Is it wise to have the same attorney or different attorney in a felony drug case as driver and passenger in a car? 3 Answers as of April 03, 2014

My boyfriend and I were arrested after we were pulled over and his license was suspended. They searched the car without a warrant. After searching the car, they brought a drug dog to the scene and found 5 grams of MDMA in the truck in my boyfriend’s suitcase. Afterwards, they asked me what the substance was and I said I have no idea. We were arrested, jailed then bailed out. Is it wise to retain the same lawyer or different lawyers? The lawyer we spoke to said he wants to first fight an illegal car search to see if the felony drug case can be dismissed. My boyfriend said that he will take the charge if he needs to. Can he do that if we have the same lawyer? I don't want to go against my boyfriend. I have no prior arrest record. Is it likely I will be charged and do jail time? Would it be likely he will be charged and do jail time?

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Hein, Waters & Klein
Hein, Waters & Klein | Irwin G. Klein
One attorney representing two or more clients in the same matter may have a Conflict of Interest. Every case depends upon its own facts. However, it's never a bad idea for every client to have his/her own attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/3/2014
Law Office of Richard Southard
Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
This is a classic example of conflict of interest. If a challenge of the search fails, the best defense for you is likely to claim the drugs were not yours and they belonged to your bf. How can a lawyer representing both of you discuss that with DA without implicating your bf. Similarly your boyfriend may end up having to blame you, despite his current willingness to take responsibility. Is bf paying the bill? If so, will the attorney favor his case? While it's legally permissible for an attorney to represent both of you if he explains all of the potential conflicts, and you sign a waiver and the judge approves, it's not a good idea.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/3/2014
Rothstein Law PLLC
Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
I would not use the same lawyer. Your defense is antagonistic to your boyfriend's.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/3/2014
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