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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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Life In The Age Of Surveillance

If you watch or read any news at all, then you probably know that the NSA has taken it upon itself to spy on pretty much everybody — friend and foe alike. It does this without apology or even a pause, snooping in email accounts and phone records, whether you’re suspected of anything or not.

We are told it is necessary to keep us safe, but it doesn’t take much imagination to see how easily such communications, often read without context, can be misconstrued, and suddenly, you could find yourself facing very serious charges (cyber crime related, or otherwise) for something you did not do.

If you think that’s bad, it gets worse.

Unfortunately, there are many people in our legal system, up to and including Supreme Court Justices, who have a tenuous grasp, at best, on how technology works, much less how it is used by everyday people. In one recent example, Chief Justice John Roberts made the assertion that the fact that you carry two cell phones on your person constituted probable cause to investigate you as a drug dealer. He made this assertion because he said he “heard” that that’s how drug dealers completed their transactions. Make initial arrangements on one phone, and finalize them on the other.

The irony of that assertion is that many attorneys commonly carry two cell phones with them when they go to court. Their personal phone and their office phone. In fact, it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that more than half the attorneys present in the chamber with the Chief Justice had two cell phones on them when the assertion was made.

It’s a funny story, or at least it would be if it didn’t have such dire implications. I mention it here because it underscores the fact that our legal system is struggling to keep pace with the speed of technological innovation, and frequently, it doesn’t do a very good job.

That matters because given assertions like the one above, it is very easy for someone who is entirely innocent to suddenly find themselves being accused of, or investigated for crimes of a very serious nature. Unfortunately, there’s no quick or easy way to remedy the situation, but the important thing to remember is that you are, in every case, innocent until proven guilty, and if you suddenly find yourself in someone’s legal cross hairs, you owe it to yourself to seek professional help and guidance.

The attorneys the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty are established leaders in Massachusetts criminal defense. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, they deserve adequate defense. Contact us today to discuss your case.

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