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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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Factors New Jersey Judges Consider Before Reducing Bail

Reducing your bail is a common concern for anyone who has been accused of a crime because the amount of bail can be set so high that it is impossible for you or your family and friends to gather that money and keep you out of jail.

Anyone accused of a crime can benefit from avoiding jail wherever possible, but a high bail amount can block you from being able to come back home. Bail is a promise of some form of money to the court in order to persuade a judge that you should be released from jail at that current point in time. The only purpose of bail is to ensure that you come back for all court dates in New Jersey. The bail is not intended to prevent you from committing future crimes or to punish you for the crime in question, rather it is to ensure or give a promise that you are likely to come back to court to handle the other trial.

There are 8 factors that judges must consider in determining your bail amount. These include:

  1. The length of time you’ve lived in the community
  2. Your family relationships and ties
  3. Any previous criminal record
  4. The severity of the alleged crime.
  5. Your financial condition and employment status
  6. Whether any members of the community have vouched for your liability
  7. Your mental condition and reputation
  8. Any other factors, including community ties, that could indicate a lower or higher risk of failing to appear in court.

The first thing the judge will evaluate is the severity of the crime in question. A committee writes a statewide New Jersey bail schedule and the schedule will give a suggested range for the judge in your individual case. The more severe the case, the higher you can expect the bail amount to be. If bail is set extremely high, however, you may wish to have your criminal defense attorney argue for a bail reduction.

Talking to an experienced attorney as soon as possible after you have been accused of a crime is imperative in this situation because the sooner your attorney can take action and evaluate all of the choices available to you, the better your chances are of avoiding the consequences of extremely high bail and having to wait in jail for your case to be handled in the courts in New Jersey.

If you need help from a New Jersey defense lawyer after getting a high amount of bail assigned in your case, schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty immediately by calling 609-345-3300 or by filling out our convenient online contact form to get started today.

 

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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