Attorney-Client Privilege in Illinois

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Criminal Defense

your rights, Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal defense lawyer, Not all conversations are admissible in court. The law gives special protection to communications between certain individuals, prohibiting the introduction of these communications in court. One of the more famous “protected conversations” is the conversation that takes place between an attorney and his or her client. The idea behind protecting these conversations from disclosure is to allow clients to speak freely and truthfully with their attorneys. Despite this legal protection, however, some law enforcement officers still attempt to listen into what clients tell their attorneys, a violation of that attorney-client privilege.

In a recent publicized case, a criminal defendant was brought in for an interview relating to a manslaughter investigation. As most such interviews are, this particular interview was recorded using a video camera and microphone. When police needed to take a break, they left the defendant in the interview room with his two defense attorneys – and they left the recording equipment on. Over the next 11 minutes of conversation, police recorded a discussion between the defendant his attorneys about trial strategy. Law enforcement claimed the eavesdropping was unintentional, while the defendant argued that not only were his constitutional rights violated, but that law enforcement violated federal and state eavesdropping laws.

The Attorney-Client Privilege and “Poisonous Fruit”

In general, discussions between an attorney and his or her client are “protected” and thus cannot be used at a trial. But if law enforcement “listen in” on a legally protected conversation and learn information relevant to their case, this information can also be excluded from court. For instance, suppose that police eavesdrop on a conversation between a defendant and his attorney in which the defendant discloses the name and location of a witness who can undermine the defendant’s alibi. Based on this, the police locate the witness and interview him or her. Under the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine, the witness’s testimony may also be excluded from trial. The reasoning is that, but for the illegal eavesdropping, police would not have discovered the witness’s location and testimony.

Protecting Your Rights Takes Skill and Experience

A quick-thinking criminal defense attorney is necessary to ensure your rights are protected and that all illegally-obtained evidence is excluded. Evidence that is excluded from court cannot be used by the prosecution to prove its case, which can increase the likelihood that you will be found not guilty. In some cases, the excluded evidence may be so vital that the prosecution decides to dismiss its case before trial.

Hal M. Garfinkel is an experienced and zealous Chicago criminal defense attorney dedicated to defending your rights. Mr. Garfinkel will ensure that law enforcement agencies follow the law in investigating your case and collecting evidence. If law enforcement officers attempt to violate your rights or illegally collect evidence, Hal M. Garfinkel can make the necessary legal arguments and motions to ensure this evidence is not used against you. If you have been charged with a crime in Illinois, contact the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney at 312-629-0669 today.

Share this post:
Back to Top