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Connecticut defense attorneyLast month, bombshell allegations were leveled at famed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, ultimately resulting in his termination by the board of directors at his own company. Weinstein, along with his brother Bob, had previously been known best for Oscar-winning films produced by Miramax in the 1990s and Weinstein Brothers in the years since. While no legal charges have yet been leveled against Weinstein for his three decades of sexual misconduct, it stands to reason that a victim could in theory come forward.

Many of Weinstein’s previous victims, commonly women striving to make or maintain a career in the film industry, had been paid large sums of money in exchange for their silence with regard to Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. Known by insiders to be naked in the workplace – sometimes Los Angeles area hotel suites – Weinstein pressured actresses, including Ashley Judd, to give him a full body massage, neck massage, and watch him shower naked, among other things. Ms. Judd refused on all accounts, but other actresses, according to reports, left Mr. Weinstein’s hotel room “feeling violated.” More news is sure to come in the days following.

Defending Against a Sex Crime Charge in Connecticut

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Connecticut defense attorneyThe wind blows especially cold for some as October draws to a close and November marks the year’s turn toward winter. Halloween: an occasion for innocent costume donning and candy-crazed merrymaking for the young. For pre-teens and teenagers, however, All Hallows Eve can get out of hand, drastically so, with partying or misbehavior resulting in criminal charges ranging from alcohol and drug-related offenses to property damage or theft to violence to even sex crimes. For a juvenile facing one or more criminal charges in the state of Connecticut, a strong legal defense raised by an experienced Norwalk criminal defense attorney is a must.

Juvenile Criminal Charges Can Have Long-Term Consequences

Dangerous misconceptions about the juvenile justice system abound, tempting parents and children alike to underestimate the long-term impact of a juvenile conviction. Even a minor child can be sent away upon conviction for a year or more. In addition, even if a juvenile conviction is expunged from a child’s criminal record upon reaching the age of 18 or 21, the conviction can still have devastating effects upon the child’s ability to reach his or her full educational or vocational potentially.

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Connecticut DUI lawyerLast week was Halloween. The holiday is in resurgence with the popularity of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things, and, because it falls on a Tuesday, kids and adults alike spent the weekend before celebrating with parties and events.

With Halloween fun, as we all know too well from childhood and teenage years, comes mischief. Toilet paper rolls will be strewn across treetops, already shriveling pumpkins smashed in the streets, and, at some gatherings, a veritable witches’ brew of alcohol consumed. While toilet paper confetti and pumpkin punishment can get you in trouble, it is the alcohol-related offenses that can truly turn a fun night into a nightmare in the blink of a bleary eye. If your Halloween ended in a DUI or DWI, you will need an experienced Fairfield County DUI/DWI attorney.

Jail, Fines and Penalties, License Suspension, and IID Installation Are Among the DUI Penalties in Connecticut

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Connecticut DU lawyerMany universities recently celebrated homecoming. Homecoming is a time of year when current university students celebrate the joys of campus life in autumn, that fairest of seasons, and when alumni return to their alma mater to relive glory days, reconnect with friends and former classmates, don school colors, and root for the home team. Tailgating for fall Saturday football games is already a rowdy affair, with revelers often grilling food and enjoying alcoholic beverages before noon. When combined with homecoming celebrations, tailgating can become downright raucous, with alumni consuming alcohol at increased rates.

It’s one thing if you’re a current student and can walk back from the stadium to your dorm or apartment. When you’re no longer a resident of the college town in which you’re celebrating Homecoming, post-tailgating travel involving a vehicle can be problematic. It’s no surprise that a DUI or DWI charge can result during or after Homecoming festivities. If your homecoming return has been soured with a DUI or DWI charge, an experienced Stamford DUI defense attorney will work to protect your legal rights.

Legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in Connecticut

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Connecticut defense attorneyStamford, Connecticut is less than 40 miles from the New York metropolitan area. It is no secret that New York, like most all major metropolitan areas, is a major market when it comes to the distribution, possession, and consumption of drugs that are illegal under federal and state law. On the distribution side, whether on an organizational or individual level, demand, whether a factor of addiction or recreation or both, creates the market.

For example, cocaine has long been associated, rightly or wrongly, with the “work hard, play hard” characterization of Wall Street. MDMA (the active ingredient in “ecstasy”), on the other hand, has been associated more with young people, portrayed as pleasure-seeking at warehouse “raves.” The list goes on and on: marijuana, LSD, methamphetamine, and more. Whatever the drug, a possession, distribution, or consumption-related charge brought by a Connecticut criminal court is a very serious matter. In such times, a skilled Fairfield County criminal defense attorney will work to protect your legal rights.

A Connecticut Drug Crime Conviction Brings Serious Consequences

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Connecticut defense lawyerAdolescents are notorious for their hasty and often poor decision-making. While this type of behavior is often just a nuisance for parents, it can have serious consequences when the youth’s actions lead to criminal charges, as having a permanent criminal record can make it difficult to secure employment, find housing, join the military, or take advantage of educational opportunities. Fortunately, those who are prosecuted as juveniles may be able to have their records expunged, so if you or your child were convicted of an offense in juvenile court, it is critical to contact a Fairfield criminal defense attorney who can walk you through the process of erasing your criminal record.

Eligibility

When a minor commits a crime, his or her case will most likely be adjudicated in juvenile court. However, this is only true when the minor qualifies as a youthful offender, which means that he or she has not been charged with any serious offenses and does not have a prior criminal record. These offenders are generally given more privacy, as their proceedings are not public and are conducted separately from adult criminal matters. Furthermore, the records of youthful offenders are erased automatically when they turn 21 years old, but only if they:

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CT defense attorneyIn May, the Connecticut Legislature made some minor changes to the laws criminalizing the manufacture and sale of controlled substances. These changes will officially go into effect on October 1, 2017. Despite the clarifications made by Connecticut lawmakers, navigating the state’s drug-related statutes can be difficult, so if you have been charged with the manufacture, transport, or sale of a controlled substance, it is important to speak with an experienced Norwalk drug charges lawyer who can help you formulate a defense.

Narcotics and Hallucinogenic Substances

Under Connecticut law, it is unlawful to manufacture, sell, distribute, transport, possess (with the intent to sell), or administer controlled substances that qualify as:

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CT juvenile defense attorneyAs part of a broader mission to reduce juvenile prosecution and recidivism across the country, Governor Dannel Malloy introduced a bill that would raise the age of criminal responsibility to 21 years old. If passed, this bill could have extremely important repercussions for any youthful offenders being charged or prosecuted in Connecticut. If you or your child have been charged with a criminal offense and you have questions about the current law or how the new law could affect you, please contact an experienced Stamford criminal defense attorney who can address your concerns.

The Benefits of Reform

Last year, Governor Malloy proposed a similar law that would have raised the age when a juvenile could be charged as an adult to 21 years old. Although the law stalled in the Connecticut Legislature, the new bill has received support from a number of different groups in the state. The reintroduction is also part of a country-wide effort to lower recidivism among youth offenders. In fact, at least three other states are considering similar proposals.

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Posted on in Drug Charges

Connecticut defense attorneyIn July, seventeen individuals were charged with federal drug trafficking of both powder and crack cocaine in central Connecticut. Although drug trafficking is also prohibited by state law, the defendants in this case face federal charges as a result of their use of the U.S. mail to transport the substances across state lines. In addition to drug trafficking, the individuals are charged with conspiracy to distribute, and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute. If convicted, the defendants could face a minimum of ten years in prison.

All drug charges should be taken seriously, but federal drug offenses are even more aggressively investigated and prosecuted than their state counterparts, so if you have been accused of federal drug trafficking, it is critical to speak with an experienced Norwalk drug charges attorney who will aggressively represent your interests.

What Qualifies as Drug Trafficking?

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Texas DUI lawyerDriving under the influence (DUI) is considered a serious crime in Connecticut and even a first time offense can result in jail time, a hefty fine, and a 45 day license suspension. Fortunately, there are programs available to first time offenders that can help them avoid these types of harsh penalties, so if you were arrested for driving under the influence, you should consider speaking with an experienced Fairfield DUI attorney who can explain your legal options.

The Alcohol Education Program

In Connecticut, some first time DUI offenders qualify for admittance into the Alcohol Education Program (AEP). The AEP is a state diversionary program that requires participants to:

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Posted on in Traffic Violations

Connecticut traffic attorneyIn Connecticut, law enforcement officers issue tickets to drivers who have committed either an infraction or a violation. While infractions are not considered crimes and only require that drivers pay a fine, violations are more serious and may involve a court appearance. Traffic tickets appear on a person’s driving history and in some cases may also add points to a driver’s license, which in turn can cause his or her insurance premiums to increase. Retaining an experienced Fairfield traffic ticket attorney can help drivers avoid these consequences, so if you were pulled over and ticketed for violating a traffic law, do not hesitate to contact a member of our legal team today.

Infractions vs. Violations

Most traffic tickets are issued for infractions, which include citations for non-dangerous moving violations, such as a broken taillight. These offenses are relatively minor, do not result in the assessment of points on a person’s license, and usually only require the payment of a fine via the mail, although drivers can attempt to have their infraction dismissed by attending a hearing or submitting a letter of explanation to the court. Failing to pay a fine on time or to respond or appear in court, however, can result in more severe consequences. In these cases, the court will find that the driver committed the infraction and require him or her to pay the fine and an additional default penalty. If a driver fails to pay these penalties, his or her driving privileges could be suspended.

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Connecticut defense attorneyIn 2011, Connecticut passed a law that created the Risk Reduction Earned Credit (RREC) program. Under this program, eligible inmates of any security level could participate in classes and programs that could help them earn five days off of their sentence every month. In 2016, however, the Department of Corrections Commissioner authorized changes to how the credits are awarded. The updated policy creates an incentive for participants to progress to the lowest security risk level, where it is possible to earn more credits per month. Those who are assigned to the highest risk level, on the other hand, earn the least amount of credits. To learn more about the RREC program and whether you are eligible to earn credits, please contact a member of our dedicated criminal defense legal team today.

Security Risk Levels

Before assigning someone a security risk level, official assess a variety of factors when an offender is first admitted to a facility, including:

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Posted on in Drug Charges

Connecticut defense attorneyIn Connecticut, marijuana possession is unlawful and can result in fines and even jail time. Fortunately, there are a variety of defenses that can be raised to counter these types of charges, so if you live in Norwalk and have been arrested for or formally charged with possession of marijuana or another drug, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can explain your legal options.

Possession of Less Than Half Ounce

The severity of a marijuana possession charge depends on how much of the drug was found on the defendant’s person and whether he or she has a prior criminal record. For instance, those who are arrested with less than half an ounce of marijuana will only be charged a $150 fine for a first offense, while the fine for a subsequent offense increases to between $200 and $500. Third-time violators must pay for, attend, and complete a drug education class. Those who are under the age of 21 years old will also have their driver’s license suspended for two months.

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Connecticut defense attorneyLast month, a recently enacted law went into effect that, with a few exceptions, will prevent judges from setting money bail for certain low-level misdemeanor offenses. The new law is expected to significantly reduce the state’s pretrial prison population and cut state spending, while keeping non-violent offenders out of jail until their trials. If you were recently charged with a crime or have questions about how the new law could affect you, you should contact a Fairfield criminal defense lawyer who can address your concerns and advise you on your next steps.

An Act Concerning Pretrial Justice Reform

Last month, Governor Malloy signed the first of a series of laws intended to reform the state’s pretrial justice system. The new law, which was supported by both chambers is based partly on input provided by the Connecticut Sentencing Commission and the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union. The law went into effect on July 1st and makes the following significant changes to state law:

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut DUI lawyerFor many families utilizing the school system whether it be at a college or a preschool level, each year is more prominently separated by the academic year and vacation times. While school is in session, there is a schedule to which to adhere, which demands most of the daylight hours during the shorter days. During the summer the days are much longer, and routine has a tendency of being pushed by the wayside. It is also interesting to note that crime levels rise during the months in which students are out of school. One crime that is no exception is driving under the influence (DUI).

The Spike Is Not a Myth

If you obtain your information from individuals on the street, you hear different answers for any topic asked. The same holds true for the spike in crime. According to the annual National Crime Victimization Survey, Criminal charges spike as much as 12 percent during the warmer summer months. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the most unsafe month in which to drive on the road is August when it comes to traffic-related fatalities. Consider these statistics:

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Posted on in Driving Under the Influence

Norwalk DUI attorney, Connecticut DUI law, license suspension, DUI offense, DUI chargesThose who are convicted of driving under the influence in Connecticut face serious penalties, including jail time, hefty fines, and the suspension or revocation of their driver’s license.

Convictions can also go on a person’s criminal record, which can have far-reaching consequences, and make it difficult to secure employment or find housing.

To ensure that you receive the best possible defense, you should speak with an experienced Norwalk DUI attorney who may be able to get your charges reduced or even dismissed.

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Stamford criminal defense attorney, firearms law, Connecticut traffic laws, Connecticut DUI law, underage driversLate last year, the Connecticut Legislature passed a new bill that substantially changes the state’s previous treatment of carrying a firearm while intoxicated. To learn more about these changes, please contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can address your questions and concerns.

Current Law

Before the amendments were enacted, someone who was arrested with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .10 or higher and who was carrying a loaded firearm could be charged with a misdemeanor. However, since the first of the year, BAC levels have been decreased to align with the traffic laws regarding driving under the influence. This means that residents can now be charged with carrying a firearm while intoxicated if their firearm is loaded and they have a BAC of .08 or higher. For those under the age of 21 years old, the threshold is even lower—just .02. This change was also enacted to bring the law into alignment with traffic laws regarding underage drivers.

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Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut criminal lawyerIn 2015, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued a 7-0 ruling (that is, a unanimous decision) stating that individuals who were convicted before 2011 for possessing less than one-half ounce of marijuana could have their convictions erased. According to the Supreme Court, this is because Connecticut’s legislature approved a measure in 2011 that changed possession of a small amount of marijuana from a misdemeanor punishable by fines and/or jail time to a violation punishable only by a fine. This had the effect of “decriminalizing” – but not legalizing – possession of small amounts of marijuana. Because of this legislative move, the Connecticut Supreme Court concluded individuals convicted of this offense prior to its decriminalization were entitled to have their prior convictions erased from their criminal records.

This case (State v. Menditto) has implications not only for old possession cases but potentially for other individuals with prior convictions as well.

State v. Menditto – What Did the Court Decide?

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Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut criminal lawyerLast month, Connecticut lawmakers passed a bill that makes the state’s hate crime law one of the strongest in the nation. Under the new law, defendants who are convicted of committing a hate crime face up to ten years in prison, $10,000 fine, and extensive community service, so if you or a loved one were recently arrested for a hate crime, it is critical to speak with an experienced Stamford criminal defense attorney who can help you formulate a defense.

Current Law

Under current law, it is a crime to carry out or threaten to carry out any act that is committed with malice and the intent to intimidate or harass a group of people because of their race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut criminal lawyerRaising our children correctly is difficult, to say the least. There is no universal blueprint dictating all the right choices and decisions parents should make while raising their children. The reality is that being a parent is fraught with many tough decisions. For example, when our kids grow into their teenage years and start experimenting with alcohol. Most parents understand the danger of alcohol especially when it comes to a minor. But a tough decision must be made, it is nearly impossible to control every decision your teenage child will make, but what can you do to reduce the potential for them to get themselves into trouble?

Supervised Underage Drinking

Many parents when faced with the choice of not knowing what their teens are doing, if they are safe, or even worse, getting behind the wheel after drinking or with someone who has, will consider allowing their teens to drink at home. Parent's believe that at least the teens are supervised, a parent can ensure that no one gets behind the wheel of a car and the peace of mind that comes with knowing where their teenage children are on a weekend night.

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