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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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3 Times When a Case Might Be Dismissed


Not every criminal case reaches the stage where a jury renders a verdict. In fact, most cases never even go to trial. That’s because prosecutors often work out a deal, or decide to dismiss the charges, long before a jury is selected. In superior courts throughout New Jersey, there is almost always a backlog of cases. As a result, NJ prosecutors are often eager to avoid bringing a case to trial.

If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, you may have a good chance of getting your charges downgraded or even dismissed – so long as you have a qualified criminal defense attorney on your side. The reality is that prosecutors are far more likely to listen to what an attorney has to say than they are to listen to a defendant without legal representation. Moreover, persuading a prosecutor to drop the charges in your case will likely require a nuanced understanding of the law and complex legal arguments. So don’t wait to enlist the services of a skilled lawyer who can handle your case and fight your charges.

Getting Criminal Charges Downgraded or Dismissed in NJ

Prior to the start of trial, your attorney may explore the possibility of filing a pretrial motion to dismiss. However, in order to win this motion and succeed in getting your case dismissed, it will likely be necessary to make a compelling argument to the judge. After all, the prosecutor may contest the motion to dismiss. Beyond that, you will want to be on strong legal grounds in the event that the judge grants the motion but the prosecution later files an appeal to reconsider.

There are a number of reasons why a case might be dismissed prior to trial. Here are a few of the most common reasons for dismissal of criminal charges in NJ:

1.     Crucial evidence has been excluded. If your attorney is able to get the evidence against you ruled inadmissible and excluded, it is possible that the prosecution will no longer have a strong enough case to bring the charges to trial.

2.     The statute of limitations has expired. The prosecution has a limited amount of time in which to file criminal charges, depending on the type of offense. If too much time has elapsed since the crime was allegedly committed and the prosecution did not timely file charges against you, it may be possible to get the charges dismissed.

3.     Your right to a speedy trial has been violated. The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right of all criminal defendants to a speedy trial and resolution of their case. Although it is difficult to win a speedy trial challenge, it may be possible to argue that the prosecution must bring the case to trial immediately or dismiss the charges against you.


If you have been charged with a crime in Atlantic County, New Jersey, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you throughout the legal process. The experienced, aggressive criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty are prepared to help you fight your criminal charges. Contact us anytime to schedule a free consultation about your case.

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