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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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Young adults charged with underage drinking, DWI in New Jersey

It may not be the best idea to throw beer cans out the window of your moving car. In fact, it may even lead to DWI, as is the case for two young adults who were pulled over in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, recently.

According to authorities, the men passed an off-duty trooper while they were throwing empty beer cans out of their windows. The trooper came up alongside the vehicle, but the suspects sped away, eventually crashing into a center median. They tried to flee on foot but were stopped when the trooper pulled out his gun.

The driver, 20 years old, now faces charges for DWI, obstruction of justice, underage drinking, driving without a license and multiple other traffic offenses. His passenger also faces charges – for obstruction of justice and underage drinking.

Charged with multiple crimes?

The young adults in this case were likely very frightened. First, they were caught drinking – and driving. Second, they did not have licenses. Third, they did not speak English, so they likely did not understand that the off-duty cop was arresting them when he pulled out his gun. Finally, they are young and they made a mistake.

Mistakes like these can lead to significant penalties. DWI is a traffic offense in New Jersey, but it can put someone in jail for up to 30 days and lead to multiple thousands of dollars in fines. Driving without a license can add $500 or two months imprisonment. Underage drinking can add another $500 and driver’s license suspension (if the driver had a license).

These are not charges to take lightly. If you or your child faces similar offenses, act quickly to secure a good defense attorney. A criminal defense lawyer can help you raise the defenses available, negotiate with the prosecutors and protect your future.

Source:, “Off-duty NJ trooper pulls gun on DWI suspects,” July 30, 2012.

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