Attorney-client privilege is what keeps communications between an attorney and the people they represent confidential. It only applies under certain circumstances, however. There are some types of attorney-client interactions that are not protected under these laws. For example, if the attorney you’re talking to is helping you with business advice or with your taxes, it’s unlikely that you could invoke attorney-client privilege to protect any of the information that you exchange. Criminal cases are were attorney-client privilege generally applies.
In order for you to claim attorney-client privilege on any information, it has to have been communicated to an attorney who is a member of the state bar. It also has to be information that was exchanged as a process of you getting legal information or your attorney getting information from you about your case. For example, if you and your attorney were actually trying to figure out how to commit a crime, attorney-client privilege would not protect any of the communication involved in the commission of that crime.
If you communicate something to a third-party or if you communicate it to the media, you cannot invoke attorney-client privilege. If you communicate something to the police, it cannot be retroactively protected under these laws.
Attorney-client privilege also protects you against attorneys that are unethical. If they are found to be divulging information about their clients that they should not be discussing with anyone except those clients, they may be removed from the bar. It doesn’t matter if they are still representing you or not. It is considered part of their obligation to you to keep your information private from the time they represent you forward.
Attorney-client privilege is, more than anything, conditional. It is not dependent solely upon the fact that person with whom you are communicating is an attorney, it depends upon the purpose and the circumstances of those communications