What happens to a criminal case if a confidentiality violation by the defendants attorney is discovered after the hearing?

Asked about 2 years ago - Ventura, CA

During a meeting between a defendant his attorney and the attorneys investigator, a certain distinct statement was made. The attorneys investigator later questioned the alleged victim. It is my belief that the investigator repeated statements made by the defendant because the alleged victim had not attended one court date (approx 10+ court dates). Also, the alleged victim lives an hour from court. However, after the aforementioned meeting and statement, the alleged victim attended the very next court date. But I rescheduled the last minute (sick). At the rescheduled hearing the alleged victim attends again, but leaves after we make eye contact and before I get called up. The statement at the meeting was "I want to face my accuser and I am going to plead not guilty"

Additional information

I guess my point is "what else was divulged that I won't discover until it’s too late?" Various motions were discussed. Also, pleading hot guilty doesn't become public record until my arraignment. Now the prosecution has an advantage because they know what to prepare for (2 mos prior to arraignment). Now valuable time can be spent on research for counter motions that the alleged victim "suddenly became aware of". I fear that I may lose due to direct timely counter motions that will give an appearance of guilt. Gambling and waiting to see if what was divulged is harmless or not is not only absurd but sounds naive knowing it’s a possibility.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Tai Christopher Bogan


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are being absurd. Assuming the communication is protected, it is causes you no harm for the release of this information. I really don't know what your beef is. Focus on the trial not trivial things along the way.

    The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.
  2. Chris J Feasel

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'm not quite sure what your issue is. Your statement is innocuous and doesn't import anything. The fact that you want to face your accuser and plead not guilty is clearly a statement of your rights. Who cares if that was imparted, either expressly or implicitly, to anyone - it's nothing that has anything to do with your case. Sounds like you have a beef with your attorney, but this example isn't a violation of any confidentialty, at least from my perspective.

    Mr. Feasel is a former Deputy DA in the SF Bay Area with over 10 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated... more
  3. Robert Lee Marshall

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you entered a "not guilty" plea - which is what usually happens at the initial court appearance - that was part of the public record, anyway, and every defendant in a criminal case has a right to confront his accusers.

    It sounds like the defense investigator made a general comment about the status of the case, which didn't reveal any confidences.

    Please understand that this is a general discussion of legal principles by a California lawyer and does not create... more
  4. Ryan James Tegnelia

    Contributor Level 9


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with the previous posters. There is no issue here. Most criminal defendants plead not guilty and most wish to "face their accuser." It sounds to me like there may be a breakdown in your relationship with your attorney. You need to discuss the matter with him or her.


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