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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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New Jersey man charged with DWI after driving into creek

According to police, a 20-year-old resident of Union crashed the car he was driving into a Watchung creek. The young man was arrested and faces several charges, including driving while intoxicated.

Police claim the man refused to take a breath test and that an empty alcohol container was found in the vehicle. Along with DWI, the individual was issued summonses for driving under the influence while under legal drinking age, refusal to take a breath test and careless driving. He was released to a family member and the vehicle was impounded.

New Jersey, like many other states, has implemented laws not only against drunk driving, but also a separate infraction for underage DWI. Unlike the adult limit of .08 blood alcohol content or higher, an underage DWI conviction can result if it is proved that an individual under 21 years of age operated a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .01 or more. Such a conviction for underage DWI can result in license suspension, community service, mandatory alcohol education classes and multiple fines and fees.

People like the young man in this case, that are over the age of 18 but under 21, can face both the penalties above as well as the possibility of jail time, longer license suspension and higher fines of an “adult” DWI charge. There is also the possibility of installation of an ignition interlock device in the individual’s vehicle. Other effects can stem from charges like these, especially for young people, such as a limitation of employment or educational options due to inability to legally drive.

Because of the multiple charges and penalties that can arise from situations in which an under 21-years-old is accused of drunk driving, it is important that all legal options are considered. People who find themselves, or a family member, in such circumstances should make it a priority to put up the best defense possible.

Source: NJ.com, “Union man charged with DWI after crashing car into a Watchung creek, police say,” Walter O’Brien, Feb. 25, 2013

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