Former State Prosecutor

Former Atlantic County Prosecutor

Certified Criminal Trial Attorney

Experienced for over 30 years

Available 24/7

609.345.3300

Former Prosecutor

Now Fighting for You

New Jersey Criminal Defense and DWI attorney
who knows how to navigate the local courts

FORMER PROSECUTOR

NOW FIGHTING FOR YOU.

New Jersey Criminal Defense and DWI attorney who
knows how to navigate the local courts.

RECENT DWI & CRIMINAL DEFENSE RESULTS

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.

Former State Prosecutor

Former Atlantic County Prosecutor

Certified Criminal Trial Attorney

Experienced for Over 30 years

Other areas we serve

Top DWI/DUI Myths

Top DWI/DUI Myths

If you’re facing a DWI or DUI charge in New Jersey, you’ve probably heard several myths about your rights or what to do now that you’re charged with drunk or otherwise impaired driving. This post addresses some of the top DWI/DUI myths:Continue Reading

Juveniles Tried As Adults

Juveniles Tried As Adults

If an individual younger than 18 years old commits a crime in New Jersey, it is called a “juvenile crime.” The minor individual may face legal consequences in a New Jersey juvenile court.Continue Reading

Experienced Atlantic City NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer Protects Clients by Making Successful Self-Defense Arguments


You have a right to feel safe in your own home. Similarly, while you should be aware that not everyone is a law-abiding citizen, you have a right to be able to walk down the street or visit a shopping mall without fear of being physically attacked. And, if you do get attacked – either in your Atlantic County home, a Cape May store or anywhere else in South Jersey, you most certainly have the right to defend yourself.

That being said, if you are charged with a crime after you acted in self-defense, you need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will work hard to protect your rights and your freedom. NJ attorney John W. Tumelty has been fighting for the rights of clients charged with crimes in Atlantic and Cape May counties for more than 25 years.

What is Self-Defense?

The law in New Jersey is clear: if you are put into a situation where you need to defend yourself against another person who is attempting to injure or kill you, you should not be convicted of a crime – assuming you were acting within the boundaries of New Jersey laws.

According to New Jersey Statutes 2C-3-4(a): “The use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable when the actor reasonably believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.”

In other words, if someone comes at you with a gun and you believe you are in danger of being shot, you have a right to defend yourself. If your actions hurt or kill the aggressor, you shouldn’t have to face penalties associated with assault or homicide charges.

While these charges may be frightening, your best option is to speak with an attorney who understands the way prosecutors think and react to cases like yours. John Tumelty is a criminal defense lawyer now, but he is a former district attorney and prosecutor in Atlantic County. When it comes to self-defense, Mr. Tumelty is the lawyer you want on your side.

When is Self-Defense Warranted in Atlantic City NJ?

Self-defense laws in New Jersey are complex and can be confusing. That’s why it’s important you speak with Mr. Tumelty. He can explain the self-defense laws as they pertain to your situation.

Protecting Your Own Body: If you feel someone is about to inflict serious bodily injury or upon you, you have the right to protect yourself using force.

Home Protection: NJSA §2C:3-6, has more than 12 parts that define how force may be used in defense of your own premises or personal property. In general, you have a right to use force to defend your property and belongings. However, the law requires you to ask the person to leave the premises before taking defensive action. If that request would put you or others in danger, you don’t have to make the request.

Protection of Other People: If you are aware that someone else is in imminent danger due to an attacker, New Jersey law says using force to defend someone else is justified. However, you need to have a good reason for taking protective action. Further, you and your lawyer will have to prove that the actions taken were actually “defensive” and not “offensive” in nature.

When is Self-Defense Not Justified in New Jersey?

There is a legal term, “duty to retreat,” that covers the main reasons why using deadly force in self-defense may not be justified. If you feel you are in harm’s way due to an attacker, you have a responsibility to try to get out of the physical situation. Run! Escape before you are allowed to use deadly force! In fact, NJ law dictates that you must try to get away before opting to defend yourself with deadly force.

However, if there is no means of escape, or if trying to escape would put you in even more danger, Mr. Tumelty will explain that to a court.

Additionally, the amount of force you use to defend yourself must be warranted based on the action taken against you (or that you fear could be taken against you.) For example, if someone punches you in the gut, it’s not justifiable self-defense to shoot them with a gun.

Contact a Skilled Atlantic City, NJ Criminal Defense Attorney about Your Self-Defense Claim

Mr. Tumelty offers free phone and in-person consultations. He will discuss the circumstances that led to your charges, explain your rights and get started immediately on your self-defense strategy. He has conveniently located offices in Somers Point, Atlantic City and Marmora and he welcomes clients from throughout Atlantic and Cape May counties and throughout NJ.

Free Consultation 24/7

Nights & Weekends

Free Consultation

Free Consultation

Atlantic County Offices

ATTORNEY JOHN W. TUMELTY
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
1 S. NEW YORK AVENUE, SUITE 212
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ 08401

609.345.3300

ATTORNEY JOHN W. TUMELTY
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
1616 PACIFIC AVENUE, SUITE 318
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ 08401

609.385.4010

ATTORNEY JOHN W. TUMELTY
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
1555 ZION ROAD, SUITE 203
NORTHFIELD, NJ 08225

609.435.1435

Cape May County Offices

ATTORNEY JOHN W. TUMELTY
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
539 SOUTH SHORE ROAD
MARMORA, NJ 08223

609.390.4600

ATTORNEY JOHN W. TUMELTY
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
3318 SIMPSON AVENUE
OCEAN CITY, NJ 08226

609.385.4221

ATTORNEY JOHN W. TUMELTY
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
100 E RIO GRANDE AVE
WILDWOOD, NJ 08260

609.277.2786

Areas We Serve

Atlantic County Offices

Cape May County Offices

ATTORNEY JOHN W. TUMELTY
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
539 SOUTH SHORE ROAD
MARMORA, NJ 08223

609.390.4600 Get Directions

ATTORNEY JOHN W. TUMELTY
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
3318 SIMPSON AVENUE
OCEAN CITY, NJ 08226

609.385.4221 Get Directions

ATTORNEY JOHN W. TUMELTY
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
100 E RIO GRANDE AVE
WILDWOOD, NJ 08260

609.277.2786 Get Directions

Seasoned criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty has three conveniently located offices in Atlantic City, Somers Point and Marmora, NJ. He serves clients in Atlantic, Ocean, Gloucester and Cape May counties and the Jersey Shore, including: Absecon, Atlantic City, Avalon, Cape May, Dennis Township, Egg Harbor Township, Galloway Township, Hamilton Township, Hammonton, Linwood, Lower Township, Margate, Middle Township, Northfield, Ocean City, Pleasantville, Sea Isle City, Somers Point, Stone Harbor, Upper Township, Ventnor and Wildwood.