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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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Drugged Driving vs. Drunk Driving

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Driving under the influence of drugs and driving drunk are among the most dangerous things a person could do. Because of this, the penalties related to either charge are both high and extensive. When determining whether a person is drunk, common sobriety tests are administered like breathalyzer tests and and more. But for drugged driving, a citizen is not required to submit a drug test. Moreover, no penalties are enacted if a citizen refuses a drug test.  Below are some of the differences between drugged driving and drunk driving:

Drunk Driving in New Jersey (DWI / DUI)

It is against the law to drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above. The penalties an impaired driver can vary depending on the situation. Penalties for a first time offense with a BAC between .08 and .09 and no drugs involved are:

·       A fine ranging from $250-$400

·       Up to 30 days in jail

·       Suspended driver’s license (three months)

·       Possible community service assignments

·       Possible probation sentence

·       Possible interlock device requirement

First time offenders with a BAC of .10 or higher or the above BAC with combined with drug use could see higher charges including:

·       A fine ranging from $300-$500

·       Holding for 12 to 48 hours

·       Up to 30 days in jail

·       Suspended driver’s license from seven months to one year

·       Possible probation

·       Possible community service assignments

·       Possible interlock device requirement

It should be noted that there is a separate penalty for turning down or refusing to take a breathalyzer test in the state of New Jersey. If a driver is convicted of a DUI/DWI, penalties are doubled. In some cases, the court can mandate the installation of an ignition interlock device. In these cases, the driver must breathe into a type of breathalyzer device that is connected to the ignition of the car. The car will not start unless the driver is sober. During this period, the convicted driver must not drive any other car.

Drugged Driving in New Jersey (DUID)

Charges for a DUID are not unlike charges for a DUI. Unlike a DUI, there is no penalty for refusing a chemical/drug test. Because of this, there is no legally defined chemical standard that determines a DUID conviction. Penalties for first DUID convictions are:

·       A fine ranging from $300-$500

·       Holding for 12 to 48 hours

·       Suspended driver’s license from seven months to one year

·       Possible inpatient rehabilitation sentence

These penalties get higher as more offenses occur. The maximum penalty can be as high as $1,000 in fines for repeat offenders and a suspended license for 10 years. Drugged driving is not as easy to determine as drunk driving as there are no set chemical standards. This could leave ample room for error and an improper conviction.

If you or someone you know if facing charges for DUI/DWI/DUID, you need to contact a criminal defense attorney who can help fight for you. Contact the law offices of John W. Tumelty by calling 609.385.4010 or contact online today to schedule a case consultation.

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