Former State Prosecutor

Former Atlantic County Prosecutor

Certified Criminal Trial Attorney

Experienced for over 30 years

Available 24/7

609.345.3300

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

Questions You Should Always Ask Before Hiring an Attorney

Hiring a criminal defense attorney to handle your case can be a daunting task. It takes time, research and an ample amount of effort to find a fitting attorney who could handle your case. But once you’ve narrowed down your search, it is important to meet your prospective attorneys and ask a few very important…Continue Reading

Drugged Driving vs. Drunk Driving

Driving under the influence of drugs and driving drunk are among the most dangerous things a person could do. Because of this, the penalties related to either charge are both high and extensive. When determining whether a person is drunk, common sobriety tests are administered like breathalyzer tests and and more. But for drugged driving,…Continue Reading

When Can a Mistrial Occur?

According to the United States Constitution, any person who faces criminal charges has a right to a trial by jury. This is one of the many inalienable rights people have as American citizens. A criminal conviction can only occur if a jury finds the defendant guilty and issues the verdict. If a jury is not…Continue Reading

Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Represents Clients at Atlantic City Bail Hearings


Jail can be a frightening place, and you should not have to be there one minute longer than absolutely necessary. Unfortunately, all too often, NJ municipal court and superior court judges set bail too high. As a result, many defendants are unable to post bail and secure their release from jail before trial. If you’ve been arrested for a crime in the State of New Jersey, let an experienced attorney protect your legal right to a bail hearing.

John Tumelty, founding partner of the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty, is an experienced criminal defense attorney who can ensure that your bail is set at a fair and affordable amount. Mr. Tumelty previously served as both a state prosecutor and a county prosecutor, so he has unique insight into how the New Jersey criminal justice system works. Now he regularly appears in courtrooms throughout Cape May County and Atlantic County, assisting clients at all stages of the legal process.

How are Bail Amounts Determined?

“Bail” refers to the cash (or cash equivalent) that a person who has been arrested gives to the court as collateral in order to get released from custody. The bail amount functions as an incentive for the defendant to appear in court at a later date.

Bail is commonly set by judges in serious criminal cases, including:

Judges have a great amount of latitude when determining a proper bail amount. Judges often look to the New Jersey Bail Schedule, a state guideline for setting bail. However, judges do not have to follow the guidelines. When setting bail and considering whether a defendant poses a flight risk or a serious threat to the community, judges also consider several factors outlined in the NJ criminal code under N.J.S.A. 3:26-1A:

  • Severity of the criminal offense: The more serious your criminal charges, the higher your bail will likely be
  • Flight risk: If the court believes you will leave the area and not return for your day in court, bail will be set high or no bail will be set in your case
  • Likelihood of conviction
  • Prior criminal arrests and convictions: The judge can consider any previous criminal charges and conviction on your record
  • Defendant’s mental state
  • Defendant’s ties to the community
  • Defendant’s employment status: Proof of stable employment is a factor to be considered by the court when determining a bail amount
  • Defendant’s financial resources

For many minor offenses, the court may waive the payment of bail by issuing an R.O.R., otherwise known as “release on one’s own recognizance.” For fourth degree felonies and disorderly persons offenses, bail is typically capped at $2,500 unless the defendant poses a grave threat to others in the community or poses a serious threat of destroying evidence. However, for violent crimes like murder and sexual assault, a superior court judge may determine that bail is not an option.

What are the Options When Bail is Set?

If the judge sets a bail amount in your case, you might have all, many or one of the following options for posting bail:

  • Full cash bail: Unless the court offers a 10-percent option, the defendant will be required to post the entire bail amount.
  • 10 percent bail option: In many cases, a defendant has the option to put up 10 percent of the total bail amount.
  • Property bail: A defendant can potentially put up their home or other property as collateral for bail.
  • Bail bonds: A bail bond is basically a check posted by a bond seller. Although it might seem like a good idea to pay a bail bondsman, hiring a lawyer is often a better choice because it will cost you less money.

What Can an Attorney Do for You at a Bail Hearing?

The purpose of bail is to ensure that an accused person shows up for their scheduled court dates. For this reason, a judge cannot set bail excessively high. If bail has already been set in your case and is too high, a knowledgeable lawyer may take quick action to get the bail reduced. Once a bail reduction motion has been filed, a hearing must be held within seven days. When you hire John Tumelty, he will have an opportunity at the bail reduction hearing to argue that you do not pose a flight risk and that the initial bail amount should be reduced.

South Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Protects Clients’ Rights and Fights for Bail Reduction Motions

If your loved one has been arrested and is being held in custody in Atlantic City or anywhere in South Jersey, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that you can secure their release from jail.

John Tumelty is a South Jersey criminal defense lawyer who knows the system and understands the criminal justice process. Mr. Tumelty also knows how to negotiate with the prosecutor in your case to get consent for a lower bail amount. If you’ve been arrested for a criminal offense and need to make bail, call or email Mr. Tumelty to schedule a free consultation at one of his office locations in Somers Point and Marmora. He will be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you might have about how bail amounts are typically set in New Jersey.

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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.