In 2016, 97.3% of defendants in the federal criminal justice system conceded guilt. This means that less than 3% of defendants exercised their constitutional right to trial. The vast majority of a criminal defense attorney's time is dedicated to plea bargaining - we negotiate with prosecutors to reach an acceptable outcome for clients. Plea negotiations are an important tool for defendants. However, when a defendant wishes to go to trial, is he or she punished for doing so?
The attorney-client privilege in The Justice System, which ensures that a client can honestly communicate with an attorney in seeking advice and aid, is a cornerstone of the U.S. legal system. The privilege generally prevents an attorney from being compelled or even voluntarily disclosing information conveyed in confidence by a client for the purpose of seeking legal counsel.