You may have heard before that it’s smart to tell your attorney everything you know when you’re charged with a crime. You might know that there is such a thing as attorney-client confidentiality, which is meant to preserve your privacy when you speak with your attorney.
Still, not everyone wants to share everything about a problem they’re having. It can be difficult to admit to doing something wrong for fear of being judged or may be upsetting to talk about charges that you’re facing when you did nothing to deserve them.
The first thing to know is that it’s totally normal to feel that way, but you should tell your attorney all the necessary facts about your case. Your attorney is not there to judge you. They’re there to help you.
Do you have to tell your attorney everything?
With a felony criminal case, it could be beneficial to tell your attorney everything about the situation, because there may be a small detail that truly makes your case. There could be aspects of the offense that you don’t feel are important, but talk about them with your attorney anyway. For example, you might not think that a conversation with someone you weren’t familiar with was important, but if they can later be linked to someone who wanted to frame you for a criminal act, then knowing that person may be helpful.
At a minimum, you should tell your attorney as many facts as you can remember. Talk about what is relevant first, but note down any small or unusual details that you recall. Every little bit of information has the potential to help you.
It is true that anything you tell your attorney is protected through attorney-client privilege. Don’t be scared to tell your attorney something because you worry that it will come back on you or that your attorney will call the police. They are your defense attorney and are there to help you no matter what you did or did not do. By understanding your case thoroughly, they’ll be in a better position to help you build a defense.