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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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New Jersey Law Makers Push For New DWI Law

New Jersey law makers are pushing for a new DWI law to allow a convicted drunk driver to avoid a license suspension by opting for an ignition interlock device.  The senate judiciary committee just recommended passage of S-385 which will allow a first-time offender with a blood alcohol content less than .10% to have the interlock device installed for three months in lieu of a license suspension.  A driver with a blood alcohol content between .10% and .15% would have the device installed for seven months to a year, in lieu of license suspension.  A first offender with a blood alcohol content of .15% or more would receive a seven to twelve month suspension, but could apply to have a device installed after 90 days.

The current DWI law says that the sentencing court is not required to order an ignition interlock when the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is less than .15%.  In those cases where the driver’s blood alcohol level is at  least .15% or greater, a first offender must be sentenced to an ignition interlock device on the vehicle principally operated by him and any other vehicle he may operate for a period of six months to one year following the completion of the court imposed license suspension.

The law also creates fines and penalties for a person who fails to install an interlock device ordered by a court.  In this instance, the person would be subject to an additional license suspension of one year for failing to comply with the interlock requirement.

Also, a person who has an interlock device installed in his vehicle and drives the car after it has been started by any means other than his own blowing or who drives a vehicle that is not equipped with such a device is subject to an additional license suspension of one year plus other fines and penalties.


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