I have four questions for the relative/friend who is giving free legal advice that contradicts what I am telling the client:
1. Are you a lawyer? If not, why are you giving legal advice?
2. If you are a lawyer, do you do criminal defense? If not, why are you giving advice on a complicated area of the law, with enormous stakes, about which you apparently know nothing?
3. If you are a criminal defense lawyer, do you do criminal defense in D.C.? If not, you should know that the law can vary considerably depending on the jurisdiction. You should know better than to advise someone on an area outside your expertise. Even if this does not qualify as malpractice or the unauthorized practice of law, it is certainly ill-advised.
4. If you are a criminal defense lawyer and you practice in D.C., you should be ashamed of yourself. Apparently you do not have a clue. You should find something else to do. How about document review?
As we used to tell clients when I was a public defender in Philadelphia, if your cellmate is such a legal genius, what is he doing locked up in jail with you?