Interviewer: The people that you represent, are they truly criminals or they just ordinary people that have made a mistake and they’re facing criminal prosecution?
Andrew Jezic: I view my job in part as being a priest in a poor parish somewhere. In other words, most of the parishioners or most of the clients are people that are just having everyday problems; drunk driving, maybe a domestic violence once in a 30-year marriage, maybe caught with a machete in their car on the way home from a landscaping job or things like that. Somebody who recreationally will buy cocaine once every two years for a big anniversary and people that are not regular drug users. It’s the dumbest thing they ever did one time may fill out a fraudulent mortgage application on one lie and they would never ever do that the rest of their life.
A Competent Defense Attorney Alleviates the Misguided Fears of People Charged with Criminal Offenses
95 per cent of our clients are good people like everybody else who happen to be caught doing something that they rarely do or something that’s just outside of the normal routine of their everyday life. One of the things that we do to help them is immediately bring them down from extreme panic and catastrophizing about unlikely consequences. Catastrophizing about their life being ruined, their career being ruined, their marriage being ruined, their financial situation being ruined and make them realize in about an hour or less that none of those imagined dire consequences are likely to happen. They can go on with their life while they wait for their trial and live a normal life and then realize that none of those things or bad things are going to happen.
Defense Attorneys Help their Clients to Mitigate Collateral Consequences After a Trial
Once we finish the case, we help them make sure that the bad things don’t happen. We stay with them, we write letters, we speak to their bosses, we speak to their home owners’ association that are trying to kick them out. We stay with people every step of the way to make sure that these collateral consequences of criminal cases whether it’d be a conviction or not are not realized.
People Should Refrain From Speaking to the Police in the Absence of A Defense Attorney
Interviewer: Do you have people that call you and say, “A detective called me and they said they just want to talk to me and they’re not going to arrest me”? Has that happened and should people go down and talk to a detective if they’re called like that?
Andrew Jezic: People should call their defense lawyers and ask them to call the detective to say, “Thank you very much. My client will not speak to you. He’s dying to speak to you but he’s going to follow my advice not to speak to you”. The defense lawyer that way can assert your innocence, can assert your desire to speak to the detective, can get some information from the detectives on the phone about what’s happening and whether there’s an arrest warrant and what other evidence there might be. Then the lawyer can run interference between the suspect and the detective and prevent the detective from perhaps going to their work or going to their home or going to the in-laws and trying to find the defendant so that they can interrogate them.
A Defense Attorney Can Convey the Feelings of their Client in an Amicable Manner to the Police
Often times, the police will just stop trying to find somebody and stop trying to interrogate somebody when they get call from a defense attorney saying, “Don’t talk to my client”. The defense attorney can accomplish those goals that a suspect feels that he or she has when the suspect is considering speaking with the police.
- I want to tell the detective I’m innocent
- I want to show that I’m cooperative
- I want to find out what’s going on and therefore I want to talk to the detective out of curiosity or know what they know
All three of those things can be accomplished by the defense attorney. Unfortunately, most people don’t call a defense attorney before they speak because they think if they don’t go, a jury will find out about it one day and that’s bad or they think that detectives are going to be more likely to arrest them by asserting their silence.