Blog

Se Habla Español

Call Today for a Free Consultation

203-348-5846

24 Hoyt Street, Stamford, CT 06905

CT defense lawyerUnderage drinking is a problem in the United States. It is easy for young people to glamorize the practice, but in reality, it can lead to legal trouble, injuries, and even deaths, especially among the type of young person who fancies themselves immortal. Because of this, Connecticut has passed what it calls the Social Host Law. Under the law, parents can be held liable for episodes of underage drinking that occur in their house. Yet many parents remain unaware of this until it is too late.

Two Categories

A social hosting offense can either be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the parents’ role in the events in question. If the parents were present and knowingly, actively provided alcohol to minors, they will generally be charged with a Class E felony - the relevant statute bars anyone from “sell[ing], ship[ping], deliver[ing] or giv[ing]” alcohol to a minor, and a guilty verdict will mean a fine of up to $3,500 and a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months. While a first offense may yield a lesser sentence, banking on this possibility is an extremely bad idea.

By comparison, parents whose house is used for underage drinking with their knowledge (or it is found that they should have known), and/or failing to try to either stop the use of alcohol or break up the party altogether, will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, which can carry up to a year in jail as a sentence, even for a first offense. Even more serious consequences can be forthcoming if children under age 16 were present during an underage drinking situation. Many times, people think that a misdemeanor is somehow not a serious offense, and with a social hosting case, this is just not accurate.

...

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.

...

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?

...

CT defense lawyerNorwalk police recently arrested a 35-year-old man in possession of 4,700 bags of heroin, cocaine, and $50,000 in cash. He is being held on a $2 million bond. The man was the subject of an extensive investigation into heroin sales in Norwalk.

Bond vs. Bail

Most people who are charged with committing a crime may be able to post bail or obtain a bond to get out of jail while they are awaiting trial. The terms “bond” and “bail” are often used interchangeably, but they actually have slightly different meanings.

...

CT defense attorneyIn 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case called Miranda v. Arizona (which actually represented four consolidated cases). The decision affirmed that criminal suspects in police custody have a constitutional right to an attorney and a right against self-incrimination. If a defendant is not informed of those rights, then any statements the defendant makes to police will not be admissible in court. Here’s a rundown of what happened in those four cases:

Case 1: Arizona police arrested Miranda at his home, and a witness identified him at the police station. He signed a written confession after being interrogated for two hours. That confession was used as evidence at trial, where a jury found Miranda guilty of kidnapping and rape.

Case 2: New York police detained a man named Vignera in connection with a dress shop robbery. While in police custody, Vignera orally confessed to the robbery and was then placed under formal arrest. He was later questioned by an assistant district attorney while a hearing reporter transcribed the questions and answers. Both the oral confession and the transcript were used as evidence at trial. The jury found him guilty of first-degree robbery.

...