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About me

I was built to be a criminal defense attorney. The opportunity to fight for the preservation of my clients rights under the law is an awesome privilege.


There was never any question in my mind as to which field of law I would practice. I knew I wanted to be a counselor and defender to those faced with criminal prosecution. Staring down government accusations of criminal wrongdoing is a frightening process for most people. Criminal defendants deserve to have an advocate who is sworn to champion their constitutional rights, and protect their liberty throughout the judicial process.


I was raised in a family that stressed the importance of service to those who didn't always have a recognized voice in the world. My parents were teachers, and my Grandmother retired as an instructor to children with special needs. She was the first person in my family to graduate from college, and her diploma and graduation photo are proudly on display in my office.


I received my trial training in one of the highest national crime centers in the country, as a Public Defender in Baltimore Maryland. It is a start that I am very proud to have experienced. I represented hundreds of clients during those four years, and did my best to provide them with as many options as possible as their cases progressed. I had dozens of bench trials, and conducted the defense of over 25 jury trials. Winning was important - it was a very important thing - but it wasn't always the only thing. I learned that my clients wanted an advocate that kept open a clear line of honest communication. It's this kind of interaction that over time, builds a solid foundation of trust. Trust is essential when clients are facing life changing decisions.


Whether it be a bond review, or a closing argument...I want my client's input. Criminal defendants have a lot on the line, and they deserve to be a part of the process. I bring a high level of expertise to a case, but certain decisions will ultimately rest with my client. For example, whether or not to testify, and whether or not to enter a plea or request a trial. My job is to open as many doors for my clients as possible, advise them of the best door to walk through - and when go to battle to ensure their freedom.


Now a practicing lawyer in North Carolina in private practice, I am proud to have founded the Scharff Law Firm in Raleigh. I specialize in defending DWI charges, Domestic Violence, Drug Charges, and Theft Charges. It's been a fun and challenging experience making the transition from being a Maryland Public Defender to a defense attorney in private practice. I look forward to working diligently to defend a new group of clients across the state of North Carolina.




Photos and videos

1900413 1377211619

1900413 1377209100

1900413 1261763399

Contact info

827 N. Bloodworth Street
Raleigh, NC, 27604

Practice areas


  1. Juvenile: 20%
    12 years, 100 cases
  2. Consumer Protection: 20%
    12 years, 100 cases
  3. Domestic Violence: 20%
    12 years, 300 cases
  4. DUI & DWI: 20%
    12 years, 200 cases
  5. Other: 20%
  6. More 



Retainer (always)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

26 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Steven Saad

    Mr. Schaeff has a unique reputation in the legal community. He is well respected for being both highly capable and highly personable. These traits rarely accompany the same attorney. In the years that I've worked with Mr. Scharff, he has been the consummate advocate for citizens' rights. Passionate and hard working. He gets the job done.


    Steven Saad DUI and DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Jason Matthew Johnson

    I endorse this lawyer. I met Jesse at the Trial Lawyer's College. He is passionate about defending the rights of his clients and will stop at nothing to see that justice is done.


    Jason Johnson Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Top 40 Lawyers Under 40American Society of Legal Advocates2013
Induction - History Honor SocietyPhi Alpha Theta1998
Induction - Liberal Arts Honor SocietyPhi Beta Kappa Honor Society1995
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Managing PartnerScharff Law Firm2013 - Present
Associate AttorneyRoberts Law Group2009 - Present
Assistant Public DefenderMaryland Office of the Public Defender2003 - 2007
Association namePosition nameDuration
North Carolina Advocates for JusticeMember2009 - Present
North Carolina Bar AssociationMember2009 - Present
Tenth Judicial Circuit Bar AssociationMember2009 - Present
North Carolina State BarMember2009 - Present
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
Maryland v. R.A.Not Guilty
North Carolina vs. P.C.Not Guilty
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Attorney at Law MagazineYou've Been Arrested For DWI, Now What?2014
Scharff BlogScharff Blog2013
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
National Criminal Defense CollegeLitigationCriminal Defense2012
Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers CollegeCriminal DefenseJury Trial Advocacy2012
University of Baltimore School of LawCriminal LawJD - Juris Doctor2001
University of North Carolina, GreensboroHistoryBA - Bachelor of Arts1998
Howard Community CollegeSecondary EducationAssociates1995
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Faith & WorkBalancing Religious faith and the Workplace2012