Do I Have to Have an Attorney Represent Me in Court?

Do I Have to Have an Attorney Represent Me in Court?

All legal cases can include complex factors that should only be handled by qualified legal professionals. While it’s not a legal requirement to hire a lawyer to represent your case in court, the following information can lend advice on why it’s probably your best bet to ensure that your case is tried quickly and effectively. 

Do I Have to Have an Attorney Represent Me in Court?

New Jersey Sentencing Lawyer

While all federal criminal cases contain elements of complexity, it is in the sentencing phase of the case where federal cases require an attorney who fully understands the complexity and ambiguity presented by the interaction of the federal sentencing guidelines and case law.

Under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, including Blakely v. Washington and United States v. Booker, the federal sentencing guidelines are no longer treated as mandatory. Because they are now advisory, the judge needs to take them into consideration, but the guidelines do not dictate the sentence. The cases of Rita, Gall, Kimbrough, and Spears solidified the discretion that a sentencing judge has to deviate from the advisory guideline range. More than ever, the terms of a sentence may be influenced by well-crafted arguments of counsel. You want an attorney experienced in handling the complex arguments necessary to obtain the best possible sentencing result in light of this new treatment of the federal sentencing guidelines.

What should I do if I am facing being sentenced in federal court?

If you are charged with a federal offense, you should speak with a knowledgeable federal criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Timothy R. Anderson, Tim Anderson’s understanding of the federal sentencing guidelines allows him to develop arguments that best serve his clients. The goal in any federal sentencing matter is to minimize the federal sentence that is imposed. Tim Anderson has extensive experience in handling the sentencing phase of federal criminal cases, and has achieved outstanding results in dozens of federal cases.

Do I Have to Have an Attorney Represent Me in Court?

Initial Court Appearances Provide Valuable Opportunities for Your Bank Fraud Attorney

A Bank Fraud Attorney Discusses the Value of Initial Appearances and Arraignments

First impressions are important. The same is true with an initial court appearance or arraignment. These proceedings are opportunities for a bank fraud attorney to begin fighting for you and your case. In order to prepare for this, your attorney should study the charging document and object to it if it doesn’t meet the parameters of probable cause. A bank fraud attorney should also request your release on bond. The prosecution may disclose additional information about a case if they argue against bond.

Details of an Arraignment

The arraignment provides the opportunity for the prosecution and defense to explain the evidence they plan to submit and the rights they intend on exercising. Examples would be the defense requesting a preliminary hearing or asking the grand jury to hear your case.

Call a Bank Fraud Attorney for Assistance

An initial appearance in court gives defense attorneys an opportunity to begin fighting for your case. For guidance on initial appearances and arraignments, contact bank fraud attorney Tim Anderson at 732-212-2812 and schedule an initial consultation.

Do I Have to Have an Attorney Represent Me in Court?

New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Explains the 5th Amendment

If you are approached by a law enforcement officer to give a statement, asserting your right to counsel is one of the most important things you can do to help protect yourself, whether innocent or guilty. As soon as possible after invoking your right to counsel, you should call a New Jersey criminal defense attorney to discuss your situation. If you do not clearly and unambiguously assert your right to speak with an attorney, law enforcement officers do not have to stop questioning you. The longer that questioning goes on, the more likely it is that they will obtain evidence against you, again whether or not you are innocent.

When Should I Say That I Want to Speak with an Attorney?

The courts have established that the right to speak with an attorney only applies when you are “in custody” (arrested or not free to leave) and being interrogated. If you were arrested and they are asking questions, it is likely that will read you the required Miranda warnings. After this warning you should immediately say “I do not want to answer your questions. I want to speak with a lawyer.” You must be very clear in your request for an attorney. After asserting your right to a lawyer, the police cannot continue asking questions. If you inadvertently make an incriminating statement after asserting your rights, you will want to ask your New Jersey criminal defense attorney about your options for excluding the statement from evidence.

What If the Police Ask Me about a Different Crime?

If you have asserted your right to counsel, police are not allowed to ask about other crimes because the 5th amendment right to counsel is not offense specific. Prior to being charged, the 5th amendment right to counsel forbids police from asking about any offense. If they have violated this right, you need to fully explain what happened to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney.

Contact a New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney

Regardless of the charges you are facing, a skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney can make sure your rights are protected. At The Law Offices of Timothy R. Anderson, LLC, we have years of experience fighting the most serious federal and state charges. Call (732) 212-2812 today for an initial consultation.

Do I Have to Have an Attorney Represent Me in Court?

Virtual law firms may be on upswing in North Jersey


Law firms in North Jersey are going digital, jettisoning brick-and-mortar offices and establishing virtual law firms that bring services to clients from a distance using technological forms of communication, instead of traditional face-to-face meetings.

Virtual law firms allow lawyers who run them to be more flexible. These attorneys do most of their work through phone calls, emails, video chatting and other technologies. Oftentimes, these lawyers do much of their work from home — allowing them to drastically reduce overhead costs traditionally associated with having a physical law firm, such as rent or paying a secretary, and also enables a better work-life balance.

“It may be a growing trend,” said Timothy Anderson, a lawyer in Red Bank and also chairman of the Solo & Small Firm Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. “It really gives lawyers a way to be more efficient and practice anywhere.”

There are no statistics as to how many virtual law firms there are in the state. According to data from two State of the Attorney Disciplinary System Reports, there were 95,807 lawyers in New Jersey at the end of 2014 and 93,757 by the end of 2013. Despite the growing number of Garden State lawyers, 28,937 law offices reported they had physical locations in the state in 2014, unchanged from the year before, according to the reports.

Virtual offices were made possible in 2013 after the state Supreme Court Professional Responsibility Rules Committee approved amendments to the state’s “bona fide office” rule, which had essentially required all lawyers to have a brick-and-mortar office. The 2013 ruling said “an attorney need not have a fixed physical location.”

Critics of virtual firms argued that a virtual office means clients wouldn’t have immediate access to their lawyers. But lawyers with virtual offices say having one doesn’t mean you don’t meet your clients face-to-face. Tech-savvy lawyers who go virtual usually rent out shared office spaces. These spaces, which could cost as low as $100 per month, include access to Wi-Fi, an escape from long-term leases and a formal location for lawyers to meet clients.

Christopher Dunn, a former defense attorney in Paterson who lives in Scotch Plains, said he set up shop at C.E.O. Executive Suites, a suite-rental building in Scotch Plains, after deciding his daily commute to work was taking too much time away from his 10-month-old baby.

“If not for the change [in the bona-fide office rule], I’m not sure if I would have been able to start up,” said Dunn, who began running his own virtual practice in the spring.

Dunn, who practices criminal law, said he mostly works from home and is usually traveling to meet with clients, sometimes at their homes. When he does have to meet with clients at C.E.O. Executive Suites, he said the office is so close to home that he can walk. Because of the lack of traditional overhead costs, Dunn said he has also been able to shave significant dollars off of his clients’ hourly rates.

Though virtual firms are typically small-run operations, going virtual can also help firms, such as Rubenstein Business Law in Saddle Brook, operate at a geographically larger scale. The firm has locations in Saddle Brook, Chicago and Lakeland, Fla., and is run by David Rubenstein out of Chicago. This firm did not wish to comment on its operations.

There is no specific type of lawyer turning to virtual firms either. These lawyers could be recent law school graduates or seasoned lawyers “looking toward the idea to save money and keep overhead [costs] as low as possible,” said Anderson.

According to Matthew Stoloff, who is of counsel to Florham Park-based Jardim Meisner & Susser P.C., virtual firms create more opportunities for new attorneys. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts job growth for lawyers for the 10-year period ending 2022 to be about 10 percent, roughly as fast as the average for all occupations.

“The job market for new attorneys has been challenging for the last several years,” said Stoloff in an email. “And, virtual law offices give newly admitted attorneys the opportunity to develop their lawyering and business skills without worrying about high overhead costs.”