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Connecticut defense lawyerConnecticut imposes strict penalties for domestic violence. As such, if you have been charged with domestic violence in the state, you owe it to yourself to become knowledgeable as to the consequences of a conviction. Jail time, fines, and damage to your personal reputation are among the adverse outcomes. With so much on the line, experienced legal representation in matters of criminal defense is essential.

Domestic Violence Is Termed “Family Violence” in Connecticut

In Connecticut, domestic violence is categorized as “family violence.” Under state law, family violence is an event that occurs between family or household members that either causes physical injury or produces fear the physical injury is imminent. Family or household members include:

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Connecticut defense lawyerIf you have been charged with a second, third, or subsequent DUI or DWI in Connecticut, you face very harsh penalties with regard to your personal freedom, finances, reputation, and driving privileges. Alcohol, as you are likely aware if you have previously been convicted of DUI or DWI, is a common source of problems in both the state and nation at large. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), over 25% of people ages 18 and over reported that they engaged in binge drinking the past month.

Over 15 million adults in the U.S. alone have alcohol use disorder, and every year an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes. The economic cost of alcohol misuse is staggering – running at 249 billion annually in the U.S. When it comes to alcohol misuse and Connecticut’s roads and highways, the state has little tolerance for those who drink and drive – especially after already having a DUI or DWI conviction.

Penalties for a Repeat DUI Conviction in Connecticut

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CT defense attorneyA Connecticut drug possession, sale, or distribution conviction may have ramifications beyond jail, fines, mandatory rehab and counseling, and community service. There is also reputational damage, the social stigma of your name being associated with drug use, and if you have children, potential loss of child custody. Each one of the detriments is only magnified if you face a second, third, or subsequent drug conviction.

With regard to child custody, state family court judges are vested with substantial discretion to issue child custody orders so long as they are “in the best interests of the child.” If you have a criminal history, it will likely factor into matters of custody if the judge feels that the child has been or will be put at risk of violence, abuse, neglect, or endangerment. With the fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of your child at stake, it is imperative that you retain experienced criminal defense counsel if you have been charged with a drug crime in Connecticut.

Opiate-Related Drug Charges Are On the Rise

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Posted on in Violent Crimes

CT drug attorneySpringtime is nearly here, and with it returns much fanfare. From the “March Madness” of the NCAA Tournament to spring break for “senioritis” for graduating high school seniors to college spring break to the simple pleasure of warming weather and clearing skies, a degree of wildness is in the air. When wild feelings to turn to wild actions, however, springtime fun runs the risk of devolving into springtime punishment. When verbal matters turn physical at a spring social gathering and an assault charge results, under no circumstances will a Connecticut court accept “March Madness” or “senioritis” as a defense.

Rather, the court will be concerned with facts, timeline, judicial and prosecutorial procedure, evidence, testimony, and there relevant, any criminal history of the accused. If you have been charged with assault in Connecticut, you need to be aware of the consequences you face and the need for an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Defining Assault in Connecticut

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Posted on in Juvenile Crimes

Connecticut defense lawyerWhen a juvenile is charged with a crime in Connecticut, the young person will either require juvenile court defense in the state’s juvenile justice system or criminal defense in one the state’s (adult) courts. The difference from one scenario to the other may be pronounced. This is because, with regard to adults, who are presumed to have reached the age of maturity and thusly be fully contemplating intentions, actions, and consequences, the same cannot be said as concerns juveniles. Here, the words “age of maturity” loom large.

Prior to this age (eighteen in the state of Connecticut), juveniles are presumed to still be in a process of cognitive and emotional development, not yet fully contemplating and regulating intentions, actions and thus not deserving of consequences parallel to those meted out in the adult court system. For adults, a governing theory is often that of “retribution,” which is concerning with conduct deterrence through punishment, and with restoring the balance between the individual and society by imposing damages for breaches in the social contract.

For juveniles, however, retribution alone is neither appropriate nor consummate with society’s interests. The state, both in a capital “S” sense (the nation) and a lowercase “s” sense (Connecticut) has an interest in producing productive, moral citizens who will contribute to the greater good rather than function as a drain on economic resources. As such, the juvenile justice system may offer corrective outcomes where the adult court system will simply punish.

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Connecticut defense lawyerIn the month of March, law enforcement are on the lookout for drivers running afoul of the state’s alcohol-related driving laws on the way home from watching events like the Academy Awards and the NCAA basketball tournament. With the Oscars running time at four hours, and March Madness running from before noon until midnight in its opening week, there is an increased risk for individuals consuming alcoholic beverages to exceed the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level for driving. For this reason, it is very important to understand what BAC is, how it works, how easily the legal limit can be exceeded, and the penalties for driving with an impressible BAC. Driving in the state of Connecticut is a privilege – one that can be taken away on a temporary or permanent basis following a DWI conviction. Knowing the law and your legal rights when it comes to driving and alcohol is a must.

The Law Makes Presumptions About Impairment Irrespective Of Subjectivity

The charge of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Connecticut may be leveled irrespective of whether you feel that you were personally experiencing any alcohol-induced impairment while driving. You do not need to be feeling drunk to be in danger of being charged with DWI if you get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. This is because the relevant metric under state law is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). BAC reflects the percentage of alcohol in the blood and is typically measured by breathalyzer – a law enforcement administered device to breathe into and thereby provided a BAC reading.

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Illinois defense lawyerIt goes without saying that the charge of murder is one of the utmost seriousness, in Connecticut and every other state in the U.S. If you have been charged with a murder that occurred during the alleged commission of a felony in Connecticut, it is imperative that you retain experienced legal counsel. With a very lengthy prison sentence and other harsh penalties dispensed following a conviction, a strong legal defense is unquestionably a necessity.

Intent is at Issue in a Connecticut Murder Charge

Murder is one of the oldest crimes to be codified into law. Originally defined as “the killing of a human being by another with malice aforethought,” murder may be understood in the modern era in Connecticut as the intentional causation of the death of another. Whether in the old language of “malice aforethought” or the updated vernacular of “intentional causation,” the issue of intent – of a culpable state of mind – is at the heart of a murder prosecution. In some cases, intent is quite clear, such as in a premeditated shooting of one person by another. In other instances, murderous intent is more complex and carefully defined by statute. The latter is true with regard to Felony Murder in Connecticut. Under state law, Felony Murder has been committed when one person causes the death of another while committing, attempting to commit, acting in furtherance of, or fleeing any of the below enumerated felony crimes:

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Connecticut defense lawyerWhen a car accident involves a fatality in Connecticut, a driver may be charged with vehicular manslaughter or negligent homicide with a motor vehicle. These are serious charges – each prosecutable as a felony – and serious penalties including a lengthy prison sentence and a five-figure fine may be imposed upon conviction. As such, the incentive for a criminal defendant facing either charge to mount the strongest possible legal defense could not be greater.

The Presence of Alcohol or Drugs Is Relevant to Charges Related to a Fatal Accident

In Connecticut, vehicular manslaughter is a type of second-degree manslaughter. Under Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-56b, a person commits second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle when he or she “1) operates a motor vehicle under the influence of liquor drugs, or both and 2) causes the death of another due to the effect of the liquor or drugs.”

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Connecticut defense lawyerIn Connecticut, as in every other state, alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to a DUI charge. Driving while under the influence of drugs, whether illicit or a lawful prescription, may also result in a Connecticut DUI or DWI charge. Importantly, the penalties for a prescription drug-related DUI conviction are no different than those for a traditional, alcohol-based DUI. This is because the duty of safe driving is at issue. All drivers owe this duty to one another, and when one driver endangers another while under the influence, the nature of influencing substance is a secondary concern. Certainly, if the substance is illicit, a DUI charge may be coupled with separate drug charges. As for the DUI component, however, the penalties are the same.

Always Read the Label on Your Prescriptions

Even over-the-counter medicines such as cold remedies and antihistamines may cause one to become drowsy or disoriented and, as such, refrain from getting behind the wheel of a car, truck, or other vehicle. Behind-the-counter medications and treatments, only obtainable with the prescription of a physician, may be magnitudes stronger. This is especially the case with pain medication, some of which are derived from opiates – a very powerful class of drug. Because of this, it is critical that you follow the exact orders of the prescribing physician in taking the prescription, including taking time to read the label and understand any side-effects that you may experience. The duty is on you and an officer arresting you for DUI will not sympathetic to surprise prescription side-effect-related explanations.

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Connecticut defense lawyerIn Connecticut, the charge of hit-and-run is termed “evading responsibility.” The charge is a serious one and may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the property damage and any personal injuries caused by the accident. With penalties for a felony conviction including jail time or a five-figure fine, mounting the strongest possible legal defense is a necessity.

Defining Evading Responsibility in Connecticut

Connecticut state law defines evading responsibility as the leaving of the scene of a car accident that has caused a personal injury or property damage without providing proper identification to the injured person(s), property owner(s), or without calling law enforcement.

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Posted on in Drug Charges

Connecticut defense lawyerFentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is 50 to 100 more powerful than morphine, is now firmly on the radar of state and federal law enforcement. This drug has become a scourge, ushering in an addiction crisis like the country has never seen before, killing tens of thousands, and ensnaring many more in its grip.

Perversely, where there is a blight of addiction, there is also an economic orbit. Thus, as scores grapple with the ill effects of fentanyl addiction, there is much activity directed at illicitly importing, distributing, and selling the deadly drug in both Connecticut and of the nation at large. For those charged with the possession or distribution of fentanyl, serious criminal penalties may be imposed upon conviction. In confronting such charges, the experience of a Fairfield County criminal defense attorney is essential.

Fentanyl to Be a Schedule 1 Drug Under Federal Law

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Posted on in Sex Crimes

Connecticut defense lawyerOur nation is in the midst of a movement against sexual assault, misconduct, and rape. Allegations, admissions, and denials are taking place in the highest halls of politics, media, and entertainment, as well as in the most common corridors of daily life.

In some instances, an allegation may be made strictly in the court of public opinion (e.g. via social media), but still so powerful effect in the form of reputational damage. In other instances, allegations may be formally made in civil or criminal court. With regard to criminal charges for rape, sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct, the accusations must be confronted in court, as the law requires.

Punishments and reputational damage following a conviction may be severe and include a prison sentence. If you have been charged with a sex crime in the state of Connecticut, it is critical that you obtain competent and diligent legal representation.

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CT defense lawyerIn the months of December and January, many young people in Connecticut experience significant extra free time while on winter break from school. During this time, holiday hijinks or unmonitored social time may sometimes result in a juvenile’s being saddled with criminal charges. Make no mistake, juvenile criminal charges in Connecticut are a serious matter and must be defended against accordingly.

There exists a misconception that everything that happens in life before the age of majority, including juvenile criminal charges, are just magically wiped away at the age of eighteen. This is not the case. While the state’s juvenile justice system is charged with protecting the constitutional and legal rights of minors, it is not reasonable to assume that a juvenile conviction will simply disappear when the juvenile reaches 18 or 21 years of age. As such, it is imperative that a juvenile facing criminal charges in Connecticut be represented by an experienced Fairfield County juvenile criminal defense attorney.

Common Juvenile Criminal Charges in Connecticut

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CT defense lawyerOn New Year’s Day, there is a contingent of individuals both in Connecticut and the nation at large who are dealing with a DUI charge instead of mulling over new year’s resolutions at brunch. It is a most unpleasant way to begin 2018, yet is a reality that must be addressed promptly and professionally. This is the case for any DUI charge, and especially for a second, third, or subsequent charge. Multiple DUI convictions are punished strictly in Connecticut, with thousands of dollars and fines and several years of prison time being all too real possibilities. If are beginning the new year with the headache of a New Year’s Eve DUI charge, rely on an experienced Fairfield County DUI attorney to protect your legal rights.

Connecticut Utilizes a Ten-Year Window with Regard to Repeat DUI Convictions

The measure for what constitutes a “repeat” DUI conviction in the state of Connecticut, is the ten years following your first DUI conviction. In other words, the ten-year clock begins running from the time of your first conviction. During this ten-year period, if you are convicted o DUI for a second, third, or subsequent time, you will face more serious consequences than if the new conviction occurred more than ten years after your first conviction. Specifically, for a second DUI conviction within ten years of the first, a fine between $1,000 and $4,000 will be imposed, as well as a jail sentence between 120 days and two years, a minimum of 100 hours of community service, and a three-year suspension of your driver’s license. In addition, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device at your own expense for a two-year period after your license is reinstated. Penalties for a third DUI conviction are still more severe, and include a fine between $2,000 and $8,000, a jail sentence between one and three years, 100 hours of community service, and the permanent revocation of your driver’s license.

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Connecticut defense attorneyWith school out of session on account of winter break and snow on the ground, actions that start out as mere mischief may get out of hand and rise to the level of torts and crimes. While it may seem inconsistent with the wintertime and holiday spirit, hitting someone with a snowball can bring serious consequences if injuries are sustained. The same is true for sledding-related horseplay that devolves into fist fighting. You may be charged with the crime of assault or battery, or sued in civil court for money damages. If you have been charged with assault or battery in Connecticut, you need an experienced Norwalk criminal defense attorney to protect your legal rights.

Defining Assault and Battery in Connecticut

In the general, common law sense, battery is a harmful or offensive contact. In Connecticut, more specifically, battery is the “willful application of force with the intent to cause bodily injury or offensive contact.” Assault, in the most basic sense, attempted battery. Specifically, under state law, assault is “attempted battery or the intent to cause another reasonable apprehension or contact.” In these two definitions, one can infer the importance of 1) intent and 2) whether or not contact actually occurs. Even if you have been unsuccessful in making contact, or merely intend to make another human being believe that you intend to make contact (but do not make contact), you may still be properly charged with assault in Connecticut.

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Connecticut defense attorneyA shoplifting charge in Connecticut is a serious matter, whether levied in the holiday season or any other time of year. Depending on the value of the goods in question, penalties may be far more severe than a run-in with mall security or expulsion from a shopping center. Jail time, fines, and reputational damage capable of limiting one’s educational and vocational future are at stake. With so much on the line, a legal defense mounted by an experienced Fairfield County criminal defense attorney is an absolute must.

Shoplifting Is Larceny

If you have been arrested for shoplifting, the criminal charge you are facing is larceny. Connecticut penal law defines larceny as the “intent to deprive another of property or to wrongfully take, obtain or without hold such property from an owner.” Here, the word “intent” should jump out. Even if you are apprehended while attempted to shoplift, your intent, if proven if in a Connecticut criminal court, is grounds for a larceny conviction. In addition, larceny covers more than shoplifting; if you knowingly receive stolen property, you may be properly convicted of the offense. The same is true with regard to auto theft, embezzlement, false pretenses, and theft by fraud.

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Connecticut DUI attorneyIn the month of December, with holiday celebrations either already underway or imminently approaching, there is the risk of a Connecticut DUI charge. One such occasion in which this risk is encountered is the holiday office party. When alcoholic beverages are served as employees let off steam, vent about stress, and celebrate the close of the corporate year, consumption can lead to a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) elevated beyond the legal limit for drivers in the state.

If you commute to work via subway, bus, train, carpool, or by foot, this scenario will not result in a DUI charge. However, if you drive to work and are unable to utilize public transportation, Uber, or Lyft after consuming holiday office party alcoholic beverages, you run the risk of being stopped and arrested for DUI if your BAC is over the legal limit. If holiday office partying has resulted in a Connecticut DUI charge, you need a Fairfield County DUI defense attorney.

Conviction for DUI in Connecticut Can Affect Your Ability to Commute to Work

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Connecticut defense attorneyWine, beer, and other alcoholic beverages are present at many holiday gatherings. While some beverages are consumed moderately and merrily, others are consumed for a different reason: stress. Visiting with family and friends can be difficult, especially in the current fraught national political climate, with old grievances and grudges lurking at the corners of contentious conversations.

In the moment, whether in bidding a fond farewell or a good riddance goodbye after consuming multiple alcoholic beverages, one may make the mistake of getting behind the wheel to drive a vehicle. When this mistake turns into a Connecticut DUI or DWI arrest, the holiday is officially over. And when this mistake is, in fact, a second, third, or subsequent DUI or DWI arrest in Connecticut, interpersonal squabbles will quickly seem minuscule in comparison to the state-imposed penalties upon a criminal conviction.

If you have been arrested for a DUI or DWI in Connecticut, you need an experienced Fairfield County DUI and DWI defense attorney – especially if you have already been convicted for drunk driving in the past ten years.

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Connecticut drug crimesConnecticut, along with the rest of the United States, is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Opioids, the group of drugs that includes heroin and prescription painkillers such as fentanyl, oxycontin, and oxycodone, have killed tens of thousands of Americans – more people, in fact, than died in the Vietnam War.

Since 2010, Connecticut has seen an increase in accidental death involving drugs, including opioids. Faced with such a scourge, state and federal law enforcement are tasked with fighting the possession, use, and distribution of these dangerous and all too often deadly drugs. If you have been charged with an opioid-related drug offense, you will face serious consequences if convicted. For your legal rights and your future, it is imperative that you task an experienced Fairfield County criminal defense attorney with your legal defense.

Opioid Possession is Punishable by Jail Time and Fines in Connecticut

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Connecticut defense attorneyIf you have been charged with rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, or other sexual misconduct while attending a university in the state of Connecticut, it is imperative that you secure legal representation experienced in the defense of crimes alleged to have been committed on college campuses. If convicted you face jail time, expulsion from your university, a lifetime of reputational damage, and long-term educational and vocational barriers. When so much on the line, when the consequences are of the utmost gravity, an experienced Fairfield criminal defense attorney is a critical resource.

Criminal Defendants Are Guaranteed Rights Under the Constitution

Legal representation in the wake of sex crimes allegations and charges is focused on the protection of your legal rights. When arrested, for example, the Constitution demands that the arresting officer inform you of your rights under Miranda v. Arizona to remain silent and to have an attorney, whether obtained at your own expense or appointed for you. From the time of arrest, constitutional rights, under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, are retained during time spent in police custody, including during any instances police interrogation.

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