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Keeping Your Attorney-Clients Conversations ConfidentialYour right to confidentiality is one of your fundamental protections when organizing a defense against a criminal charge. Your attorney cannot discuss any of your private conversations with someone else, even if you confess your guilt. If a defense attorney spoke to you but does not represent you, he or she cannot testify about what you said to him or her. Conversations with a therapist or your spouse are also confidential in most cases. However, there are situations in which your private conversation is not protected and could be used against you:

  1. Public Conversations: A witness can testify about your conversation with your attorney if you were speaking loudly in a public place. Conversations are confidential only if you make an effort to be discreet. You may not realize how loudly you are speaking if you are talking to your lawyer on a phone.
  2. Jailhouse Conversations: Though jail is not a public place, you must be careful when talking to your lawyer in a common area. Inmates may try to overhear you making an incriminating statement in hopes of testifying against you and gaining favor with prosecutors. Jailers may also be monitoring phone calls you make in a common area.
  3. Third Parties: Inviting someone other than your attorney to join your conversation may mean that what you said is not confidential, depending on the reason you invited the third party. You can claim that the conversation was still confidential if you needed the other person to provide insight into your case. However, a friend or family member other than your spouse could be asked to testify against you if you simply wanted him or her to be present.
  4. Future Crimes: Your attorney cannot disclose your confession to a crime you committed, but that does not apply if you express an intent to commit a crime in the future. Your attorney is allowed to contact the authorities in order to prevent you from committing a crime.
  5. Crimes Against Children: The exception to confidential conversations with a spouse or therapist is if you discuss a crime involving a child. A therapist is obligated to report crimes against children, and prosecutors could force your spouse to testify about such a crime.

Contact a Crystal Lake Criminal Defense Attorney

When you talk about your criminal case with someone other than your lawyer, you risk the prosecution trying to use that person as a witness. A McHenry County criminal defense attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will protect your confidentiality during your case. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



attorney-client privilege, Illinois criminal defense lawyerIn order for the legal system to work, clients and lawyers need to be able to communicate candidly. In many ways, lawyers act as their clients' representatives in court. In order to do this well, it requires a complete understanding of what a client knows. Otherwise, a lawyer could be surprised over the course of a case by a fact in which the client did not want to disclose. This is especially true in criminal cases. Clients may not want to confess to things that make them look guilty and fear that they cannot trust their lawyer. In order to promote this sort of candid conversation, the law includes a doctrine known as “attorney-client privilege.” This privilege prevents attorneys or clients from being forced to testify about things that they discussed in private.

When Attorney-Client Privilege Applies

Importantly, not every conversation between lawyers and clients qualifies for protection under attorney-client privilege, but the privilege may also apply to more than just conversations directly between lawyers and clients. In order to receive protection from being revealed via forced testimony, the conversation must meet four qualifications. The conversation must be:

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