As a lawyer, you understand the gravity of charges like sexual assault. When it comes to defending a client who has been charged with this type offense, it pays to make sure the client understands the nature of the charges and how things could play out. This is also a time to provide the client with advice intended to strengthen the defense and improve the odds of beating the charges. Make sure the following is included in that advice.
Nothing Remains Hidden from the Legal Counsel
From the moment you indicate that you’re willing to accept the case, the client must understand that no information is to be withheld from you. If some minor detail has any connection to the alleged event or the people involved, it must be shared. At no point should the client feel free to edit, omit, or otherwise filter data that has any connection with the charges.
For the sexual assault lawyer in Toronto, this could lead to an overload of information from a client who is willing to share anything and everything that comes to mind. That’s fine. Filtering through what ultimately isn’t of any value is better than not having access to some detail that turns out to be critical to the defense strategy. For this reason, encourage the client to tell anything that could have even a remote impact on the case.
Contact With the Plaintiff – Even Through Third Parties – Must Not Happen
In many instances, this won’t be an issue. Even so, there may be some cases where the plaintiff is a relative, a coworker, or someone that the defendant normally interacts with. In those instances, it’s best to avoid contact until after the case is resolved.
This includes sending messages to one another through mutual friends or similar methods. It’s too easy for this type of attempt to backfire and lead to more problems that you have to deal with before or during the time in court.
If contact is necessary for any reason, it must be done through the parties’ respective legal counsels. This ensures the communications are clear, concise, and there’s no opportunity for the intent or the content of the contact to be misinterpreted.
Discussing the Case With Others is Off the Table
Many a legal defense has been undermined due to offhand comments made to a friend or other loved one. This is especially true if the remark is made in a setting where others can hear. All too often, it’s reported to the prosecution and not necessarily in the original form. That means more headaches for the defense lawyer.
Counsel your client to respond vaguely when others ask about the case or what the lawyer is doing. General responses that the lawyer is working on things and that the client remains hopeful of victory is fine. Outside of that, details only get discussed in your office.
The Client’s Movements Matter
Depending on the case particulars, it may be wise to have the client avoid spending time in certain settings. At the same time, contact with specific individuals should be limited or avoided altogether until after the case is finished. The goal is to minimize any contacts that by association might indicate the charges against your client have some substance.
Remind your client that if there’s any doubt about whether going to a specific place or being seen in the presence of a particular individual might be suspect, err on the side of caution and don’t go.
There’s more that you’re likely to recommend to the client, based on the specifics of the sexual assault allegations. At all times, provide counsel that’s intended to keep things as simple as possible. In the long run, that’s a good thing for you as well as for your client.