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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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What is a Bench Warrant?

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Not unlike, but often confused for an arrest warrant, a bench warrant is a different kind of arrest warrant that is issued more often than not when a defendant fails to show up to a scheduled court hearing. Should a defendant miss their day in court, a judge can issue a bench warrant so that authorities have the right to bring the defendant into court.

Reasons for a Bench Warrant

Bench warrants were created to to curb defendants from missing or actively avoiding their court orders. It is a form a punishment for failing to appear at a required court date. A common scenario involves a defendant committing some form of crime, such as a speeding violation, and being issued a court order, only to miss it later. But a violation or crime is not always necessary. Another common reason bench warrants are issued is failure to report for jury duty.

Dealing with a Bench Warrant

It is important to note that when a bench warrant is issued, official authorities will rarely actively bring the defendant into court. It could be possible that a person has a bench warrant without even knowing it. Once a person has been arrested on a bench warrant, they must post bail in order to be released. Once bail is posted, a new court date is given. It’s not uncommon for a judge to decide that a defendant will pose a risk of failing to appear yet again. In this case, bail may be denied altogether.

In many cases, a person learns they have a bench warrant out for them in the most inconvenient ways. Getting pulled over for speeding or having any encounter with a police officer could lead to being informed about a bench warrant.

It is important to know what your rights are if you have a bench warrant out for you. If you or a loved one has discovered they have a bench warrant, contact a criminal defense attorney who could help. Contact the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty today to schedule your case evaluation.

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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.