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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 Laws in New Jersey to Be Aware Of

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As the needs and rights of the public expands, new laws are introduced to, more often than not, meet those needs. However, keeping up with the addition of laws can be very difficult, as they are not often loudly promoted. Not knowing the new laws could keep a person from reaping benefit or could get a person in trouble if they are not aware of them. Below are laws that have been introduced as of January 1st, 2017 that people in New Jersey should be aware of:

New Minimum Wage

As of January 1st, minimum wage has received an increase of six cents according to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. This six-cent increase brings minimum wage up to $8.44 per hour from the last increase of $8.38 per hour. Employers should have already adjusted this change, but sometimes they do not. Those employed, especially those working at minimum wage should take note of the change and inspect their current and future pay stubs.

Bail

As it stood, the laws regarding bail for non-violent offenders may have set the bail too high. In fact, statistics show that over one in 12 defendants simply can’t afford a $2,500 bail amount and therefore, remain in jail. As of January 1st, less non-violent offenders will be held on bail and jailed; in the event the defendant is jailed, the defendant must be brought to trial within 120 days. The new law is in place to reduce the amount of people in jail for certain offenses simply because they cannot afford bail.

Eliminating Estate Tax

In anticipation of eliminating estate tax altogether, a new law has been introduced that raises the minimum amount of an estate before taxes can be imposed. Previously set at $675,000, the new law sets the minimum at $2 million and up in anticipation of eliminating the tax in 2018.

Lower Sales Tax

As of January 1st, the state sales tax has dropped from 7 percent to 6.875 percent, following another decrease in the coming year to a lower 6.625 percent.

New and Expanded Tax Deductions

New tax breaks and deduction opportunities have taken effect since January 1st. For starters, retired married couples who file their taxes together were previously allowed to exclude their retirement income up to $20,000. However, the new law in place has begun the process of increasing the amount over a four-year period with the end goal being $100,000 for retired couples who choose to file together. Those who file separately also benefit from the expanded deduction with an increase of $50,000 each. Veterans have gained a deduction as well. According to a new tax deal, veterans now qualify for a $3,000 tax deduction.

Adoption and Birth Certificates

A law that was introduced just over three years ago proposed that adopted people should be able to acquire their original birth certificates, which contain information regarding their birth parents. The benefits of which could be reconciling with their birth parents or in most cases, learning more about their own family history origins. The law was introduced over three years ago, but was made official as of January 1st. The time gap was created in order to give birth parents time to black out their names in order to avoid being contacted and maintain anonymity. Now that this time period is over, adopted people can now access their original birth certificates.

 

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in New Jersey, contact John Tumelty today. John Tumelty is a former prosecutor specializing in criminal defense. Schedule your case consultation today.

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