If you are facing one or more criminal charges, your first question should be “Do I need professional representation?” You could attempt to defend yourself in court or you could seek to have a public defender represent you. Both of these moves are fraught with risk. Consider this:
Representing yourself (appearing in pro per or pro se) is a little like attempting to treat your own medical condition, but is even more difficult. If you have a medical problem, everyone involved in treatment will be on the same side. You and any medical professionals you use will share the joint mission of getting you well. But this isn’t true if you are being prosecuted for alleged criminal conduct. The prosecutor and his staff are devoted to obtaining a conviction, or, failing that, cutting the best possible deal with you. Even the judge, who is neutral, can do nothing to favor or protect your interests. This is a type of poker that amateurs should not try to play. Experienced negotiation skills are needed to extract the best possible bargain. New Jersey criminal defense attorney Lorraine Gauli-Rufo can furnish many examples. Experienced attorneys will tell you that the outcome of negotiation in a criminal matter may turn directly on the identity of those doing the negotiating. If you are not familiar with pre-trial plea bargaining, how can you know what the prosecution will accept as a compromise?
Using a “free” public defender provides an economic advantage if you qualify, and can provide great representation if you are able to obtain their services.
If you pick your own defense attorney, however, these concerns are eliminated. You can find and retain a smart, energetic attorney who knows the charges, the court, the characteristics of the trial judge and (often) the prosecutor as well, and can give you the best possible advice about your options. New Jersey criminal defense attorney Lorraine Gauli-Rufo can provide information and advice about most New Jersey criminal court venues.
Any experienced criminal attorney will tell you that going to trial in a criminal matter is always a gamble. If you must gamble, it makes sense to set the odds in your favor by obtaining the best possible representation. Someone like Lorraine Gauli-Rufo who is an experienced federal criminal defense attorney who has handled many fraud trials, firearms offenses, and drug trials. She handles complex criminal cases in both New Jersey and the New York. She is the person people turn to when they need and want an attorney who cares about her clients, is respected by her peers, the prosecution and the judiciary, and gets the job done.