What Is and Isn’t Covered By Attorney-Client Privilege in California?

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What is Attorney-Client Privilege and how should you use it? These are some of the questions that anyone seeking legal representation in California should have in mind. Despite legal representation being a basic legal right, very few people understand how it works.

If you’re in a sticky legal situation, it’s recommended that you seek the help of a certified and professional San Jose lawyers. Still, there are things you need to know about Attorney-Client Privilege.

What is Attorney-Client Privilege?

Attorney-Client Privilege is simply a right to confidentiality that falls under California Evidence Code section 590 et seq. It protects the privacy of communications between a client and their lawyer.

This means that any information the client confides in their lawyer is expected to remain between the parties unless the client consents to share the information with third parties or breaches a rule/condition/law surrounding this right.

What Is Covered by Attorney-Client Privilege?

As you consult with your criminal law lawyer, you’ll realize that the confidentiality of your interaction and conversations is imperative. It covers most of the legal interactions between clients and their lawyers.

You should also note that not all forms of communications are protected by it and that some actions may render this privilege void.

It’s also wise to know where the boundary lines lie. Luckily, reputable San Jose attorneys will brief you on this at the beginning of your legal relationship.

Thanks to this confidentiality privilege, you can:

  1. Choose to withhold any confidential information shared between you and your attorney.
  2. Block your lawyer, eavesdroppers or any other third parties from sharing such confidential communications.
  3. Rest easy knowing that your criminal law lawyer cannot share any of your private confessions in a legal proceeding, even if you don’t hire them to represent you.
  4. It also allows your lawyer to refuse to share your private conversations with third parties including Law Enforcement.

What Is NOT Covered by Lawyer-Client Privilege?

There are a couple of circumstances that may invalidate a client’s right to confidentiality. There are also a couple of exceptions that make sharing of confidential information between a client and their lawyer legal.

To avoid “digging your own grave” – as far as confessing and confiding in your lawyer are concerned – there are a few things that can nullify the attorney-client privilege. They include:

  1. Confiding in an uncertified attorney – under California laws, the attorney-client privilege is only valid if the lawyer is licensed and certified to offer legal representation.
  2. Using your confidential communications with your lawyer to plan or execute criminal activities. Doing so invalidates your Attorney-Client Privileges.
  3. If the private information shared can be used to prevent loss of life or substantial physical harm to a person. However, this only applies to events that are yet to happen and are preventable.
  4. If you share a lot of the confidential information with third parties including friends and family.
  5. When you consent to the sharing of said information. Note that, in California, failing to invoke your Attorney-Client Privilege during legal proceedings is always perceived as a form of consent.

Related Content: 10 Reasons You Should Hire a Lawyer

Have More Questions? Contact Our San Jose Criminal Law Attorneys

These are some of the most important tips that help you to ensure your Attorney-Client Privilege remains valid and useful for your court case. It’s imperative to make sure your criminal law attorney gives you a complete rundown of your right to confidentiality. If you find yourself in need of legal aid in San Jose, contact our staff online today at The Law Office of Farling, Hecht & Davis, LLP. You can also contact us by phone at (408) 295-6100 to set up a free consultation.