What Is Attorney-Client Privilege?
The word “privilege” typically refers to a reward or incentive, but it means something different when referring to attorney-client privilege. This applies in both spoken conversation and written communication.
In a legal setting, privilege can refer to a benefit, advantage or immunity, but most often is used in exempting information from becoming common knowledge or being used against the defendant in a case. So a private conversation between an attorney or his/her staff and the client is privileged information – neither client nor attorney can be compelled to release this information. It stays between the two parties and can’t be disclosed without written consent, even to the client’s family members.
The same applies to certain written documentation, like an attorney’s personal notes and correspondence about a case. But most written materials, such as medical records and law enforcement statements, are discoverable, so they must be disclosed.
In addition to attorney-client privilege, information shared between spouses is also privileged provided there was not a third party present and the couple is legally married. So in most cases, a defendant’s spouse can’t be forced to testify about this information in court.
At Huppertz & Powers, S.C., our experienced staff values the atmosphere of honest communication and trust that attorney-client privilege protects. We will work hard to build the best defense for you.
Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 262-549-5979, filling out our criminal defense intake form, or by sending us an email.