21 Sep 23

NJ Who Is The Best NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer To Defend Me?

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Last Updated on: 24th September 2023, 10:15 pm

Finding the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in New Jersey

Facing criminal charges in New Jersey can be an overwhelming experience. The stakes are high and your future is on the line. Having the right lawyer by your side can make all the difference between a favorable or unfavorable outcome.

But not all defense attorneys possess the skills, experience, and commitment needed to provide a strong defense. Choosing the best criminal lawyer to defend you requires research and careful evaluation of qualifications.

This article provides guidance on how to find the best criminal defense attorney in New Jersey to defend your case. We will cover important factors to consider and questions to ask when vetting lawyers.

Focus Exclusively on Criminal Defense

The first qualification to seek in a criminal defense lawyer is a practice focused solely on criminal litigation. Avoid attorneys who handle a wide range of civil matters in addition to some criminal cases. You want a lawyer completely dedicated to criminal defense work[1].

A true criminal law specialist has the knowledge and experience in criminal law, procedures, prosecutors, judges, and courts that comes from exclusive practice in this complex field. They will provide superior defense compared to a generalist.

Extensive Experience Defending Your Charges

Find a NJ criminal defense attorney with extensive hands-on experience specifically defending charges like yours. For example[2]:

  • DUI charges – A lawyer who has defended hundreds of DUI cases and knows every defense and argument.
  • Drug crimes – An attorney intimately familiar with NJ drug laws and how to challenge evidence.
  • Sex offenses – Counsel who has gone to trial on molestation and assault cases many times.

Ask specifically how many cases similar to yours the lawyer has handled and their record of success.

Familiarity with Local Courts and Prosecutors

Look for a criminal defense lawyer who is intimately familiar with the local court and prosecutors where your case is pending. An attorney who regularly appears before your judge and handles cases with your prosecutor will know[3]:

  • The tendencies, temperaments, and priorities of the judge.
  • The negotiation style and strategies of the prosecutor.
  • The unwritten rules and unique procedures of that court.

This insider understanding helps them effectively maneuver your case to the best resolution.

Commitment to an Aggressive Defense

Make sure any lawyer you consider will aggressively defend you and be a tireless advocate on your behalf. They should leave no stone unturned in investigating facts, examining evidence, researching defenses, filing motions, and fighting for your rights in court.

Beware lawyers who push clients to take plea deals and avoid trials. While appropriate in some cases, you want counsel willing to take your case all the way to an acquittal if needed.

Exceptional Communication Skills

The ability to communicate is vital for criminal defense lawyers. Look for an attorney who[4]:

  • Explains the law, court procedures, and your case clearly.
  • Answers all your questions completely.
  • Returns calls and emails promptly.
  • Keeps you updated on your case progress.

Poor communication leads to frustration and confusion. Seek a lawyer who will keep you informed.

Track Record of Positive Case Outcomes

When evaluating criminal defense lawyers, be sure to review their case results. While no guarantees of specific outcomes can be made, you want an attorney with a proven track record of achieving positive results for clients facing similar charges to yours.

Ask the lawyer about their dismissal rates, acquittal rates, sentencing outcomes, and percentages of reductions or dropped charges they have obtained.

Reputation with Judges and Prosecutors

The reputation of the lawyer among their peers and opponents is revealing. Opt for a criminal defense attorney who[5]:

  • Judges respect for being skilled, prepared, and zealous yet professional.
  • Prosecutors know will fight hard but also negotiate reasonably.
  • Other criminal defense lawyers would hire themselves if facing charges.

A lawyer held in high regard will be better positioned to deliver results.

Personality and Compatibility

While qualifications are most important, the personality and working style of the attorney should also align well with you. Consider factors like[6]:

  • Their communication style meshes with yours.
  • You feel comfortable speaking openly with them.
  • They involve you in key decisions about your defense.
  • They are responsive to your needs and concerns.

You will be working closely together, so ensure a good rapport.

Avoid Just Going With the Cheapest Lawyer

When searching for a criminal defense lawyer, cost often motivates decisions. However, the cheapest attorney is rarely the best choice. These lawyers may be inexperienced, take on too many cases, or lack resources to mount a strong defense.

While legal fees are important, make quality representation your top priority. Your freedom and record are on the line. A more expensive but superior lawyer often proves the wiser investment over the long-term.

Take Time to Thoroughly Vet Candidates

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer is a decision requiring due diligence. Take time to thoroughly research options, meet with candidates in person, check references, and review case results. Comparison shop to find the attorney who best fits your needs.

Rushing into a decision without vetting lawyers properly often leads to disappointment. Invest the time upfront finding the most qualified counsel.

Trust Your Instincts

Use your best judgment and trust your instincts when evaluating criminal defense lawyers to handle your case. You will have an intuitive sense of which ones seem engaged and passionate and which seem disinterested or distracted.

While you want an attorney knowledgeable about the law and court procedures, you also need one ready to fight tooth and nail on your behalf. Go with your gut feeling on who fits that bill.

Don’t Waste Time You Don’t Have

Time is of the essence when facing criminal prosecution. The earlier in the case you have skilled counsel advising you and defending your rights, the better. Don’t waste precious time shopping around or trying to handle matters yourself.

Retain trusted, experienced criminal defense counsel right away. This provides the best opportunity to build an effective defense and achieve the most favorable outcome possible.