If I talk to a sexual assault advocate about what happened to me, will that information be shared in court?
Louisiana law says it should not be shared in court - as long as the advocate is an employee or representative of a sexual assault center that is “established and accredited in accordance with the standards set by the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault.”1 The law says that the information that you share with such an advocate and any communications that s/he has with you while s/he is providing you with services are considered “privileged.” If a communication is privileged, that means that there is generally not a requirement to reveal it in court through testimony or to produce any records or documents related to that privileged communication in a civil or criminal proceeding.2 If one of the lawyers in a case tries to get the information by sending a subpoena, both you and the advocate have the right to tell the judge the information is “privileged” and should not be revealed. It is often best to have a lawyer when trying to quash (fight against) a subpoena. For legal referrals, go to our LA Finding a Lawyer page.
1 LA R.S. 46:2187(A)(1),(2)
2 LA R.S. 46:2187(A)(1),(B)