January 30, 2015
In the judicial system, defendants should feel confident in trusting in their attorneys. That is why the attorney-client privilege was created. Similar to “doctor-patient confidentiality,” attorney-client privilege ensures that communication between an attorney and their client is confidential. The attorney-client privilege is one of the most honored and respected rules in the judicial system.
What Exactly Is Attorney-Client Privilege?
The attorney-client privilege prevents an attorney from divulging any information that the client wishes or intends to be kept private. Any communication between an attorney and client is privileged when:
- The client is seeking legal advice from the attorney
- The attorney is acting in a legal and professional capacity
- The client wishes or intends for the communication to be kept private
This privilege allows clients to communicate freely and openly with their attorney, in turn allowing the attorney to give their client the best defense possible.
What Counts as an Attorney-Client Relationship?
Before there can be any attorney-client privilege, the two parties’ relationship must be firmly established.
According to the Florida Statutes, an attorney is defined as a “person authorized, or reasonably believed by the client to be authorized, to practice law in any state or nation.” A client is “any person, public officer, corporation, association, or other organization or entity, either public or private, who consults a lawyer with the purpose of obtaining legal services or who is rendered legal services by a lawyer.”
As a general rule, once an attorney has agreed to represent a client, attorney-client privilege has begun. However, consultations with an attorney are also confidential, especially when made to seek legal advice or potentially retain that attorney for legal services.
What Communications Are Protected?
All communications intended to be confidential are protected between an attorney and his or her client. This includes both oral and written communications. For example:
- Phone calls
- Text messages
- Face-to-face meetings
Any communication that is reasonably expected to remain private is protected. This privilege prevents the attorney, or any of his or her staff, from being forced to testify against a client.
If you or someone you love is being prosecuted of a crime, be sure to hire an attorney you can trust. At the Khonsari Law Group, we honor and respect the attorney-client privilege and will fight vigorously for your case. Call KLG today for a free consultation.