Lawyer-Client Privilege

…I know I left my fingerprints at the scene, there is a video of me committing the crime, and the victim can ID me…but what I want to know is what are you going to do to keep me from going to jail? As a NJ criminal defense attorney, this request and ‘How much is this going to cost?’ are the first questions a new client will commonly ask during an initial consultation. When you are charged with a crime or under investigation by the police, what you should be asking is, ‘What should I do so I don’t make this worse?’ 8 ballThe answer is that first, you stop talking to anyone other than your lawyer. You have a privilege with your lawyer, that you do not have with Mom, cousin, your best friend, or the neighbor across the street. Each of them can be forced to testify against you. What you say to your lawyer is said in confidence and your lawyer cannot repeat it without your giving them permission to say it. Secondly, what you should say to the police is I WANT A LAWYER and I WANT TO REMAIN SILENT every time the cops start to talk to you about what happened. Tell the cops who you are, where you live, and other ministerial pieces of information about who you are, as that is required before they can process you and release you. Other than that, shut up and STOP HELPING THE POLICE CONVICT YOU! Otherwise, you may as well use the Crazy 8-Ball to decide what to do to when your freedom is at risk.

Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
Law Office of H W Bailey, LLC
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102