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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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Questions You Should Always Ask Before Hiring an Attorney


Hiring a criminal defense attorney to handle your case can be a daunting task. It takes time, research and an ample amount of effort to find a fitting attorney who could handle your case. But once you’ve narrowed down your search, it is important to meet your prospective attorneys and ask a few very important questions. Here are questions you should always ask before hiring an attorney:

“How long have you been practicing law?”

Experience is everything when hiring a lawyer. Asking the lawyer how long they’ve been practicing law can give a solid insight into how stable they are and could lend itself to asking them about their track record and success rate.

“Will you be handling my case?”

Many law offices advertise the primary attorney only to turn new clientele over to younger, more inexperienced associates. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, your time researching an attorney is for that specific attorney and reviews based on their service. It’s fitting, then, that their service should be hands-on.

“Have you handled a case like this before?”

Attorneys handle a variety of different cases. But even the most experienced attorneys are occasionally surprised by some cases. Before hiring an attorney, ask if they have ever handled a case like yours. If they have, ask about the outcome of the case.

“What can I expect from this case?”

While an attorney can’t guarantee results, their experience can help set a realistic expectation, for better or worse, regarding the outcome of you case. This means keeping you informed of possible charges, penalties, best case scenarios, and worst case scenarios. The information you get as a response to this question can help keep your expectations properly set.

​ “How will I be able to contact you?”

Having an open line of communication with your attorney is extremely important. It’s important to ask how they will communicate with you, their general turn-around time, and how often you will be able to contact them. If their communication is scarce or they are difficult to reach, it could be an indication that your case may not be their primary focus.


Hiring an attorney is not unlike hiring a new employee – asking the right questions can give you a strong indication of how that attorney will handle your case. You deserve to have an attorney you feel secure and confident with. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, contact an experienced, aggressive attorney who could help. Contact the law offices of John W. Tumelty today online or by phone at 609.385.4010 today to schedule your case evaluation.

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