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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 to Do If You’re Arrested

If you’re ever accused of a crime, it’s important to do the following:

#1: Stay silent. Recognize that it’s your legal right not to answer questions at this time. Police want you to converse and hope you’ll admit the crime. In this scenario, tell the officer you’re invoking the right not to speak and that you’ll answer questions only when your legal counsel is present.

#2: Submit to arrest. If you’re arrested and don’t believe you did anything to warrant what’s happening, it’s human nature to want to resist arrest. You may face additional charges that stick even if you’re found innocent of the charge prompting the arrest.

#3: Hire an attorney you trust. Tell a friend or loved on that you need to speak with a criminal defense lawyer right away. As soon as you hire him or her, it’s possible to start building a necessary defense.

#4: Speak openly with your attorney. Since it’s not a good idea to speak frankly with the police, tell your attorney as much as possible about the case. You don’t have to admit guilt or proclaim your innocence. Whatever you tell the attorney is held in strict confidence. Provide your lawyer with the truth. Facts will help your defense attorney to build a successful criminal defense strategy.

#5: Realize that the police can hold you without making a charge against you. If this happens, stay calm. Don’t offer up anything. The police might believe you committed a crime, but perhaps they haven’t gathered the evidence necessary to convict. New Jersey police are prohibited from searching your home without a warrant—even if another party alerts the police to something they find suspicious. Contact a criminal defense attorney right away.

#6: Avoid discussing your case with friends and family. If you’re facing a criminal charge, you want to discuss the case with someone. Your friends and family should be there to provide emotional support, but they shouldn’t hear anything else from you. Don’t coach a friend or family member if your criminal defense attorney wants to call him or her as a witness.


Contact The Law Offices of John W. Tumelty, New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Criminal Trial Attorney, if you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge now. Call 609-345-3300 to schedule an initial case review.

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