A criminal defense lawyer is often asked to give legal advice to someone who inquires about a crime that they are committing. For example, a potential client may tell a lawyer that he is stealing power and asks what he should do. The answer may seem simple but it has a caveat. The public might think that the lawyer should tell him to stop stealing power and to take off all the connections that allowed him to do so. Others may say that they should advise the client to stop stealing power but leave the connections on because they are evidence. The legal advice depends on whether or not there is an active investigation into the crime. If there is none, then the lawyer should tell the client to stop stealing power and remove all connections. If there is an active investigation, the legal advice should be to stop stealing power but do not destroy evidence. The situation is analogous to the mother who finds drugs in her son’s bedroom. Can she flush it down the toilet? The answer is yes. However, if the son calls his mother and says that the police are on their way with a search warrant to find drugs in his bedroom, the mother may not destroy the evidence. A lawyer is governed and judged by his ethics. Giving the right advice is paramount.

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