03 November 2022

Crimes that bad lawyers may be tempted to commit in the exercise of their profession

Workers in the legal sector are the first ones who must comply with criminal and deontological rules, especially while they are practicing their profession, since they are the masters of the legal practice and the first ones who must set an example.

When a law firm or one of its employees is involved in a legal scandal, the reputation of both is called into question, therefore, it is important to respect legal and ethical principles to generate the necessary trust.

The aggravating circumstance of breach of trust would be applied to such crimes when the crime is committed with respect to the client or a colleague, since the relationship between lawyer-client and between colleagues is based precisely on trust.

The Bar Associations may impose disciplinary sanctions on those who act criminally. In addition, they will have to answer before the legal system for civil liability, which would oblige them to repair the damages they have caused, even receiving criminal penalties for committing certain crimes and disqualification in the exercise of their profession.

Crimes that can be committed by lawyers

The acts with criminal relevance that lawyers can commit in the exercise of their profession are very varied, although there are some that can be committed more easily, such as the crime of public and private falsification of documents.

In this context, the manipulation of evidence on which they intend to base their allegations that would end up causing the judges and magistrates to err in their assessment in order to pass judgment would also count as another crime, in this case, of procedural fraud.

In the same line, when knowingly presenting false witnesses or witnesses who give false testimony, the lawyer would be committing a crime of false testimony.

One of the criminal actions that generate the worst reputation among lawyers is breach of trust. When it refers to abusing the trust of their clients or of their own colleagues, it refers to the disclosure of secrets, whether they are secrets of the client or of others.

The distrust with the client will make him/her not want to hire the firm's services again. Another crime that is easy to commit by lawyers and that can mean the end of their professional career is the misappropriation of costs obtained in a legal proceeding in order to retain part of the money obtained by their client and impute it to themselves to satisfy their personal purposes when this has not been expressly agreed beforehand. This is usually done as compensation for his fees. In turn, in case of carrying out this action, the lawyer would also have to face a crime of aggravated fraud.

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