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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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Should You Accept a Plea Deal in New Jersey?

If you are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, you are likely well aware that how you face your charges in court will impact you for a long time to come. You may face life – or at least many years – in prison. Depending on the charges, you may have to register as a sex offender. In most cases, you will have a record for the rest of your life.

Depending on the severity of your crime and, perhaps, in exchange for information you may have about an accomplice or other crime, the prosecutor may offer you a plea deal. Essentially, if you accept, you are agreeing to waive a trial and plead guilty to a lesser charge. This agreement will come with a lighter sentence, as well.

So, when is a plea arrangement in your best interests?

While every case is different, a consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is always advisable. You should never represent yourself against criminal charges in New Jersey, nor should you make plea bargain agreements without legal guidance from a skilled lawyer like John W. Tumelty. Two of the things he will discuss with you as you consider a plea bargain include:

  • The strength and amount of credible evidence against you:  If the prosecution has multiple witnesses and/or DNA evidence, you may want to consider a plea deal.
  • A question of dollars and cents: If the punishment you are facing is a fine, you may choose to take a plea arrangement that would allow you to pay a reduced amount and put the entire proceeding to bed. Again, a decision like this should be made with the help of an attorney.

If you or a loved one have recently been charged with a crime, you need to talk to an attorney to see if it’s wise to try to fight it in court. Contact the Law Office of John W. Tumelty today for a free consultation about your charges.

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