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Why Lying to Your Attorney is a Bad Idea

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2016 | Firm News


Being able to obtain a clear understanding of exactly what’s involved when it comes to Virginia law is the reason why having a quality attorney is so important. Being accused of any crime or filing litigation against someone requires figuring out all of the ramifications that could potentially occur.

Attorney-Client Privilege

The value of the attorney-client privilege in Virginia and every other state in the country is that the accused can freely discuss their case without fear of that information being used against them. That means admitting to either embarrassing or incriminating facts will go no further than the room in which the conversation takes place.

That freedom is the important reason why lying to your Virginia attorney is never a wise move and can result in major trouble down the road. For any attorney to succeed, they need to have all the facts before them prior to crafting their legal strategy for a case. Otherwise, the likelihood of success rapidly diminishes.

A Character Check

Assuming your attorney has some level of experience, they’ve no doubt dealt with enough clients to have a sense when someone isn’t telling the truth. That damages your credibility with the one person to whom you’ve entrusted important responsibilities.

Upon finding out a client has lied to them, any Virginia attorney is likely to look at future interactions with a client with a jaundiced eye. Losing that trust is something that can affect their ability to present a confident argument of your case.

Damage to the Wallet

Such facts usually come up during the course of any pre-trial, which entails more work for the attorney in trying to deal with this new nugget of information. That added time will simply be added to your final bill, so from a financial perspective, trying to skirt the simple truth will end up costing you extra money.

Getting Hoisted on Your Own Petard

No attorney likes to be surprised during the course of a trial. However, a client’s lies that are uncovered by the other side will serve as a powerful weapon to either convict you or result in a litigation loss. Either way, it ties your attorney’s hands in being able to vigorously argue your case.

Perjury Concerns

Lying to your attorney might make a bad situation even worse. That’s because if you knowingly lie while testifying or during a deposition, you can be charged with perjury. In Virginia, it’s considered a Class 5 felony, with the judge having the discretion to send you to prison anywhere from one to 10 years.

The idea of asking your attorney to knowingly lie on your behalf is a waste of time. That’s because they are ethically bound not to suborn perjury, since they (as well as you) could face charges.

Simply telling the truth to your Virginia attorney is the simplest solution to this issue and should be scrupulously followed.

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