If you are facing criminal charges in the State of Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney – with whom you can communicate freely – on your side. Open communication is critical because it allows you to share your story in its entirety, which can provide you with peace of mind and assures your attorney that he or she will not be facing any surprises in the process of defending your rights. This open communication is specifically protected by the legal concept of attorney-client privilege.
Your successful relationship with your attorney hinges on your ability to communicate freely and openly about anything and everything that pertains to your case. This privilege extends to any confidential information that you share with your attorney – even information that you share with the attorney before you have retained him or her.
For attorney-client privilege to apply in your case, the information shared must be confidential in nature and must be shared for the purpose of bolstering your attorney’s ability to provide you with legal services. This privacy also extends to your attorney’s employees – legal assistants and paralegals who may also be working on your case, for example. Attorney-client privilege is your right and your privilege, and it is important to protect this right throughout the legal process.
Instances in Which Attorney-Client Privilege May Be Waived
Your right to attorney-client privilege is not absolute. There are instances in which this privilege can be waived, including:
- If you share that you are imminently planning to commit an act that is likely to leave someone else dead or seriously injured, your attorney is required to reveal this information. In other words, if you share your intention of harming someone – or worse – with your attorney, your attorney-client privilege is waived.
- If you share the confidential information in question with others, it can negate your attorney-client privilege. For the information to be truly confidential, you must demonstrate it is confidential in nature by not sharing it with all and sundry. For example, if you send out a group email discussing the details of your case, the information contained therein can be deemed outside of attorney-client privilege and can be used against you in court.
What You Share with Your Attorney Stays with Your Attorney
Attorney-client privilege is obviously an important tool that allows you to share openly with your attorney, and that allows your attorney to confidently forge an effective legal strategy for your case. As long as you do not waive your right to attorney-client privilege, you can be sure that the information you share with your attorney will stay with your attorney.