This question of can you admit a crime to a lawyer is a common one. And the simple answer is yes.
However, it may or may not be in your best interests to do so.
The attorney-client privilege rule ensures confidentiality and prohibits your lawyer from divulging what you’ve told them to anyone outside your legal team without your consent.
Under this rule, if you admit a crime to your lawyer, they can’t be forced to tell anyone else (like opposing counsel or law enforcement) what you’ve said.
There are a few exceptions to the attorney-client privilege, though. One is that a lawyer can reveal confidential information if they believe that sharing it will prevent a crime that is likely to bring death or bodily harm to someone.
Honesty is Best, but Wait to be Asked
You should always be honest with your criminal defense lawyer. But as much as they are representing you and your best interests, they also are considered officers of the court and have an ethical duty to be honest and not present arguments that they know to be false.
This is why your lawyer may not specifically ask whether or not you committed the crime you’re charged with.
It is your defense lawyer’s job to present the best possible defense on your behalf, so let them guide the process. If they want to know, they’ll ask.
If you still really just want to admit a crime to your lawyer to “get it off your chest,” ask them first so that they can fully explain what your admission will mean and how it may affect their ability to give you the best possible representation.
Do you Need Legal Help?
Mark Broughton has been a criminal defense lawyer in Fresno for the past 40+ years. He has experience helping clients fight a wide variety of criminal charges. His criminal defense practice areas range from first-degree murder to white collar crimes and more.
He sees every individual’s situation with compassion and empathy. He is a firm believer that every person has the right to a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty.
If you need the help of a criminal lawyer, call 559-691-6222 or click here to request a free consultation. We’ll get back to you right away.