Keep Your Mouth Shut –
Being charged with a crime is a life altering event. If you are like most people, you have a natural inclination to discuss your case with family members, friends … perhaps even with people you do not know all that well. Although this is a natural inclination, you can cause yourself legal problems if you are free and open in the manner in which you discuss criminal charges that may have been brought against you.
Anything You Say Really Can Be Used Against You
Unless you have spent your life under a rock, you are well aware of the admonition that anything you say can be used against you. Of course, this admonition is most often heard in the context of a suspect being interrogated by law enforcement officials.
With that recognized, you need to keep in mind that if you speak to other individuals about criminal charges brought against you, you expose yourself to that information being used against you in one way or another. For example, the person you visited with may contact a law enforcement official after talking to you. Keep in mind that even trusted loved ones have taken such a step when provided information about an alleged crime.
Lawyer and Client Confidentiality
When you schedule a meeting with a Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, you certainly can bring someone along to the office for moral support. However, do not expect that person to be able to sit in the meeting with you. The fact is that lawyer and client confidentiality is defeated if a third person hears the communications made between a lawyer and client. In order for that confidentiality to be maintained, it really must be conveyed in a confidential manner – without a third party hearing what is being communicated.
Retaining Legal Counsel
The first step in retaining legal counsel is scheduling an initial consultation. A lawyer does not charge a fee for this first session. Although you must avoid discussing your charges and your case with a friend or family member, you must be ready and able to provide information as requested by your attorney.