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STATE v. HENDRICKS — NEW JERSEY MURDER TRIAL — "NOT GUILTY" VERDICT

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 Happens If I Accidentally Commit A Crime?

So, you accidentally commit a crime. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the process, and there were no damages to any property. So what happens next when a crime is accidentally committed?

Example Of A Non-Punishable Accidental Crime

Image of a man in handcuffs after accidentally committing a crime.The first thing to do is make sure it’s obvious that you weren’t trying to commit a crime of any sort. We’ll use stealing as an example.

Let’s say that you were going through the store trying on clothes and looking at purses when suddenly you see a purse that you really like and put something you also intend to purchase inside the purse to see what it felt like.

You wear the purse for a little while around the store, fill up a few more items into your shopping cart, and then go to check out. You purchase everything in your cart, except you forget the purse had another item inside of it. In this particular case, no crime has been committed.

When Are Accidental Crimes Punishable?

There are cases where you can still be punished for an accidental crime. A very popular case is when bartenders accidentally serve alcohol to underage people. Even if they checked ID’s every other time but this one, and they end up serving a minor, this is a crime. In fact, it’s possible to go to jail for such a crime.

This is known as a Strict Liability Law. Strict Liability Laws state that even if you commit the crime by accident, you can still be accused of the crime. In the other case, as long as there is evidence that there was no intent to commit a crime, you cannot be proven guilty in a court of law.

If you have been charged for a crime you did not mean to commit, check with an attorney to see if the police wrongfully charged you.

Charged With A Crime You Didn’t Commit? You Need An Experienced Lawyer

John W. Tumelty is an experienced criminal defense attorney who will help determine what happened in your case. He will craft a defense strategy to help you avoid the most serious penalties. Mr. Tumelty is available 24/7 for an in-person consultation.

Call 609-385-4010 Or Fill Out The Contact Form To Request A Free Consultation With John Tumelty

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship.

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