If you are facing criminal charges in the State of Nebraska for a drug related offense you are likely concerned about the outcome of your case given the potential penalties you may be facing. A conviction for a drug offense can have far-reaching, and long-lasting, negative repercussions as you likely already know. While it is completely understandable to be concerned, even frightened, under the circumstances, it is imperative that you remember that being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted of a crime. At this stage of the proceedings, the best thing you can do for yourself, and for the outcome of your case, is to retain the services of an experienced Nebraska drug defense attorney. One thing you need to remember when you do have a drug defense attorney on board is that your attorney cannot do his/her job well if you are not honest with your attorney. You may be inclined, or tempted, to not be completely honest for any of several common reasons; however, keep in mind that you will be hindering your attorney’s ability to provide the best possible defense in your case if you choose to be less than honest.
Sharing Sensitive Details in General
Your reluctance to share sensitive, or personal, information with your criminal defense attorney is understandable. After all, most of us are not inclined to answer personal questions or share the details of your lives with people we only recently met. In a criminal prosecution, the information your attorney may wish you to share may be even more personal that what you share with close friends and family. If you have a drug and/or alcohol addiction, for example, you may have been hiding that fact from the people closest to you for many years. Opening up and telling your criminal defense attorney about your substance abuse problem, therefore, may seem counter-intuitive.
Details in Drug Cases
Giving your attorney details in a drug case can be particularly problematic for several reasons. If you are facing charges that are more serious than possession of a small amount of a controlled substance, there are almost certainly other people involved. Those participants higher up the proverbial food chain might not take kindly to you telling people of their involvement. Likewise, some of the information you have might suffice to bring charges against other people — people you consider friends and/or family. A large quantity of money might also be involved — a fact that you would prefer is not made public. The bottom line is that drug cases often make it even more difficult to feel comfortable sharing details of the case and/or your personal information.
The Attorney-Client Privilege
Clearly, the reluctance you may feel to share details about your case and/or about your personal life is natural. It could, however, seriously undermine your attorney’s ability to represent you to the best of his/her ability. The moment you retain an attorney to represent you the attorney-client privilege attaches. Simply put, this means your attorney cannot disclose anything you say to him/her except in extreme situations, such as if you threaten to kill someone and the threat appears valid. Your attorney is ethically bound to keep what you tell him/her confidential. Moreover, your attorney will likely not ask you questions unless the answers are important to your defense. Failing to provide answers, or worse, providing an incorrect answer could hider your defense. For criminal defense attorney, there are few things worse in a trial than asking a witness a question to which they believe they know the answer and then getting hit with a completely unexpected response — particularly if the witness is their own client.
Keep in mind also that your attorney’s job is not to pass judgment on you — not even regarding your guilt or innocence. A criminal defense attorney’s job is to ensure that you receive the best possible representation and to prevent the state from meeting its burden of proving you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If you want to help your attorney do his/her job, be honest and forthcoming with information and answers.
If you have been charged with a crime, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Nebraska criminal defense lawyer immediately. Contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney today.