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stamford criminal defenseIf you live in Connecticut and suspect there is an active warrant out for your arrest, there are critical steps you should be aware of. Whether or not you have actually committed the crime, a warrant means that police have enough probable cause to believe you did, a prosecutor agreed, and the warrant was issued. Before contacting police, it is important to contact a Stamford criminal defense attorney first.

Types of Warrants

There are two types of warrants that may be issued – an arrest warrant or a bench warrant. An arrest warrant is issued by a judge and cites a specific crime the individual is being accused of. An arrest warrant does not expire and is valid until the accused is in the custody of law enforcement.

Bench warrants are issued if a person out on bail fails to appear for any scheduled court dates or fails to comply with any orders issued by the court. It is usually issued by the judge who is presiding over the case. A bench warrant can also be issued for failing to pay a traffic violation, failing to pay child support, or even failing to appear for jury duty. While a bench warrant may not sound as serious as an arrest warrant, the result is the same – the accused will eventually end up in police custody.

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stamford criminal defense lawyerThe state of Connecticut is teaming up with New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania in an effort to combat gun violence and shutting down gun networks that pass back and forth across state lines. The four states will be sharing information regarding firearm purchases in order to help prevent gun crimes, including straw buyers. This data that is shared will only be available to law enforcement.

States’ Agreement

According to the governors from each of the states, the issue of guns crossing state lines has become an epidemic, citing how gun violence had spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the announcement, the governor of New Jersey pointed out that almost 85 percent of guns that have been recovered by law enforcement during the past six months have come from other states.

The four states will use the information they receive from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that reveals who purchased and sold any guns that are seized during a criminal investigation. Each state will have designated law enforcement personnel who will be the only ones to have access to the information. Should there be any unauthorized access, copying, disclosure, or any other misuse, the state must notify the other states right away.

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stamford criminal defense lawyerViolations of the law can result in multiple types of consequences. The severity of these consequences will depend on a person’s specific criminal charges and other factors that may play a role in their case. Multiple convictions will usually result in more serious penalties, and in some cases, a person may be subject to laws that detail enhanced penalties for “persistent offenders.” Those facing criminal charges will need to be represented by an experienced attorney who can explain how these laws apply to their case and determine the best defense strategies.

Persistent Offender Laws in Connecticut

Connecticut law defines several categories of persistent offenders, including:

  • Persistent dangerous felony offenders - If a person is convicted of violent crimes such as manslaughter, kidnapping, first- or second-degree robbery, first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary with a firearm, or arson, and they had previously been convicted of one of these crimes, they will be sentenced to at least twice the minimum sentence for the offense and a maximum of 40 years in prison. A third conviction will result in being sentenced to at least three times the minimum sentence for the offense.

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Stamford criminal defense lawyerCriminal charges have the potential to change a person’s life forever. Fortunately, the state of Connecticut realizes that many criminal defendants are good people who simply made a mistake. They do not need to be punished; they just need the opportunity to learn from their mistake and live a law-abiding life moving forward. Connecticut offers several diversionary programs that may allow you to avoid a criminal conviction and jail time. If you successfully complete a diversionary program, you avoid going to trial and the charges against you will be dismissed.

Diversionary Programs for Criminal Offenses in Connecticut

During a pretrial diversionary program, an individual who has been accused of a crime must complete certain tasks and/or refrain from certain conduct. If he or she can fulfill the requirements of the program, the charges against him or her will be dropped.

Three of the most common pretrial diversionary programs in Connecticut include:

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Fairfield CT criminal defense lawyerThe United States Constitution gives us important rights and limits the power of the government. One of the most important rights afforded by the Constitution is the right to protection from invasion of privacy by the government. The Fourth Amendment states that people have the right to be free from “unreasonable searches and seizures” of personal property. If you or a loved one was charged with drug possessiontheft, or another criminal offense, it is crucial that you understand how your Fourth Amendment rights may influence your case.

When Can Police Search My Vehicle?

Criminal charges for possession of marijuana or other drugs are often a result of police searching a vehicle. The laws protecting citizens against unreasonable search and seizure apply differently to vehicles than they do to other types of property. Police are permitted to search a person’s vehicle without a warrant if:

  • The person gives the officer consent or permission to search the car

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