Why It Is Vital to Never Speak Without Your Attorney Present
The military adage “loose lips sink ships” applies as well to legal proceedings. Virtually everything that a plaintiff or defendant says or does can be used by the opposing counsel to weaken the credibility of testimony or lead to severe legal repercussions such as perjury charges. When in doubt, parties that are involved in trials or communicating with law enforcement should refrain from speaking without the presence (or guided counsel and training) of their attorneys. Attorneys can advise their clients on the consequences of off-the-cuff utterances and can exert rights that will exclude illegally obtained responses and confessions from use in a court of law.
Limitations on the Attorney-Client Privilege
Attorneys are legally and ethically bound to honor the attorney-client privilege and keep conversations between them and their clients confidential. However, the presence of a third party almost always nullifies attorney-client privilege. And attorney-client privilege does not apply to information that a client tells to a third party separately from a protected conversation with a lawyer.
Be Careful When Talking to Law Enforcement
The “Good Cop, Bad Cop” trope is truth in fiction. Law enforcement will offer incentives and sympathy in order to coerce a defendant into voluntarily giving up evidence or a confession. Without a lawyer present, the defendant’s words are admissible in a court of law. Also, any lie – whether it is deliberate or accidental – can be damaging evidence that can lead to a conviction even when the defendant is completely innocent of the charges against them. Defendants being held by law enforcement should say, “I want to speak to my lawyer” and withhold further conversation until legal representation is present.
Williams Litigation Group provides superior legislation and representation services to clients throughout Georgia. Our areas of legal practice include motor vehicle accidents, personal injury, bankruptcy, family law, and criminal defense. Our legal staff has over 30 years of experience, and we pride ourselves on our analytic and detailed approaches to cases. Please feel free to contact us by filling out our online form or calling us at 1-866-214-7036.