Inside the Mind of a Criminal Defense Attorney

We know that in the realms of books, TV, and movies, defense attorneys are commonly portrayed in a dramatic fashion: the freewheeling, fast-talking, performative team of legal eagles who dig loopholes and unearth technicalities to prevent their clients from undergoing criminal culpability at absolutely all costs  — tracing the outlines of law vs. succumbing to it. It’s an exciting stereotype. It paints its subject entirely in shades of gray. And it really couldn’t be further from the truth.

Listen, we’re people. And we believe our job is essentially to take care of people. We’re women and men who are spending our careers committed to the rule of law and we showcase that commitment through doing all in our power as attorneys to assure our clients get a fair trial. The legal system is often perceived as slow-moving — and it can be, for quite good reason — it’s also an overwhelming monolith that can overwhelm those not prepared to navigate it, and it can sometimes result in less than just outcomes (for defendants and victims).

As criminal defense attorneys, we’ll show you the road map, work with you to fully understand all the places you could be going, and then create the best possible route to where you’d like to be. But we’re more than navigators. We’ll drive the car, change the oil, adjust the brakes, and get you home safely.


The point is we exist to give a voice to the accused. Here are just a few ways we ensure our clients get a fair trial in courtroom while also positively enduring the court of public opinion.

We try to bond with our clients.
It’s important to form a connection despite our differences.

Of course, this is a business relationship. You or a loved one has been accused of a crime and need expert legal advice from a team of professionals who understand your type of case inside and out, and have a provable track record of achieving optimal outcomes for their clients — this is an absolute baseline of what anyone seeking legal representation should be receiving.

However, the process of creating winning defenses for clients facing potentially severe — and unearned — punishment is something far beyond a mere transactional relationship. Depending on the type of charges you’re facing, it will be entirely necessary to delve into any an all details that even tangentially relate to your case. These are often personal details. Things that people don’t often share with others, and it’s for those reasons why being bonded by a sincere sense of trust can lead to better outcomes.

We deliver for our clients because we unquestionably understand our clients and care about their well being.

If you have legal representation and you don’t feel that your attorney understands or trusts you, then odds are your lawyer isn’t truly advocating for you and you should seek out different, better counsel.

We monitor our client’s social media.
Sometimes we ask them to change their outfit, too.

Social media has made our jobs as criminal defense even harder, as it’s a whole new avenue for clients to potentially self-sabotage, as well as have the public narrative about their trial overtaken by a less-informed public who are emotionally reacting to a situation they couldn’t possibly intimately understand. And yet their opinion does matter. It might not tips the scales of justice in one way or the other but it most certainly will color people’s perception of who you are, what you represent, and how you — in whatever capacity they perceive you to be — endured the US legal system.

And you better believe that if you want to ever lead a normal life after your trial is over and the dust is settled, that the public persona you’ve crafted for yourself will influence that outcome. Though there are rare exceptions, we typically recommend that — after perhaps making a brief statement that we work together to create and strategically release — that you simply press pause on your social media. Honestly, is there really a better option? So much of what social media is about: vacation photos, an article or recipe you might like, or a picture of your lunch, just aren’t appropriate reflections of who you are given the legal situation you’re currently facing.

Nor are certain types of personal aesthetic choices appropriate for trial. Ultimately and personally, we believe in freedom of self-expression, but we can’t be 100% certain what your jury, your judge, or your community perceive when it comes to people’s appearances. We’re not saying it’s fair, but we are saying that if you’re going to be on trial, it should be for the crimes you’re accused of vs. the type of clothes you wear, the length of your hair, the perceived immodesty of certain clothing, or the visibility of your tattoos. You can mitigate those sorts of risks by dressing for the job you want, a job known as freedom. Follow our lead here, and we’ll craft the reflection of your personality your deserve during this time.

Contact a New Jersey White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are under investigation or have been charged with any white collar crime in New Jersey, criminal defense attorney Robert J. DeGroot is ready to meet with you. For a free initial consultation, call 866-970-0783 or contact our Newark law firm online.

If you are incarcerated, our criminal law attorney can meet with you in jail. Reach out today, because we’re here to help!