Criminal Defense
Blog

Se Habla Español

Call Today for a Free Consultation

203-348-5846

24 Hoyt Street, Stamford, CT 06905

CT defense lawyerBreach of the peace is a crime that sounds antiquated as if no one has been charged with it in decades. Unfortunately, the reality is that it is a common crime even today, and people are charged with it for something they may see as inconsequential - for example, playing one’s music too loud, or using obscene language in public. If you are charged with breach of the peace, you must try to understand the charge against you and contact an attorney who can help to ensure your rights are protected.

What Is A Breach?

Breach of the peace in Connecticut can encompass a lot of different actions, from aggressive or threatening behavior to making threats against a person or their property, to committing assault or battery. (Note that assault and battery are two different causes of action - assault is committed when someone is put in imminent, reasonable fear for their own safety, while the battery is the actual physical contact that perpetuates that fear.)

Generally, you have a chance to be charged with a breach of the peace if you are engaged in behavior that may potentially pose a threat to public safety or to the “peace” of the neighborhood. The relevant law discusses the “intent to cause inconvenience” or alarm, or “recklessly creating a risk” and causing a “public and hazardous or physically offensive” condition. Intent and the degree of hazard in the situation you are involved in will make a difference.

...

CT criminal lawyerWhen someone is convicted of a crime, they experience both direct and collateral consequences. The direct consequences may be a fine or jail time, but the collateral consequences in some cases are arguably worse. If you are a non-citizen and are convicted of certain crimes, one of the collateral consequences may be that you become deportable under U.S. law. Having an attorney on your side who understands this is crucial if you want to avoid potentially avoidable life-changing events.

Two Types Of Deportable Offenses

Many people believe that receiving a U.S. visa or a long-term status like permanent resident essentially gives someone a free pass - that once they have achieved that status, it cannot be taken away. In reality, a visa holder or a green card holder can have their status revoked if they are convicted of certain crimes. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will take the conviction as proof that they are either a danger to the community, or have exhibited such poor moral character that they cannot be considered an asset to the country.

There are two types of criminal convictions that can render you either deportable or inadmissible (that is, your entry into the country was retroactively deemed invalid). The first category is called crimes of moral turpitude. Moral turpitude is a legal concept that has no real precise definition but is generally described as “an act of baseness, vileness, or depravity” that would shock the conscience of the public with its outrageousness. The second type of conviction is called an aggravated felony, which tends to encompass most violent crimes - but keep in mind that the offense you are convicted of does not actually have to be aggravated, nor a felony under criminal law, to qualify as deportable.

...

CT defense lawyerWhen you have been convicted of a crime in Connecticut, you must face the consequences. However, if it is your first brush with the law, or if your conviction is for a crime that is neither particularly violent nor sexual, you may be eligible for a consequence called pretrial diversion. Pretrial diversion programs are meant for those with low-level convictions, designed to try and help people learn from their mistakes instead of skipping right to punitive measures. Contacting an attorney to see if you are eligible may be a good move.

For Lower-Level Crimes

Pretrial diversion programs use several different techniques to try and guide offenders onto a better path, including counseling, community services, drug treatment, and random testing, and education. Those who have been convicted of relatively minor crimes like public drunkenness, criminal mischief, or simple marijuana possession (possession of a small amount of marijuana, with no intent to distribute) can have their record expunged if they complete the program satisfactorily.

Pretrial diversion is also a common sentence given to juvenile defendants, whose offenses are, by law, lesser than most crimes in adult court. Juvenile court, as a rule, is a place where sentences are not punitive, because juvenile defendants are seen to be the most deserving of second chances. (If a juvenile commits a serious offense, their case is usually removed to adult court.) The outcome is largely the same for juveniles who successfully complete a pretrial diversion program, though as long as they do not re-offend, juvenile records are automatically expunged once the person reaches age 21.

...

CT defense lawyerNormally, when a person is convicted of a criminal offense, they serve their sentence and that is that. However, if a non-U.S. citizen is convicted of a criminal offense in Connecticut, they may face far more severe consequences than fines or a period in jail. Criminal convictions for immigrants can be very severe, with the most extreme being deportation. If you are facing criminal charges in Connecticut, you need an attorney who understands the potential consequences.

Two Types of Crimes

U.S. immigration law recognizes two types of crimes. A crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) is not something that one will find in a law book; it is a sort of catch-all title designed to categorize any crime that is said to have a component involving ‘moral turpitude’ like dishonesty or fraud. An aggravated felony is another category title that is used for crimes of violence or nonviolent crimes like money laundering or obstruction of justice on a grand scale. That said, it can be very difficult to determine whether the crime you have been convicted of fits either of these categories.

Not every crime falls under one of these categories - there is a petty offense exception, which can remove the possibility of deportation from a CIMT conviction if you can show that your offense was “petty” - that is, that its maximum penalty was one year or less, and that you personally were sentenced to six months or less. It does not necessarily follow that a misdemeanor will be a petty offense and a felony will not - the amount of time at issue is the crucial criterion. However, any conviction that is not for a petty offense will trigger serious immigration consequences.

...

Posted on in Criminal Defense

CT defense lawyerThere are several different types of theft crimes in Connecticut, from simple larceny to embezzlement to shoplifting. However, there are certain types of theft crimes that differ in their execution from more simple acts - robbery being the most potentially remarkable. Unlike most other theft crimes, robbery has an element of force to it that can lead to violence. If you have been charged with robbery or other home invasion crimes, you need an experienced attorney on your side to guide you through the process.

Many Factors to Consider

Robbery is defined as a person in the process of committing larceny either using or threatening to use force for two possible purposes: (1) demanding or threatening someone so they provide the property sought, and/or (2) preventing anyone from trying to stop the larceny in progress. For example, a person who steals money from a convenience store cash register without anyone noticing has committed larceny, but a person who holds a gun on the clerk and demands the money has committed robbery, because of the use of force.

The potential penalties for robbery are quite severe, though sentences may fluctuate based on different factors that might or might not be present in the specific case. For example, if someone has a prior criminal record, their sentence might be enhanced by that factor. Even the lowest category of robbery, however, still carries up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine, with the highest degree possibly carrying a 20-year jail term. Every case is different, which is why an experienced attorney is crucial to have on your side.

...