“If you have someone that’s just a witness – a pure [and] simple witness to a crime that has absolutely no criminal liability whatsoever, as an attorney, you have to distinguish those individuals,” Rendelman explained. “With that said, there are gray areas: there’s the defendant, there’s the completely innocent individual, and there’s often someone in the middle.”
But one should be careful not to automatically think that there’s no criminal exposure when there might be, Rendelman said.
A secretary at a business that has scammed millions of people, for example, might think they have nothing to worry about in testifying, and that authorities might just want to know what others were doing.
“There is a potential risk that what can be used is not just against them, but against her because she worked there,” Rendelman said.