734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

What does Client and Attorney Privilege Mean?

A stack of papers has the words attorney client privilege on the top page.How much should you tell your lawyer?

The fifth amendment protects U.S. citizens from incriminating themselves, but how does that work with your attorney. We get this question all the time. Many people have heard about attorney confidentiality, or criminal attorney-client privilege, but they aren’t sure how that will impact their case. Can their attorney be forced to give testimony during a court case?

This article will focus on attorney-client privilege and what that means for your criminal case

What is Attorney-Client Privilege?

Let’s start with a definition: what is attorney-client privilege? This legal term means that anything that you discuss with your attorney that relates to your case is confidential, so they cannot talk about it. Additionally, your discussions are also subject to privilege, meaning they cannot be forced to disclose any information you offer. There are only a few exceptions (which we will get to later in the article), which would ever allow your attorney to voluntarily or involuntarily communicate about information you relate about your case. 

This concept remains in place even if your status as attorney and client ends. This law is important because your openness with your lawyer helps them give you effective and capable representation and console during the proceedings. 

When Qualifies as Attorney-Client Privilege and When Does it Begin?

Typically, attorney-client privileges begin or apply when a person, no matter if they are a current or possible future client, begins speaking with an attorney. The individual must be communicating with the attorney for legal advice with the lawyer acting in their official capacity. The lawyer cannot just be offering advice or acting as a friend. Lastly, the individual must have meant the information to be private. 

You can use the attorney-client privilege even before securing an attorney to officially represent you. During initial consultations, make sure your attorney-client privilege applies before you begin discussing your case, just to make sure they understand the situation. 

Exceptions to the Attorney-Client Privilege Law

Let’s check in on the exceptions to the attorney-client privilege:

  • Any Third Party - If there are any third parties not covered by the privilege who are present during a conversation, then the communication will not be covered. If you bring a friend or anyone else is present, your conversation is not official. Additionally, conversations held in public places could lead to a bystander overhearing - what they hear they could legally disclose. 
  • Privilege Being Waived - The client has the option to waive their right to the privilege. 
  • Intention to Commit Fraud or Another Crime - This exception comes up when a client wants to cover up a past crime or has the intention to commit a new crime. The important aspect of the crime-fraud exception is the client’s intent. This exception will not go into effect if the client just asks questions about legal consequences in a hypothetical frame. The greater the severity of the intended crime, the greater the ethitical obligation is for the lawyer to disclose their client’s intentions. 

Get Protected Legal Representation You Can Trust 

The attorney-client privilege is an important aspect of their legal relationship. Make sure to openly discuss with your lawyer what conversations will have protections. The legal experts at Aldrich Legal Services have been practicing law for more than 21 years. Trust us to help you navigate the legal process to ensure your rights are protected and you get the best outcome possible.

FAMILY LAW 53: The trial court erred by treating the parties’ GAL as an LGAL and denying the parties the right to question her at a hearing; however, the trial court did not err in requiring the parties to compensate the GAL for her services.

Plaintiff and Defendant were never married, but share a young son who was born in 2016. The parties have battled over custody, child support, and other parenting issues ever since. In the spring of 2019, the parties filed competing motions to modify...

The Difference Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary

Original Post: 1/11/2019 Often, burglary, robbery, and theft are used interchangeably even though there are distinct differences between all of them. Though, what all three do have in common is they may involve the unlawful taking of...

REAL ESTATE 59: Concluding that the one-year period contained in the parties’ home purchase agreement was not a statute of limitations, but rather akin to a statute of repose, and that it was plain and unambiguous, the court held that it barred plai

BACKGROUND On March 12, 2016, the parties entered into an agreement for the purchase of defendants’ home. The purchase agreement contained the following clause: TIME FOR LEGAL ACTION: Buyer and Seller agree that any legal action against...

CRIMINAL LAW 16: The trial court did not err in refusing to order a Daubert hearing as to the reliability of the DataMaster breathalyzer device as MCL 257.625a(6)(a) shows the Legislature has determined that the device’s results are valid and reliabl

UNDERLYING FACTS In the early afternoon of November 4, 2016, defendant was pulled over after an officer was dispatched for a possible drunk driver. The officer had defendant exit his vehicle and perform several field sobriety tests. Those tests...

FAMILY LAW 52: Defendant-mother was not entitled to relief on her claim the trial court did not comply with the requirements for a de novo hear, the trial court did not err in using the preponderance of the evidence standard, and its best interest f

PERTINENT FACTS In July 2017, plaintiff and defendant divorced by consent judgment. Under the judgment of divorce, the parties shared joint legal and physical custody of their three minor children. On September 24, 2018, plaintiff filed a motion...

Are you required to provide ID as a passenger?

Original Post: 05/14/2017 The preceding is for informational purposes only. Being stopped by the police is not usually a pleasant experience. Even with the most benign of infractions, the encounter can be adversarial. The idea of...

DIVORCE 45: Federal law preempts state law such that the parties’ consent judgment is unenforceable to the extent that it required defendant to reimburse plaintiff for the reduction in the amount payable to her due to his election to receive CRSC

BACKGROUND This case involves a dispute between former spouses who entered into a consent judgment of divorce (the consent judgment), which provided that defendant would pay plaintiff 50% of his military retirement benefits. Beyond that, the...

How to Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer for a DUI

No one wants to be arrested, and if you are, especially for the first time, you can be very confused. Being arrested for Drunk Driving, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) - formerly Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)...

Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405