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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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Retired New Jersey Police Captain charged with drunk driving

Driving while intoxicated is a serious charge, which can lead to serious consequences, such as fines, loss of driving privileges, and jail time. Further, especially in New Jersey, employment opportunities can be put in danger due to the fact that the state does not generally provide hardship licenses to those stripped of driving privileges.

On the night of February 26, 2013, a retired New Jersey police captain, who is currently Office of Emergency Management coordinator for Fort Lee, was arrested. He pleaded not guilty to charges of, among others, drunk driving, reckless driving, and unsafe lane changes.

According to police, an officer observed a Fort Lee-owned vehicle braking without cause, slowing to a stop and crossing a double yellow lane line. The officer contends that he smelled alcohol in the vehicle and on the driver’s breath, that the driver had bloodshot eyes, and that the driver said he had been drinking. After sobriety tests were administered, the driver was arrested and transported to the station, where he allegedly failed a breathalyzer test. The defendant argues that his behavior was due to weather and road conditions, as the night was rainy and windy, and cars were parked on the side of the street, around which his client had to navigate.

It is important for anyone facing such charges to put up a vigorous defense. Due to the high profile of drunk-driving accidents that cause injury, police can sometimes be overzealous in arresting those they believe to be impaired. As can be seen from the above story, however, extenuating circumstances can exist, and such charges can be fought, and evidence can be challenged, including the results of breath tests.

Source:, “Fort Lee official and retired police captain awaits trial for drunken driving,” Linh Tat, April 26, 2013

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