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Probably the most rewarding part of my practice is the ability to help people when they’re at their lowest point. When somebody gets arrested for a criminal offense whether it’s a minor offense or an extremely serious crime it’s the most serious offense to them. And I think it’s extremely important that I be able to take some of that stress off of their shoulders and place that onto my shoulders. Being able to help people when they’re in these really, really stressful situations is extremely rewarding. When I can walk out of a courtroom and get a positive result for a client, getting hugs and handshakes from not only my client but their family members there’s nothing else like it. You know when I can tell a young child that their mother or father is going to be home soon or they can see them for Christmas or a holiday it’s just really nice to be able to help people in a situation where they never thought they would find themselves.
The number one piece of advice that I find myself giving to clients do not talk. And when I say do not talk, I don’t mean just do not talk to the police although that is first and foremost, but do not talk over prison phones because they’re being recorded. Do not talk to other inmates. Don’t talk to friends about the case who knows if maybe they have some information that they’re going to then give up to hurt you. It’s most important that you limit the conversations that you’re going to have about your case to your attorney and some very, very close family that you can trust.
There are so many people that make the mistake thinking they’re going to talk their way out of an arrest or they’re going to talk their way out of conviction and when a client speaks, all they are doing is giving the prosecution one more piece of evidence. And a lot of times a client thinks that it’s helping them and really, they’re going to say something that is going to hurt them. So my number one piece of advice to any client who’s involved in any criminal investigation is to not talk to police or any other law enforcement. And that, I should say, does not mean that you shouldn’t be respectful to the police and that you shouldn’t cooperate with them but you should not be giving them information or speaking to them about the allegations that you’re being accused of.
Philadelphia, PA criminal defense attorney Brian Fishman talks about the most rewarding aspect of his practice and offers the most common advice he gives to clients.