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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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Are You Eligible for NJ Pretrial Release?

There are many criminal offenses in the New Jersey where a judge may permit a defendant to be released from jail while awaiting trail. This is called pretrial release.

In some cases, the judge may release someone on their own recognizance (R.O.R.). This usually is reserved for non-violent cases where the defendant has ties to the community and is not a flight risk. “R.O.R.” is offered when the judge agrees to take the defendant at his or her word that they will return to court.

In more serious criminal cases, or if a judge deems a defendant a potential flight risk, bail can be set at the court’s discretion. There are two options: cash and bond. In a cash bail, the defendant pays the full bail amount in cash and is released pending trial. Some courts accept credit cards but most still only take cash or check for a bond. As long as they return for trial, the defendant gets the bail amount returned in full.

If the defendant is given the option of obtaining a bail bond (usually 10 percent of the cash bail amount), they work with a bail bondsman who posts the bond on their behalf. The bondsman requires collateral and charges interest, of course.

There are also some conditions associated with pretrial release. For example, if the defendant is facing domestic violence charges, he or she would be prohibited from having contact with the alleged victim during the pretrial release period. For DWI charges, a defendant may have to have an ignition interlock device installed on their car while on pretrial release.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Atlantic or Cape May counties in New Jersey, talk with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you at your bail hearing and will defend you vigorously against the charges. John W. Tumelty offers free consultations to all prospective clients.

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