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

New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Provides Search and Seizure Defense


When police pull you over or approach you because they suspect wrongdoing, you have to comply with their reasonable requests. You do not, however, have to give up your Fourth Amendment Rights. Unlawful or unreasonable search & seizure should not be tolerated. However, in the course of trying to do their jobs, sometimes police do overstep their bounds.

If you believe a law enforcement officer searched you without a warrant or without having a good reason for searching you, and you have property that has been improperly seized, you need to speak up and hire a criminal defense lawyer who will explain your rights and protect your interests in court.

John W. Tumelty is a former state prosecutor and a former Atlantic County prosecutor with 30 years of criminal experience. He understands the criminal justice system on both sides, which gives him a huge edge when challenging the evidence in your case. Mr. Tumelty knows that evidence taken from you in an illegal search can be tossed out of court. He will use his experience to file a motion to suppress evidence if the police conducted an unlawful search and seizure by failing to obtain proper search warrants.

NJ Police Must Follow Procedure When Seizing Evidence in Drug Cases

If the police have reason to believe that you committed a crime, they may be able to search you without a warrant. However, in most situations, you have a reasonable expectation of privacy. This means that the police in Atlantic and Cape May counties, and throughout South Jersey, typically need a warrant in order to search you or your property.

The police may be allowed to conduct a warrantless search when circumstances are such that immediate action is required. Common exceptions to the warrant requirement include:

  • Consent search: If you consent to a search, the police do not need a warrant. However, your consent must be voluntary and the scope of the search cannot exceed that which was consented to. Additionally, the police still need probable cause to request consent for a search in the first place.
  • House search: The police must have a search warrant before entering a person’s home to search for evidence. There are exceptions to this rule when police respond to an emergency situation such as a domestic violence call or to provide medical assistance to someone inside.
  • Automobile search: The police must have a search warrant to search your car for evidence. There is an exception to the warrant requirement when the police have probable cause and exigent circumstances. A court will look at several factors in deciding whether a warrantless car search is valid, including the location of the stop, number of occupants, the time of day or night, and the circumstances justifying the car stop.
  • Hot pursuit: If the police pursue a suspect who flees a crime scene, they do not need a warrant to continue the pursuit.
  • Evidence in plain view: There is no reasonable expectation of privacy when you place evidence in plain view. However, the evidence must be immediately recognizable as being potentially illicit or related in some way to criminal activity. Additionally, if the police search exceeds the boundaries of that which is in “plain view,” all of the evidence may be inadmissible in court.
  • Exigent circumstances: When the police have a reasonable belief that public safety is at risk or that the evidence will soon disappear or be destroyed, they may be allowed to conduct a warrantless search.
  • Search incident to arrest: Police must have an arrest warrant or probable cause to make a warrantless arrest. Police are allowed to pat down suspects when they have probable cause to arrest. The police are not allowed to search a car just because the driver is placed under arrest.

Experienced NJ Drug Crime Defense Lawyer Challenges NJ Law Enforcement Search & Seizure Techniques

Challenges to the admissibility of evidence are particularly common in cases involving drug charges like simple possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. If you were recently subjected to a search and seizure that you believe was unreasonable and unlawful, an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you.

John Tumelty is a knowledgeable attorney who will hold law enforcement and prosecutors accountable for improper search and seizure techniques in Atlantic and Cape May counties. Among his impeccable credentials as a criminal defense attorney is certification as a New Jersey Supreme Court criminal trial attorney, a distinction held by less than two percent of all NJ attorneys. Call or email Mr. Tumelty today to arrange a free consultation at one of his office locations in Somers Point and Marmora.

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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.