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RECENT DWI & CRIMINAL DEFENSE RESULTS

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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NJ “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign in full force

Last weekend, New Jersey law enforcement began the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, an annual campaign that targets drunk driving. The campaign, which runs from August 17th to September 3rd means more sobriety checkpoints and more police officers on the road.

It also means that more people will be charged with drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs in New Jersey. Last year, 1,437 people were arrested during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Police arrested even more people for other traffic violations, such as speeding (5,966 arrests) and reckless driving (775 arrests).

Every day is a good day to decide not to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The next few weeks, however, will see many people who have never been convicted of DUI (or any violation, for that matter) facing charges.

If you are charged with DUI during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, protect your rights by speaking with an experienced New Jersey DUI defense lawyer.

A note on sobriety checkpoints

Sobriety checkpoints, which are considered legal in the U.S., allow a police officer to stop vehicles at a predetermined fixed location. These checkpoints are meant to “increase the perception of the risk of arrest,” according to the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety. Their goal is to prevent drunk driving, not attack drivers.

Because these checkpoints are legal, and the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that they do not constitute illegal search and seizure, it is important for you to cooperate with police officers if you are pulled over. Remember, though, that you are not required to answer any questions that the officer asks you. In fact, it may be to your advantage to refuse to talk to the officers until you speak with a lawyer. Furthermore, if the officers ask you to search your car or person, do not say “yes.”

Officers at sobriety checkpoints should only stop your car for long enough to ask simple questions and check your level of intoxication. If you do not show signs that you are drunk, the officers must let you leave. If you do show signs, they may lead you to a separate, nearby location and conduct a field sobriety test.

Source: RedBank-Shrewsbury Patch, “Drunk Driving Crackdown Begins,” Aug. 19, 2012.

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