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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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All is Not Lost; There Are Defenses to Heat of Passion Crimes

There are many degrees of homicide, and the one that is often misunderstood is known as “voluntary manslaughter.” By definition, it is when someone kills another person in the moment or “heat of passion.” In other words, the defendant had no intention of committing a crime but then something happened and he or she made a decision to kill.

In fact, the reason why the person would be charged with voluntary manslaughter instead of first-degree or second-degree murder is because, even though it’s an intentional act, it could be reasonably determined that anyone would commit the crime under the same emotionally charged circumstances.

Here is an example: Let’s say a woman comes home and finds her husband in bed with another woman. She picks up a vase throws it at his head, killing him. This is a classic crime of passion that might be considered voluntary manslaughter.

If you or someone you know are facing voluntary manslaughter or any other criminal charges in New Jersey, do not go it alone. You need a tough, knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer by your side, protecting your rights and working tirelessly to defend you.

Potential defenses to a voluntary manslaughter charges in New Jersey include:

  • Trying to prove the person charged didn’t commit the crime
  • Trying to prove that their actions were justified under the circumstances
  • Trying to base a case on lack of evidence or that the situation doesn’t meet standards of voluntary manslaughter

The first thing you need to do if you are facing charges is to contact John W. Tumelty. He has been defending good people, like you, in Atlantic and Cape May counties for more than 35 years. He is a former prosecutor and he knows how the other side thinks. Put his experience to work for you. Call him today for a free consultation about your case.

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