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Stamford, CT criminal defense lawyerAlong with several other laws that will go into effect January 1, 2023, is the requirement of the Hate Crimes Investigative Unit within the Connecticut State Police. The unit was established in October 2021; however, Public Act 22-9 codifies the requirement of the unit into law. The Hate Crimes Investigative Unit investigates crimes involving race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, and disability.

Hate Crimes in Connecticut

There is no doubt that incidents of hate crimes have increased in the United States and that rate continues to rise. According to FBI statistics, in 2020 (the most recent year of data released), there were more than 8,000 hate crime incidents committed against 11,000 individuals. This was an increase of just under 1,000 incidents from the year before.

Here in Connecticut, there were 102 hate crimes reported to law enforcement, according to the FBI’s data. The motivation behind the crimes was broken down to the following:

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Stamford, CT criminal defense attorneyMany people are under the impression – largely due to television shows and movies – that when a person is charged with a crime, the resolution of the case involves a trial and jury verdict. The reality, however, is that the majority of criminal cases in the United States do not end in trial. According to national statistics, less than 5 percent of criminal cases actually make it to trial. The majority of case resolutions involve plea bargains.

What Is a Plea Bargain?

A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty to the crime they are charged with in exchange for lesser charges and/or a shorter sentence. The two sides negotiate to come to this agreement.

Why Do People Enter into Pleas Bargains?

There are a number of reasons why plea bargains occur. Oftentimes, both sides are aware of the strengths and weaknesses in the cases and the defense attorney realizes that given the evidence, a plea bargain is in the defendant’s best interest.

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Stamford, CT criminal defense lawyerIn less than four weeks, approximately 44,000 people convicted in Connecticut of cannabis possession will have their criminal records either fully or partially cleared automatically, according to an announcement by Governor Ned Lamont. This new state policy is part of the 2021 law the state passed that regulated the adult use of cannabis. In his announcement, the governor stressed that this new policy is being implemented to ensure that these low-level cannabis convictions will no longer hamper a person’s ability to find employment, pursue an education, and find housing.  

Automatic Erasure

On January 1, 2023, anyone who was convicted for possession of under four ounces of cannabis between January 1, 2000, and September 30, 2015, will automatically have those convictions erased from their records.

If a person was convicted for possession of under four ounces of cannabis prior to January 1, 2000, or between October 1, 2015, and June 30, 2021, they will need to file a petition with the court in order to have the conviction erased.

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 Stamford, CT juvenile criminal defense lawyerAlong with the ever-increasing incidents of school shootings in this country, there is also the alarming increase in the number of swatting incidents that occur. Swatting is the term used to describe incidents where someone makes a false report to emergency services in an effort to send a large number of law enforcement to a certain location.

Almost every week since the beginning of the school year, law enforcement has rushed to at least one school somewhere in the U.S. because of false reports of an armed person on school grounds or other threats of violence. Federal law enforcement is actively working to determine if these incidents are being coordinated by the same party or parties or all separate incidents.

Swatting in Connecticut

According to the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), there have been dozens of swatting incidents in more than 30 states since the school year began. Several of these incidents have taken place right here in Connecticut. On Friday, October 21, there were false reports sent to authorities for multiple school locations.

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Fairfield County criminal defense lawyerIt is no secret the real estate market has been booming for the past couple of years. But along with those millions of real estate transactions comes a higher rate of mortgage fraud. According to national statistics, in the second quarter of 2022, about 1 in 131 mortgage applications contained fraud. The risk of income fraud rose 27.3 percent and property fraud climbed 22.6 percent. Anyone charged with mortgage fraud could be facing either federal or state charges, with the penalties harsh for both.

Residential Housing

One type of mortgage fraud involves residential mortgage applications and home loan borrowers. This type of fraud usually involves an individual or couple, with the goal of obtaining financing for a home. This type of fraud can occur in a number of ways:

  • The applicant doctors W-2s or paystubs to show a fraudulent income

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