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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut criminal lawyerThere have been bullies as long as there have been schools. Many states across the nation are passing zero-tolerance policies to try and address the problem of bullying at school. With the dawn of the technological age and explosion of social media, a new style of bullying is emerging with the legal community struggling to keep up.

What Is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying, is when an individual uses a computer network to harass another person. Under Connecticut law, it is classified as a Class C misdemeanor if you use an electronic communication to:

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Connecticut juvenile lawyer, Connecticut defense attorneyThere has been a sweeping legislative wave of criminal law reform taking place all over the nation. Prison populations across the country have exploded to untenable levels, absolutely eviscerating various state budgets and causing entire generations of otherwise productive individuals to become lifelong offenders. This problem is magnified in juvenile criminal law. In 2016, there were 496 juveniles sentenced to an order of detention. Many of those sentenced were sentenced for nonviolent offenses that would be charged with a misdemeanor if they were prosecuted in adult court.

Ending the School to Prison Pipeline

The school to prison pipeline is a phrase used to describe an increasing trend of students being subjected to criminalized discipline and winding up in the criminal justice system before they are even able to finish high school. Advocates of juvenile criminal justice reform have long argued that criminalized discipline is counterproductive to the best interest of our youth. Take for example the Deputy Director of the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance, Lara Herscovitch, who argued, “We feel strongly that far too often arrests are used in place of regular student discipline.”

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Connecticut white collar crime attorney, Connecticut defense lawyerWhite collar crime is a broad legal term that encompasses many different areas of criminal law. Generally, there are two major ways of defining what a white-collar crime is:

  • Crimes committed by individuals who come from affluent socioeconomic environments, or crimes committed by people who through the nature of their job have been put in positions of financial trust.
  • Crimes committed involving an economic offense, often nonviolent, and usually incorporate a theft or fraud.

Are the Penalties for White Collar Crime More Severe?

That is a question for your Norwalk Connecticut white collar defense attorney. The penalty Is nearly entirely dependent on the crime in question. Most penalties carry a large monetary fine because of the nature of a white-collar offense. Types of white collar crimes include but are not limited to:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Decriminalization.jpgThe debate over the legalization of marijuana is heating up in Connecticut. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle argued at a legislative hearing that the legalization of recreational marijuana would effectively dismantle the illegal market for cannabis. Among other things argued, advocates of legalization laid out several benefits including:

  • Ending unnecessary arrests of people for possession of marijuana;
  • Bring in millions of dollars in tax revenue to the state;
  • Creation of a new job market; and
  • Bolstering of tourism market.

Possession of small amounts of marijuana has already been decriminalized in Connecticut. Advocates of legalization say that not regulating marijuana is tantamount to subsidizing the illegal market that fosters violence and additional criminal behavior. David L. Nathan, a psychiatrist and faculty member at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, said, “I’ve seen too many cases of lives ruined by marijuana not by the drug itself, but by a justice system that chooses a sledgehammer to kill a weed.”

If Legalizing Pot Has So Many Benefits, Why Are There Opponents?

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Conneticut defense lawyer, Connecticut drug crimes attorneyNews stories are limitless around the country about law enforcement cracking down on drug crimes. This crackdown goes all the way to the top with President Trump announcing his intentions to be “ruthless” in his determination to put an end to drug trafficking. The issue with so-called ruthless behavior is it results in hoards of innocent individuals facing false accusations of breaking the law. Federal, state, and local law enforcement utilize all of their resources building cases. Anyone accused should remember that charges do not mean a conviction and the government has the burden of proving guilt. When the circumstances were right, the following defenses have worked for defendants. Remember, these defenses are not for all circumstances and consulting an attorney is advisable to create a strategy for your unique situation.

A Case of Being at the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time.

Drug trafficking typically involves large groups of people or organizations. When arrests are made, many innocent individuals get tied up in the arrest due to the association. We all know that just because we associate with someone does not mean we have their same behavior. With alibis and proof of no affiliation with the crime, this defense may be possible for your case.

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Connecticut sex crimes attorney, Connecticut defense lawyerConnecticut recently passed a sex consent law that changes the consent that a partner must give in order for the encounter to be considered consensual on college campuses. If a party claims that the sex act was not consensual, rape or sexual assault charges can be brought. The new law, which went into effect last year, requires both parties to consent by saying “yes” or other affirmative signal. It should be noted that this is only the standard for college campuses (both public and private) and not sexual assaults that are alleged to take place elsewhere in the state. This new standard is what will be used at college disciplinary hearings. It will not change what must be proven in a court of law.

The Old Standard

Formerly, sexual assault campaigns highlighted the phrase “no means no.” However, sexual assault advocates believed that requiring the victim to prove that he or she said no ends up blaming the victim for the assault. By requiring that parties give affirmative consent, advocates of the law say the victim’s behavior will become less of a focus.

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Posted on in Traffic Violations

Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut criminal lawyerA lot goes into attaining and maintaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Of course, there are the rigorous education and examinations in addition to medical and background qualifications just to earn the licensure, but your work is incomplete. It is imperative that you follow through with multiple requirements to remain in good standing to maintain your licensure as well as avoid traffic violations. In addition to an impeccable driving record, you must also retain proper records to avoid losing the license.

What Records are Necessary for Employers?

Requirements for CDL regulations are controlled federally by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Each state can vary through the application process but must maintain the standards and regulations set forth at the federal level. Each document has a required retention period of three years or more. By law, CDL employers must retain the following records for each employee and have them available upon request within 48 hours:

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Connecticut DUI lawyer, Connecticut defense lawyerIf you have recently gotten your first DUI in Connecticut, you likely have many questions and you need to act quickly in order to get the optimal results in your case. Depending on the facts of your case, it is usually helpful to retain a DUI attorney as soon as possible.

There are two different “cases” within a DUI charge. One is administrative where your driver’s license is at stake. The other is criminal, which will affect your criminal record. For most first offense DUIs, the charges are considered to be misdemeanors.

The Administrative Case

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Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut juvenile lawyerGov. Daniel Malloy has proposed a plan that would raise the age for young offenders being prosecuted in adult court. Under the proposal, those tried in adult court would have to be 21 years old.

The proposal would not include those charged with serious offenses such as rape, assault with a firearm, and murder. Currently, those 18 years old and over are tried in adult court.

Gov. Malloy presented this proposal in 2016, but the legislature did not act on it. However, there are signs that this year, it may fare better. If this plan is adopted, Connecticut would be the first state to raise the age above 18 for most juvenile offenses.

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Posted on in Juvenile Crimes

Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut juvenile attorneySexting is a newer spin on the age-old desire of adults and teenager alike to express themselves sexually. Regardless of potential personal objections, the act of sending, creating, or posting suggestive images or video to various outlets such as cell phones, emails, and internet have various draws for consenting individuals of all ages. Technologically savvy adults over the age of 50 are even getting into the act to “spice up” their marriages. However, for minors, the act is closely related to “child pornography” and as such, the repercussions are severe.

Consensual Child Pornography

As naive as the behavior may be, occasionally young teenagers “in love” have the bright idea to send each other nude photos of each other. While it is certainly frowned upon, with two consenting children of the same age bracket, the behavior should be considered an innocent mistake. Of course, it has been seen time and again when an ex in the relationship still maintains ownership of their copy of their ex and spreads them across school and to various social media outlets, causing further damage. However, even while they are in the relationship, the state of Connecticut says that so long as these individuals are between the ages of 13 and 15, a crime occurred on both the sending and receiving ends.

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Connecticut DUI lawyer, Connecticut defense attorneyIf you are accused of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol in Connecticut and have a blood alcohol content (BAC) higher than 0.08, you may have many questions. You may question your future, the punishments, and the impacts. Although Connecticut legislature has harsh penalties for those convicted of first-time DUI, there is a second chance option that may be available given the right circumstances. The program is not a right, and therefore no one is guaranteed admittance, however the chances of being accepted increase with the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney to help you through the application process.

Pretrial Diversion Program

If it is your first time with a DUI, or you have not had one in more than 10 years, you may be eligible to apply for this program before your case goes to trial. Consider AEP, a Connecticut “second chance” for those who made a mistake. The Alcohol Education Program meets weekly for one-hour classes for up to 15 weeks. The length of time is dependent on the results of an alcohol evaluation test done before the program begins. There are no exams or testing, nor are there any alcohol or drug tests. Simply arrive on time, every week, and stay for the entire class. After successful completion of the program and attending the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Victim Impact Panel, your case may be dismissed and erased from your record.

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Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut juvenile attorneyLarceny is the intentional withholding of property belonging to someone else with no intention of giving it back. Convictions range from a misdemeanor to a felony based on the valued amount of the item or items taken. Many parents enter into panic mode upon hearing news that a child faces accusations of larceny. The reaction is justifiable as these charges can affect the entire future of the accused as such a stigma can severely stunt educational and employment opportunities. Your child’s future may be preserved if the appropriate action occurs quickly.

Is a juvenile record sealed or expunged at 18?

Many mistakenly believe that all criminal history before the age of 18 is automatically sealed and not visible to potential schools and employers. If the case in question was dropped or dismissed, the record erases immediately. However, if there is a conviction, a petition must be completed to have the incident “erased.” Sealing and expungement is not an option in these cases, but erasing will prevent everyone outside of a courtroom from seeing the record.

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut criminal attorneyAs children, we are encouraged to explore our creative side. From early on we are applauded for each moment of artistic ability, even if at three years old it does not look like much. In elementary school, our teachers shower us with praise and our parents proudly display our artwork on the refrigerator and throughout the house and office. In our early teens, that creative artistic ability is not easily suppressed. Unfortunately, once the artwork is on someone else’s property, criminal mischief and vandalism charges become likely.

How Is Art a Crime?

Graffiti is any marking, such as initials, slogans, declarations of love, or drawings on public or private property not belonging to the artist. Graffiti can be something written in marker, sprayed on with spray paint, or even carved using sharp objects. Graffiti is often associated with gang presence however it is in no way limited to this population. Individuals from all walks of life have been found guilty. Although a single “tag” does not cause significant concern, where one piece of graffiti is visible, more are likely to follow. The “artwork” found on the sides of buildings, trains, and bridges costs approximately $12 billion dollars annually to clean throughout the United States.

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Connecticut defense attorney, Stamford defense lawyerOne of the obstacles those with a criminal record face is finding an employer who will hire them despite that record. A newly-enacted law will now keep Connecticut employers from asking job applicants about their criminal records on employment applications. The law went into effect January 1, 2017.

Specifics of the Law

The law only covers the questions asked on a job application. In an interview, an employer could ask about a criminal record. Also, the law does not apply to jobs where background checks are legally mandatory, such a jobs in schools. The law prohibits any questions about arrests, criminal charges, or criminal convictions.

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Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut criminal lawyerWhen someone makes violent crime accusations, they are effectively jeopardizing the future of the accused individual. An allegation on its own can wreak havoc on a once-clean reputation. With enough notoriety, the accused can lose family, jobs, and more. Intelligent and efficient representation early on can help to mitigate any lasting effects of any false claims. Additionally, it is beneficial to understand what the terminology means in a legal realm. In daily conversation murder and homicide are interchangeably used, but each has unique meaning when used in a court-of-law.

Murder: Capital, Felony, and Arson

Murder is the intentional killing of another individual, including forced suicide with duress or deception. Connecticut’s unique legal structure breaks the charge down further into capital, felony, or arson murder rather than first, second and third degree. The differences are as follows:

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Posted on in Criminal Defense

Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut criminal attorneyBeing pulled over by a police officer is a nerve-wracking experience. Because of this, many people make the mistake of consenting to a police search of their car. Criminal defense attorneys routinely advise clients that they should never allow an officer to search their car.

Reasons Why People Consent to Officer Searches of Cars

People have many misconceptions about what the consequences of a car search entail. They may think one or more of the following:

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Connecticut drug charges, Connecticut defense attorneyFor years police have use trained dogs to help them discover drugs and drug paraphernalia on citizen’s bodies, in bags, and in cars, which will lead to criminal charges. It comes as a surprise then studies show that police K-9s have high error rates.  One study reviewed Chicago police records over three years and determined that police found drugs or paraphernalia 44 percent of the time that a dog alerted an officer it smelled drugs. According to the study, the success rate fell to 22 percent when the person searched was Hispanic. 

How Drug Dogs Are Supposed to Be Used

Drug dogs are supposed to be a way for police to find drugs without infringing on the public’s constitutional rights. For example, if police pull you over for a traffic stop, officers do not have the right to search your car. 

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Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut juvenile crimes lawyerWhile watching any teen movies these days, it seems that all our children want to do is drink alcohol and break rules. As the story progresses, a parent is nearly always out of town, and their child invites the entire school over for a night of unsupervised events. Luckily for these cinematic plots, there almost always seems to be a hero who opposes underage drinking and good choices triumph. Perhaps these scenarios serve as a cautionary tale for us as parents to never leave our children alone. However, on the other end, you also do not necessarily want them to go off to college without ever being trusted while you and your spouse run to the grocery store. What our juvenile children do while we are away can have us met with handcuffs and parental liability when we return.

Underage Drinking

If your child sneaks into the liquor cabinet while you are gone, it is not likely that the police will immediately come knocking on the door. However, once neighbors begin to notice droves of children flocking into your home while your car is absent, someone may be inclined to involve the police. Officers jump on the opportunity to make a public example of the teen in question. The problem with making a display is it supersedes the right to a fair court hearing. In too many cases, these juveniles invited over just a couple close friends and those friends are the people who called the school, unbeknownst to you or your child. In similar scenarios, leaving your adolescent alone with an open supply of liquor can result in a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,000.00. Your child can also face charges, resulting in:

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Posted on in Traffic Violations

Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut criminal attorneyConnecticut laws have seen a shift in the severity in which crimes are punished. While certain drug crimes recently became less troublesome other issues are being treated more harshly, including several traffic laws. One regulation experiencing a severity elevation is evading responsibility, also known as hit and run. Drivers mistakenly choose to leave the scene of an accident hoping to avoid the repercussions. More legal trouble awaits a driver opting to flee without leaving contact information.

How Did They Find Me?

An evading responsibility charge often begins with an emergency 9-1-1 phone call made by the victim or a witness of the accident. Once police arrive at the scene they begin gathering all information available. Cops ask all passengers of the remaining car as well as any witnesses for descriptions of the driver, car, or license plate. From there they utilize all avenues available, including:

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Connecticut defense lawyer, CT drug lawyerLaws surrounding various recreational drugs, such as marijuana, are in a fluid state of change. Changes occur so frequently that even those paying the closest attention may miss a minor alteration. Frequent modifications cause uncertainty among the general populous as to what the current regulations entail. Officers depend on this ambivalence while doing their searches, hoping the unsuspecting individual will offer further information to incriminate themselves of a drug crime. However, officers are also aware that improper protocol opens themselves up for failure in court.

The Fourth Amendment

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution is enacted most frequently during questions over proper police procedure. In short, its creation protected the people against British King George’s overbearing and excessive invasion into their privacy and furthermore it protects the rights of citizens against unwarranted search, seizure, and even detainment. It helps to understand what the amendment says, which is:

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