Criminal Defense

Please read our IMPORTANT NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER.

For people who are charged with a white-collar or blue-collar crime, we represent them in court and consult with them as to the consequences of the legal process. Attorney Kurt Gibson is a former Certified Public Accountant and can represent people involved in complex financial situations.

Table of Contents

SC Bar Publication Arrested (pdf).

If I tell an attorney, can the attorney tell on me?

No. Attorneys have a duty to maintain all information that you give them confidential and to only use that information in your best interests. The attorney cannot be forced to disclose this information due to a principle called attorney-client privilege. You do not have this protection with other people you speak with. If you say something to your friend (or your cell mate, that person may be forced to tell what they know. Your attorney is often your only confidential consultant. You should exercise your right to remain silent about your case with your friends also. By the way, the hearsay exception does not generally apply to the Defendant's statement - that is why your statements to the police can and will be used against you in court.

Should you speak with the police?

You have the right to remain silent - USE IT. You have the right to an attorney - USE IT.

ALWAYS speak with an attorney as early as possible. Although as a general rule you cannot talk your way out of trouble with the police or the solicitors, you and your attorney may decide that speaking with the investigators is in your best interests. Do not allow yourself to feel pressured to speak immediately to the investigators. You can generally consult with your attorney before speaking with investigators IF you demand it.

Once an investigation has focused on you, you are at a serious disadvantage. A team of attorneys, investigators, and labs may be seeking to prove that you are responsible for the crime. What you say can and will be used against you. Many defendants are surprised at trial by how their statements are twisted and contorted. Seemingly innocent statements that you make could be used against you. You must keep in mind that only on TV do defendants seem to have all of the advantages. When you go to trial in your case, you will probably be shocked at the uphill battle that you are faced with even though in theory your are "innocent until proven guilty".

Many people believe that they will just seem more guilty if they refuse to speak with the investigators or the police. Many people are afraid to demand their right to consult with an attorney due to a mistaken perception that only guilty people need attorneys. The guilty and the innocent require representation. The guilty hire attorneys to defend against an unnecessarily harsh punishment and the innocent hire attorneys to defend against unwarranted punishment.

I am guilty. Do I need an attorney?

Yes. People do not realize how bad things can get for them when they are on the wrong end of a prosecution. For an extreme example, suppose that you shot someone in front of eyewitnesses. You could be charged with murder or manslaughter or not charged because it was self defense. The difference between a murder sentence and a manslaughter sentence is huge! You could spend your life in jail for murder or be released on the grounds of self defense. Similarly, in other less serious crimes, successful defense work may be limiting the punishment you suffer. By working with an attorney, you may be able to pay your debt to society without unnecessarily harsh punishment.

When should I hire an attorney?

You should hire an attorney as early as possible - sometimes before the prosecutor or police have contacted you. Even better, you should get legal advice prior to acting so that you determine the criminality of your actions before you act. Of course, in many situations this is not possible, but in professional and white-collar areas, you can often do so. The sooner you begin working with an attorney, the better able you will be to react appropriately when the time comes to speak with the authorities.