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STATE v. HENDRICKS — NEW JERSEY MURDER TRIAL — "NOT GUILTY" VERDICT

Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Cell phone use while driving may net criminal charges

A lot of people still use hand-held cell phones while operating a motor vehicle on the roads in the New Jersey. The New Jersey Governor’s office just signed a new criminal law making it a crime to cause death or personal injury while using a hands-on cell phone during the operation of a motor vehicle.

Under the existing law, a driver can be found guilty of death by auto as a result of reckless driving under N.J.S.A. 2C:11-5(a). The new law says that a prosecutor may prove reckless conduct by showing a driver was using a hands-on cell phone when an accident occurred. Vehicle homicide is a second-degree crime punishable by state prison of five to ten years.

A driver can also be found guilty of a less serious assault by auto offense by using a cell phone while driving and causing personal injury. Again, the prosecutor would be able to prove recklessness by showing a driver was using a cell phone. Assault by auto is a fourth-degree crime if serious bodily injury occurs. A fourth-degree crime is punishable by up to eighteen months in jail.

Please contact the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty if you would like to discuss a cell phone offense.

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