Your Relationship with Your Lawyer

You need to trust your lawyer. Period. When seeking to retain a private lawyer, ask about his criminal trial experience, where he has practiced law, and what sort of cases he typically handles. Even after you have hired your lawyer, you can change lawyers if you find the relationship is not productive. If your lawyer was appointed by the court, and you are not content with him, you may ask the judge to appoint a new lawyer for you or allow you to hire a new lawyer at your own expense. If you do not have a good reason for wanting a new lawyer, the judge will not appoint a new lawyer and may not allow you to hire a new lawyer.

In order for your lawyer to represent you effectively, you need to able to discuss your case openly with him. Remember, you do not need to impress your lawyer. You do not need to convince your lawyer that you are innocent, if you are not. Your lawyer will not judge you, and if you have committed a crime it is usually best to be up front about that with your lawyer so that he can better represent you.

Remember, everything you tell your lawyer is confidential and cannot be used against you. That is the law, and it is a good law—the “lawyer/client” privilege allows lawyers and their clients to freely discuss a case without fear that any of those conversations will end up in court. This is true, even if you change lawyers.


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