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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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Dropping Criminal Charges

Dropping Criminal Charges

One of the most common questions asked by people who have recently been accused of a crime is when criminal charges can be dropped. Not all criminal charges ultimately lead to a trial, which is a misconception that many people who have been accused of a crime may have. Most defendants are eligible for shorter sentences or can plea bargain. In other cases, the prosecutor may review the specifics of the case and decide to drop the charges.

A Talented Lawyer Will Fight to Drop the Case

You should always be clear about who is eligible to drop criminal charges. It is never the victim. While the victim can agree to appear as a witness or file a complaint, the government typically in the form of the attorney general, the district attorney, or a local authority will actually bring the charges. The same stipulations apply when it comes to determining whether or not to drop the charges. Even if the victim chooses not to be involved in the case anymore, the prosecutor may take this into account but ultimately is not responsible for dropping the charges on that alone.

Many victims may wish to drop the charges because they have identified the wrong person, may still love the accused and may want to keep a relationship with the accused or may be afraid of the accused, but prosecutors may drop criminal charges for different reasons. The prosecuting attorney might have to drop charges if there are problems with the evidence or not enough evidence or if the victim refuses to cooperate.

An Attorney Works for Options in Your Case

Furthermore, the prosecution may decide to drop the criminal charges against you in exchange for a guilty plea to lesser charges, if the evidence has been ruled inadmissible, when new details exonerate the person accused, when the physical evidence was weak, or when the defense has enough evidence on their side to sway a jury in their favor.

Choosing an Experienced Atlantic City, NJ Lawyer

All of these issues can be especially complicated for someone who has recently been accused of a crime so it’s a good idea to schedule the consultation with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you have been accused to give yourself a better idea of what to expect in this process. Contact the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty today.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm

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South Jersey criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty is conveniently located in Atlantic City, NJ. He serves clients in Atlantic, Ocean, Gloucester and Cape May counties and the Jersey Shore, including: Absecon, Atlantic City, Avalon, Brigantine, Buena, Cape May, Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor Township, Estell Manor, Folsom, Galloway Township, Hamilton Township, Hammonton, Linwood, Longport, Margate, Mullica Township, Northfield, Pleasantville, Port Republic, Somers Point, Ventnor,  and Waymouth.