Court rejects private lawyer phone consult prior to charges

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 9:19 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court says Iowans have no right to a confidential telephone conversation with a lawyer prior to charges being filed.

The decision released Friday deals a significant blow to attorney-client privilege. The court released the decision in upholding a drunken driving conviction against Matthew Sewell, a Milford man arrested in January 2019.

A majority of the court concluded that the constitutional right to an attorney only applies after charges are filed and that state law says privacy is assured only in face-to-face meetings with a lawyer.

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