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

Sexting Defense Attorney, Atlantic County

Skilled Atlantic County Lawyer Defends Clients Charged with Sexting and Other Cybercrimes in Atlantic & Cape May Counties

Thanks to a wide variety of social media platforms, today’s teens are connected 24/7 to anyone and everyone. With a few clicks or swipes, your kid, safely tucked in bed, for example, may very well be texting, Facebook-ing, Instagramming, Snapchatting and more with people all over the world. Oftentimes, they are just communicating with friends. But, kids will be kids. When social media activity involves transmission of sexually explicit content or nude photos, it’s illegal. That’s called “sexting.”

If your child is facing sexting or another child pornography charge, including possession and distribution of child pornography or invasion of privacy, they could be facing jail time and mandatory sex offender registration. You need to hire an aggressive criminal defense lawyer who knows New Jersey’s specific laws and is familiar with the courts in Atlantic County and Cape May County. An attorney who will fight to protect your child’s rights.

Contact Criminal lawyer, John W. Tumelty, for a free consultation about charges relating to sexting and other juvenile criminal offenses in Wildwood, Wildwood Crest, Ocean City, Brigantine and Margate and throughout South Jersey.

What Is Sexting and Why Is It a Crime?

Technology is an amazing thing that is evolving faster than the speed of light. However, like anything else – with the good comes the bad. Thanks to the mini-handheld computer you walk around with in your pocket all the time, a.k.a. your smartphone, you are plugged in 24/7. So is your teenager.

In New Jersey, anyone who uses technology – including texting or emailing – to share nude or sexually suggestive photos of people under the age of 18 may face child pornography charges. These laws traditionally target adult sexual predators, but more recently are being used to charge teens who “sext” with other teens. Going one step further, anyone under the age of 18 who texts, emails or posts sexually explicit or nude photos of themselves can be charged with distribution of child pornography.

Teens think it’s a joke – harmless experimentation. Unfortunately, New Jersey law enforcement officials aren’t laughing. The problem is reportedly rampant throughout New Jersey in middle and high schools. Though schools are attempting to educate kids about the dangers of sexting, many teens don’t truly understand the consequences of their actions – until they get caught.

Getting caught usually happens when the “joke” goes viral and the person in the photos begins to be bullied and harassed. Sexting can have a long-term impact on someone’s reputation; we all know that the Internet is forever.

There are also federal penalties that may arise out of sexting charges. According to the PROTECT Act of 2003 (Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to end the Exploitation of Children Today), it is illegal to “produce, distribute, receive, or possess with intent to distribute any obscene visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Knowing possession of such material—without intent to distribute—is also a crime under the PROTECT Act.” (18 U.S.C. § 1466A(a)(1).)

South Jersey Defense Lawyer Explains the Damage Sexting May Cause in Wildwood, Stone Harbor and throughout NJ

Sexting usually begins as an innocent activity. No one intended for anyone to get hurt. In fact, often, the child who started everything by texting or posting the photos was only looking for attention. As a simple example, here’s how quickly sexting can spread:

  • Mary takes a topless photo of herself and sends it to a boy she likes, Mike.
  • Mike opens the text, see the photo and sends it to two of his pals, Bill and Joe.

Neither of these actions are nefarious. However, both are illegal. Now, here’s where the problem really gets bad.

  • Bill shows the photo to his girlfriend who decides to make Mary pay for getting her boyfriend’s attention with a nude pic. She posts Mary’s photo online.
  • Now, countless underage kids are seeing the photo. Everyone involved in spreading the content can be charged with distribution of child pornography. And, Mary’s reputation is tanked. A sexting charge will likely impact her in the future regarding college admission, the ability to rent an apartment, land a job, etc. Information sent into cyberspace is permanent.

In this scenario, you may think Mary is the victim. And, you would be correct. However, she also is the person who started the distribution of the photo. She may be charged with distribution of child pornography.

Why is it child pornography? In New Jersey the laws are clear. According to N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:24-4.: “a person who causes a child (a person younger than 18) to engage in a sexual act or appear nude for the purpose of making a photograph or film, or who photographs or films a child nude or engaging in sexual conduct, commits the crime of child pornography (also called endangering the welfare of a child). It is also a crime to give to someone else, offer to give to someone else, transfer, disseminate, distribute, circulate, or possess pornography depicting a child.”

New Jersey Institutes Diversionary Program for Teen Sexters

As serious as sexting charges are, New Jersey recognizes these activities are usually innocent mistakes gone horribly wrong. Contact experienced criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty to discuss New Jersey’s diversion program for teens charged with sexting. Mr. Tumelty may be able to help your child avoid incarceration and mandatory Megan’s Law registration requirements.

New Jersey’s diversion program is aimed at teens charged with child pornography crimes relating to sexting. If your child is able to enter this program, upon recommendation of a judge, your child can participate in an educational/counseling program that addresses sexting issues. The diversionary program is only an option if the creator of the distribution of content and the subject of the photo are both under 18 years old.

Contact John W. Tumelty Right Away for Aggressive Legal Representation for Teen Sexting Charges in Atlantic & Cape May Counties in New Jersey

Sexting, however childish, is a serious matter that has potentially very serious consequences. If your child or teenager is facing sexting or other child pornography-related charges, do not hesitate another moment. Hire an experienced juvenile criminal defense lawyer who will fight for inclusion in NJ’s diversionary sexting program. Your child’s reputation and future may be at stake.

John W. Tumelty has three offices: Atlantic City, Somers Point and Marmora, NJ. He will consult with you by phone or in person for free about your child’s charges. Contact him immediately so he can begin the process of protecting your child’s future.

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.