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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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What is a Formal Arraignment?

The court process in the state of New Jersey may not be as simple as it seems on the surface. Though many believe that going to court is a one and done situation, there is a process to it that is more complex than that. Among the many steps involved is what is called a formal arraignment.

Shortly after initial charges are filed against a defendant, the time comes to appear in court. A formal arraignment is set to occur at no more than 50 days following their indictment. At the formal arraignment, the defendant is told about the crimes they are accused of committing and informed of their rights, followed by asking the defendant whether what they plead in response to these charges: no contest, guilty, or not guilty.

If at this stage a plea bargain is ongoing, this is the time those bargains are reviewed. Moreover, the formal arraignment gives the defendant the opportunity to apply for pre-trial intervention. A PTI could help avoid the stigma of a criminal record, eliminate court costs, and much more.

An arraignment could occur whether or not the defendant is already in custody. In the event they are not in custody, should they fail to show up at their arraignment, the defendant can be issued an arrest warrant.

Formal arraignments can be complicated and should never be done alone. Having the right criminal defense attorney on your side fighting for your rights could mean the difference between a permanently tarnished record and a decidedly cleaner record.

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, don’t wait. Contact an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney who could help. Contact the law office of John W. Tumelty today to schedule your case consultation.

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