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CT defense lawyerIn Connecticut, larceny, shoplifting, and standard theft are all charged as facets of the same crime, which can confuse and frighten some people. Punishment for these types of offenses usually has to do with the value of the item taken, as well as whether or not any force was used in taking it. Nonetheless, it can still be very intimidating to be accused of any theft crime, and having a Stamford theft lawyer on your side can make it easier to get through the process.

Theft Defined

Connecticut law groups multiple different theft-related crimes under the same statute, up to and including larceny, embezzlement, obtaining property by false pretenses, theft of services (for example, not paying your restaurant bill), shoplifting, conversion, and several others. While this may seem strange, the overarching rationale is that in most cases it matters very little what the crime is called, as long as the relevant criteria have been fulfilled - namely, that property is wrongfully taken, held, or withheld from its owner with the intent that the owner be permanently deprived.

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Posted on in Drug Charges

CT defense lawyerDrug charges are a very serious matter in Connecticut, especially for younger offenders. If you have been charged with possession of drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia, drug distribution, possession with intent to sell, or any other drug-related crime, it may seem that jail is inevitable, but you are entitled to a good defense from a Norwalk drug crime lawyer before any sentence is handed down.

Penalties Can Be Serious

While Connecticut has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana (under ½ an ounce, generally), this does not mean that marijuana possession for larger amounts is not treated seriously or harshly. Any amount over ½ ounce will still carry a potential penalty of between one and five years in jail, with a fine of anywhere between $500 and $5000, which is the same type of penalty carried by a charge of unlawful possession of prescription drugs. Penalties for possession of stronger drugs, such as crack cocaine or heroin, are very stiff even for a first offense, with up to seven years in jail and a $50,000 fine as possibilities.

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CT defense lawyerMany parents tend to look past teenage misbehavior as mere pranks, or “boys-will-be-boys” type of hijinks. In reality, young adults can be charged with serious crimes if their behavior warrants it, and the penalties can be severe. If your child has been charged with a crime, it is important that you seek out a Stamford juvenile justice lawyer who is experienced with handling these types of matters.

Juvenile vs. Adult Court

The idea of your child being charged with a crime can be quite distressing to a parent, and it should be taken seriously. However, if your child is charged as a juvenile, it is important to keep in mind that the system is very different than it would be for an adult. Juveniles are not convicted of crimes unless charged as adults; rather, they are ‘adjudicated delinquent.’ Generally, the juvenile system is seen as much more rehabilitative than the punishing adult court system; most offenses are seen as learning opportunities rather than strikes that should haunt a young adult for life.

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CT defense lawyerIn this country, a person is innocent of a crime until they are proven guilty, and they are entitled to a chance to defend themselves from charges. Defendants have rights, and if you have been charged with a crime, you need a Connecticut criminal defense attorney who will fight to protect yours.

Even Innocent People May Need Attorneys

In today’s United States, the criminal justice system can be an intimidating place, especially if you are innocent of the crime you have been charged with. While it is rare to find yourself faced with outright malice from police or prosecutors, it is sadly not uncommon to find an error on their part, which can sometimes put an innocent person in the proverbial crosshairs. Extreme examples have put innocent people behind bars - though none have occurred in Connecticut, there have been hundreds of exonerations of innocent people wrongfully convicted in 37 states since the 1970s.

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CT DUI lawyerDriving while under the influence of any substance is no laughing matter, and if you are caught, you can face serious repercussions. However, it is not necessary that your life be ruined, especially if it is your first offense. A Fairfield DUI attorney may be able to help work out a fair outcome in your case.

Connecticut DUI Facts

In Connecticut, you are considered to be driving under the influence if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.08, though the number is even lower for commercial drivers (0.04), and those under age 21 (0.02). If you are shown to be driving under the influence, you will almost certainly be arrested, booked and read your rights, and will usually be released upon your own recognizance (that is, released upon a promise that you will appear in court later) unless you have caused injury or property damage while driving under the influence. If you cause injury or property damage while driving under the influence, the charges you will face may be greater.

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Posted on in White Collar Crimes

CT defense lawyerYou have probably heard the term “white collar crime,” but you might not know what that term actually means. A white collar crime is generally a nonviolent, financially motivated offense by a business or government professional. The classic example is an employee stealing money from his employer.

In Connecticut, white collar crimes carry stiff penalties. Contact a criminal defense attorney immediately if you have been charged with committing any type of white-collar offense.

Types of White Collar Crimes

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IL defense lawyerWere you pulled over for speeding? Did you get a ticket for rolling through a stop sign? Maybe you received a traffic ticket but do not think you deserved it. While very few drivers actually contest traffic tickets in court, it is an option. Here are a few frequently asked questions about fighting a traffic ticket in Connecticut:

Q: How do I plead not guilty to the alleged traffic violation?

A: There are three ways to plead not guilty. You can plead not guilty via a web portal, by phone or by mail. An experienced attorney can walk you through these options and make sure you enter the plea correctly.

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Posted on in Sex Crimes

CT defense lawyerNot every rape allegation is true. But every rape allegation is taken seriously, which is why you need an experienced defense attorney if you are charged with committing rape. The following includes nine things you need to know when facing rape charges in Connecticut:

  • It is rape if you force someone to have sex with you. Both parties must willingly consent in order for sex to be consensual. Consent is always a defense to a rape charge (and to other sexual assault charges);
  • It is called forcible rape if the offender uses a weapon or threatens to use a weapon;
  • Rape is a felony offense punishable by at least 10 years in prison. Offenders face an even longer prison sentence if the victim is under 16 years old. An experienced attorney can explain the potential consequences of the crime you have been charged with;
  • The age of consent in Connecticut is 16 years old. This means that anyone younger than 16 is not legally capable of consenting to sexual relations. You can be charged with statutory rape for having sex with someone who is not old enough to consent under state law. However, the criminality of the offense also depends on how old the alleged perpetrator is;
  • It is illegal to have sex with anyone who is mentally incapable of consenting (because of mental disability, disease or intoxication);
  • It can be rape even if the two parties are married. Spouses cannot force their partners to have sex with them. Consent is required no matter the relationship between the parties;
  • Unfortunately, a rape prosecution often turns into a “she said, he said” routine. It is difficult to prove or disprove rape charges when it is one person’s word against the other. The defense can use communications between the alleged victim and perpetrator (like text messages) to prove consent. Both communications before and after the alleged rape can be relevant. Other useful evidence includes DNA and witness statements;
  • Evidence can be excluded from trial if it is not gathered properly. This could help or hurt your defense, depending on what the particular evidence is. Similarly, the charges against you could be dropped entirely if your rights were violated during the arrest or if the evidence is somehow tainted. An experienced attorney can help protect your legal rights; and
  • A rape conviction can affect your future job prospects and your community life. Most likely you will have to list any felony convictions on job applications and you will be publicly registered as a sex offender.

Let Us Help You with Your Case

Please contact the experienced dedicated Stamford rape defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner today if you are charged with committing rape. This is a very serious charge, and you need an experienced to assist you with your case.

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Posted on in Violent Crimes

CT defense lawyerWhen you think of the legal consequences of car accidents, you probably focus on civil lawsuits like personal injury and wrongful death cases. But depending on the circumstances, the person responsible for the accident might also face criminal charges.

A common example is negligent homicide with a motor vehicle.

What Is Negligent Homicide with a Motor Vehicle?

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Posted on in Drug Charges

CT defense lawyerTo be convicted of illegal drug possession, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • You possessed the drugs;
  • What you possessed is actually an illegal drug; and
  • You were aware of the possession.

There are two ways you can get in trouble for illegal drug possession in Connecticut. The first is if you actually possess the drugs, and the other is if you constructively possess the drugs.

What Is Actual Drug Possession?

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CT DUI lawyerIt is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Connecticut when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. (If you are an underage driver, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle when your BAC is 0.02 percent or higher).

Under Connecticut’s implied consent law, it is presumed that all drivers have consented to taking a chemical test to determine BAC.

There are three different methods police use to determine a driver’s BAC: breath, blood or urine. Breath tests (using a breathalyzer) are the most common method, but it is up to the arresting police officer to make that call.

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Posted on in Violent Crimes

CT defense lawyerBullying is a serious issue in Connecticut schools. Between 2011-2013, one in six students reported being bullied online, and one in five reported being bullied at school.

Connecticut does not tolerate bullying in schools. Children accused of bullying may face school disciplinary proceedings and, in some cases, criminal charges. Here are a few frequently asked questions about what Connecticut considers bullying and the resulting consequences.

Q: What behaviors are considered bullying in Connecticut schools?

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Posted on in Theft and Property Crimes

CT defense lawyerIn July 2018, Stamford police received reports of two stolen cars in the Ridges neighborhood (the calls were two hours apart). Police apprehended the suspect driving the second car and charged him with reckless driving, driving without a license, and first-degree larceny, among other offenses.

What Is Larceny?

Larceny is a type of property crime. Under Connecticut law, a person commits larceny when “he wrongfully takes, obtains or withholds” property from its owner. The accused must have “intent to deprive another of property or to appropriate the same to himself or a third person.”

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Posted on in Criminal Defense

CT defense lawyerUnder most circumstances, the federal Constitution guarantees criminal defendants a trial by jury. Whether this right applies in your case depends on the severity of the offense. Specifically, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that the crime must carry a penalty of more than six months’ imprisonment).

Connecticut also guarantees criminal defendants a jury trial. The right only exists when the maximum penalty is at least a $200 fine. If the offense involves violations payable through the Centralized Infractions Bureau (a traffic violation) then the maximum penalty must be more than $500. Unless the law says otherwise, the jury will consist of six people.

Can I Waive My Right to a Jury Trial?

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CT defense lawyerDistracted driving is one of the leading causes of car crashes in the United States. It results in thousands of deaths every year, and hundreds of thousands of injuries, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Distracted driving takes many forms. Basically, any activity that takes the driver’s eyes off the road or hands off the wheel, or keeps him from concentrating, is a distraction.

For example, distracted driving might be a driver who takes his hands off the wheel to juggle a sandwich or other meal. It might be a driver who is trying to do her makeup because she is running late for work. It might be a driver who is trying to referee an argument between her kids in the backseat. But commonly, it is a driver who is talking on his phone, responding to a text message or otherwise using a handheld cell phone.

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CT defense lawyerOpioid abuse is a serious problem in the United States. And the problem is only getting worse -- especially in Connecticut. Opioids are a class of drugs that include heroin, oxycodone, and morphine. While prescription opioid painkillers are safe when used for a short period of time, regular use can lead to addiction, overdose and sometimes death, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Connecticut currently ranks in the top ten states for opioid-related overdose deaths, according to NIDA. The number of deaths increased dramatically between 2012 and 2016, rising from 5.7 deaths per 100,000 people to 24.5 deaths per 100,000 people. That is well above the national average of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 people.

Thankfully, the state is taking steps to address this growing epidemic.

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CT defense lawyerWe hear stories about credit card breaches all the time. That’s why more than two-thirds of consumers are concerned about fraud. You should also be concerned if you are charged with committing a credit card crime, because these are serious offenses in Connecticut. Here are two examples:

  • Credit card theft and fraud. Anyone who takes another person’s credit card without their consent with the intent to use or sell it is guilty of credit card theft. Offenders can spend up to five years in jail and pay a $5,000 fine. Anyone who obtains a credit card as security for debt with the intent to defraud is also subject to these penalties; and
  • Illegal use of credit card. Anyone who uses a credit card knowing it is forged, expired, or revoked, or who pretends to be the holder of a credit card that hasn’t actually been issued, is guilty of illegal use of a credit card. This is a misdemeanor if the value of goods obtained with the card doesn’t exceed $500. Offenders can spend up to five years in jail and pay a $5,000 fine.

The difference between credit card theft and illegal use of a credit card is that the first punishes people who illegally obtain credit cards, and the other punishes people who illegally use credit cards.

Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you’re arrested for these offenses or any type of credit card-related crime.

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Posted on in Sex Crimes

CT defense lawyerSex crimes are some of the most serious offenses in Connecticut. In addition to criminal penalties like jail time, convicted sex offenders may be put on the state’s sex offender registry -- public information that can affect your ability to get a job. Even being accused of a sex crime can negatively affect your life.

What Is Considered a Sex Crime in Connecticut?

There are various sexual acts that are considered criminal offenses. Sex crimes in Connecticut include:

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CT defense lawyerTraffic violations - like driving under the influence (DUI), speeding, and reckless driving - have consequences, including the possibility of temporarily losing your driver’s license. Reasons that the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) might suspend your driver’s license include:

  • Accumulating more than 10 points during a two-year period. For example, driving while impaired is worth three points, passing a stopped school bus is worth four points, and not obeying a stop sign is worth two points.
  • Driving while drunk or refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test.
  • Failing to appear in court after receiving a traffic summons for violating a traffic law.
  • Committing vehicular manslaughter, homicide or another serious crime.

These are only some of the reasons you might lose your driving privileges. (There are also additional reasons for suspending a teen driver’s license.) Do not delay in reaching out to an experienced attorney after receiving a traffic citation. We can help fight to keep your driving privileges intact.

Suspension Notice

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Posted on in Juvenile Crimes

CT defense lawyerAdults can be charged with driving under the influence when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher. But underage drivers (any driver under 21 years old) can be charged when their BAC is .02 percent. Connecticut has zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving, which means that any alcohol in your system or on your breath is grounds for arrest. That does not leave underage drivers with any wiggle room. The moral of the story for underage drivers is, do not get behind the wheel after having any alcohol.

The Consequences of Underage Drinking and Driving

Driving under the influence is a criminal offense in Connecticut, whether you are an adult or underage. Underage first offenders are subject to the following consequences:

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