Articles Posted in Lawyer Client Relations

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Your case may be bad. It may be really bad. But your lawyer should not tell you to plead guilty before he or she looks at the evidence in your case.

Maybe six cops found you with a counterfeit machine on your lap dripping with ink and newly created “currency” stacked around you. Maybe they found a video tape of you telling your broker to sell because you’ve got inside information that the company’s product causes head lice. Maybe you went door to door confessing to a crime and the story is now on youtube. Regardless, your lawyer should look at the evidence the government has against you before trying to figure out whether to make a deal with the government or go to trial.

Sure, there are times when you need to make a decision quickly. But normally that means a prosecutor should get your lawyer his evidence more quickly.

If you have questions about how federal criminal charges are different than state criminal charges, please visit this page on Maryland federal criminal charges or Washington DC federal criminal charges.
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The second rule of being charged with a crime is to not talk about being charged with a crime. Do not talk about being charged with a crime with anyone who is not your lawyer.

Your communications with your lawyer are protected. Unless you’re hatching a crime or scheming up a lie with your lawyer, the government cannot find out what you talk about with your lawyer.

Conversations with other people are not protected. The government can learn what you told your mom. It can subpoena your dad. A prosecutor can make your sister talk. Your boyfriend can be brought before a grand jury.

Jurors will find your words through the voice of your family and friends to be very persuasive and credible evidence against you. Do not create such powerful evidence.

You may think your family will lie for you. Your friends may be willing to protect you. But that’s a horrible position to put people in and it may not work. The only thing worse than going over a cliff is taking your loved ones with you.

If you have questions about how federal criminal charges are different than state criminal charges, please visit this page on Maryland federal criminal charges.
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I am amazed at the things I hear that lawyers are doing when they first meet with a potential client, particularly a client who is accused of a crime. It’s a big moment in the case, and it sets the tone for the rest of the lawyer’s working relationship with the client.

In the hopes that you’ll be amazed, and, perhaps, amused, at these stories, I’m starting this series on Things A Lawyer Should Not Do During Your Initial Consultation.

The First Thing a Lawyer Should Not Do During Your Initial Consultation is . . . Lecture You.

If you have questions about how federal criminal charges are different than state criminal charges, please visit this page on Maryland federal criminal charges.
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