Blog

Se Habla Español

Call Today for a Free Consultation

203-348-5846

24 Hoyt Street, Stamford, CT 06905

Recent blog posts

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:

...

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

...

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:

...

CT defense attorneyThe criminal justice system treats youth offenders differently than it treats adult offenders. The general rule in Connecticut is that children under 16 years old cannot be held criminally responsible for their actions. However, there are certain exceptions to that rule.

Either way, it can be frightening and confusing if your child is arrested. Our experienced juvenile defense attorneys can explain your legal options and answer any and all questions about the criminal justice process. In fact, here are answers to a few questions that parents frequently ask when their children get in trouble with the law:

Q: When can juveniles be tried as adults in Connecticut?

...

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.

...

CT defense attorneyIt is illegal to drive recklessly in Connecticut. Reckless driving “requires a conscious choice of action either with knowledge of the serious danger to others involved in it or with knowledge of facts which would disclose this danger to a reasonable” person.

While speeding and driving under the influence might not by themselves constitute reckless driving, they can contribute to a reckless driving charge. However, if the vehicle speed is so fast that it endangers another person’s life, then that alone is considered reckless. Driving faster than 85 miles per hour generally falls into that category. Tailgating (following another car too closely) is another example of reckless driving.

The punishment for reckless driving is:

...

CT defense lawyerConnecticut takes drug possession, possession with intent to sell, and other drug offenses very seriously, which is why you need an experienced defense attorney if you are charged with any drug-related offense.

In fact, a few years ago Connecticut increased the penalties for selling drugs. Here are a few things you need to know about possession with intent to sell:

  • You do not have to be caught in the act of selling drugs to be charged with possession with intent to sell (PWITS). You can also be charged with PWITS if found with large amounts of drugs in your possession and distribution materials like plastic bags with logos on them.
  • First-time offenders convicted of PWITS a hallucinogenic substance (other than marijuana) or a narcotic substance face up to 15 years of jail time and/or a $50,000 fine.
  • Second-time offenders face up to 30 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.
  • Each additional offense carries another 30-year term and/or a $250,000 fine.
  • There are different penalties for PWITS marijuana. First-time offenders face up to seven years in prison and/or a $25,000 fine. Each subsequent offense carries up to 15 years in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.
  • There are no mandatory minimum jail sentences, only maximums.

An experienced defense attorney can help fight these charges and achieve the lowest sentence possible. For example, it may help your case if you are participating in a drug rehabilitation program.

...

CT DUI attorneyDrunk driving is a serious problem in Connecticut’s Fairfield County. According to a 2017 study conducted by 24/7 Wall St., more than one in five adults drinks excessively in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area. Such drinking habits likely contribute to the fact that more than one-third of the area’s roadway fatalities involve alcohol, which is higher than both the state and national average.

It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in Connecticut with an elevated blood alcohol content. The limit is 0.08%, except for commercial truck drivers, whose limit is 0.04%. A DUI conviction carries the following types of penalties:

  1. Jail time. First offenders may spend up to six months in jail. Offenders convicted for a second time within a 10-year period face jail time up to two years. A third or subsequent offense means up to three years in prison.

    ...

Posted on in Hate Crimes

Connecticut defense lawyerIn Connecticut as in other states and the nation at large, words or actions that might otherwise constitute a misdemeanor crime rise to the level of a serious felony offense when motivated by bigotry or bias against another person or group’s race, religion, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. When such a combination of actions, motivations, and parties are present, the words or acts at issue may be prosecuted as a hate crime. As a serious felony offense, a hate crime is punishable by a lengthy prison sentence and fine of several thousand dollars. If you have been charged with a hate crime in Connecticut, your reputation, personal freedom, and financial standing demand that you counter the charges with effective legal representation.

Intimidation is at the Core of Hate Crimes in Connecticut

The reason Connecticut punishes hate crimes so severely is to deter individuals from harassing perceived members of groups that have been historically disfavored in American society. Through deterrence, vulnerable classes are afforded protection. Specifically, protected status applies to:

...

Connecticut defense lawyerConnecticut imposes strict penalties for domestic violence. As such, if you have been charged with domestic violence in the state, you owe it to yourself to become knowledgeable as to the consequences of a conviction. Jail time, fines, and damage to your personal reputation are among the adverse outcomes. With so much on the line, experienced legal representation in matters of criminal defense is essential.

Domestic Violence Is Termed “Family Violence” in Connecticut

In Connecticut, domestic violence is categorized as “family violence.” Under state law, family violence is an event that occurs between family or household members that either causes physical injury or produces fear the physical injury is imminent. Family or household members include:

...

Connecticut defense lawyerIf you have been charged with a second, third, or subsequent DUI or DWI in Connecticut, you face very harsh penalties with regard to your personal freedom, finances, reputation, and driving privileges. Alcohol, as you are likely aware if you have previously been convicted of DUI or DWI, is a common source of problems in both the state and nation at large. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), over 25% of people ages 18 and over reported that they engaged in binge drinking the past month.

Over 15 million adults in the U.S. alone have alcohol use disorder, and every year an estimated 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes. The economic cost of alcohol misuse is staggering – running at 249 billion annually in the U.S. When it comes to alcohol misuse and Connecticut’s roads and highways, the state has little tolerance for those who drink and drive – especially after already having a DUI or DWI conviction.

Penalties for a Repeat DUI Conviction in Connecticut

...

CT defense attorneyA Connecticut drug possession, sale, or distribution conviction may have ramifications beyond jail, fines, mandatory rehab and counseling, and community service. There is also reputational damage, the social stigma of your name being associated with drug use, and if you have children, potential loss of child custody. Each one of the detriments is only magnified if you face a second, third, or subsequent drug conviction.

With regard to child custody, state family court judges are vested with substantial discretion to issue child custody orders so long as they are “in the best interests of the child.” If you have a criminal history, it will likely factor into matters of custody if the judge feels that the child has been or will be put at risk of violence, abuse, neglect, or endangerment. With the fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of your child at stake, it is imperative that you retain experienced criminal defense counsel if you have been charged with a drug crime in Connecticut.

Opiate-Related Drug Charges Are On the Rise

...

Posted on in Violent Crimes

CT drug attorneySpringtime is nearly here, and with it returns much fanfare. From the “March Madness” of the NCAA Tournament to spring break for “senioritis” for graduating high school seniors to college spring break to the simple pleasure of warming weather and clearing skies, a degree of wildness is in the air. When wild feelings to turn to wild actions, however, springtime fun runs the risk of devolving into springtime punishment. When verbal matters turn physical at a spring social gathering and an assault charge results, under no circumstances will a Connecticut court accept “March Madness” or “senioritis” as a defense.

Rather, the court will be concerned with facts, timeline, judicial and prosecutorial procedure, evidence, testimony, and there relevant, any criminal history of the accused. If you have been charged with assault in Connecticut, you need to be aware of the consequences you face and the need for an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Defining Assault in Connecticut

...

Posted on in Juvenile Crimes

Connecticut defense lawyerWhen a juvenile is charged with a crime in Connecticut, the young person will either require juvenile court defense in the state’s juvenile justice system or criminal defense in one the state’s (adult) courts. The difference from one scenario to the other may be pronounced. This is because, with regard to adults, who are presumed to have reached the age of maturity and thusly be fully contemplating intentions, actions, and consequences, the same cannot be said as concerns juveniles. Here, the words “age of maturity” loom large.

Prior to this age (eighteen in the state of Connecticut), juveniles are presumed to still be in a process of cognitive and emotional development, not yet fully contemplating and regulating intentions, actions and thus not deserving of consequences parallel to those meted out in the adult court system. For adults, a governing theory is often that of “retribution,” which is concerning with conduct deterrence through punishment, and with restoring the balance between the individual and society by imposing damages for breaches in the social contract.

For juveniles, however, retribution alone is neither appropriate nor consummate with society’s interests. The state, both in a capital “S” sense (the nation) and a lowercase “s” sense (Connecticut) has an interest in producing productive, moral citizens who will contribute to the greater good rather than function as a drain on economic resources. As such, the juvenile justice system may offer corrective outcomes where the adult court system will simply punish.

...

Connecticut defense lawyerIn the month of March, law enforcement are on the lookout for drivers running afoul of the state’s alcohol-related driving laws on the way home from watching events like the Academy Awards and the NCAA basketball tournament. With the Oscars running time at four hours, and March Madness running from before noon until midnight in its opening week, there is an increased risk for individuals consuming alcoholic beverages to exceed the legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level for driving. For this reason, it is very important to understand what BAC is, how it works, how easily the legal limit can be exceeded, and the penalties for driving with an impressible BAC. Driving in the state of Connecticut is a privilege – one that can be taken away on a temporary or permanent basis following a DWI conviction. Knowing the law and your legal rights when it comes to driving and alcohol is a must.

The Law Makes Presumptions About Impairment Irrespective Of Subjectivity

The charge of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Connecticut may be leveled irrespective of whether you feel that you were personally experiencing any alcohol-induced impairment while driving. You do not need to be feeling drunk to be in danger of being charged with DWI if you get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. This is because the relevant metric under state law is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). BAC reflects the percentage of alcohol in the blood and is typically measured by breathalyzer – a law enforcement administered device to breathe into and thereby provided a BAC reading.

...

Illinois defense lawyerIt goes without saying that the charge of murder is one of the utmost seriousness, in Connecticut and every other state in the U.S. If you have been charged with a murder that occurred during the alleged commission of a felony in Connecticut, it is imperative that you retain experienced legal counsel. With a very lengthy prison sentence and other harsh penalties dispensed following a conviction, a strong legal defense is unquestionably a necessity.

Intent is at Issue in a Connecticut Murder Charge

Murder is one of the oldest crimes to be codified into law. Originally defined as “the killing of a human being by another with malice aforethought,” murder may be understood in the modern era in Connecticut as the intentional causation of the death of another. Whether in the old language of “malice aforethought” or the updated vernacular of “intentional causation,” the issue of intent – of a culpable state of mind – is at the heart of a murder prosecution. In some cases, intent is quite clear, such as in a premeditated shooting of one person by another. In other instances, murderous intent is more complex and carefully defined by statute. The latter is true with regard to Felony Murder in Connecticut. Under state law, Felony Murder has been committed when one person causes the death of another while committing, attempting to commit, acting in furtherance of, or fleeing any of the below enumerated felony crimes:

...

Connecticut defense lawyerWhen a car accident involves a fatality in Connecticut, a driver may be charged with vehicular manslaughter or negligent homicide with a motor vehicle. These are serious charges – each prosecutable as a felony – and serious penalties including a lengthy prison sentence and a five-figure fine may be imposed upon conviction. As such, the incentive for a criminal defendant facing either charge to mount the strongest possible legal defense could not be greater.

The Presence of Alcohol or Drugs Is Relevant to Charges Related to a Fatal Accident

In Connecticut, vehicular manslaughter is a type of second-degree manslaughter. Under Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-56b, a person commits second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle when he or she “1) operates a motor vehicle under the influence of liquor drugs, or both and 2) causes the death of another due to the effect of the liquor or drugs.”

...

Connecticut defense lawyerIn Connecticut, as in every other state, alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to a DUI charge. Driving while under the influence of drugs, whether illicit or a lawful prescription, may also result in a Connecticut DUI or DWI charge. Importantly, the penalties for a prescription drug-related DUI conviction are no different than those for a traditional, alcohol-based DUI. This is because the duty of safe driving is at issue. All drivers owe this duty to one another, and when one driver endangers another while under the influence, the nature of influencing substance is a secondary concern. Certainly, if the substance is illicit, a DUI charge may be coupled with separate drug charges. As for the DUI component, however, the penalties are the same.

Always Read the Label on Your Prescriptions

Even over-the-counter medicines such as cold remedies and antihistamines may cause one to become drowsy or disoriented and, as such, refrain from getting behind the wheel of a car, truck, or other vehicle. Behind-the-counter medications and treatments, only obtainable with the prescription of a physician, may be magnitudes stronger. This is especially the case with pain medication, some of which are derived from opiates – a very powerful class of drug. Because of this, it is critical that you follow the exact orders of the prescribing physician in taking the prescription, including taking time to read the label and understand any side-effects that you may experience. The duty is on you and an officer arresting you for DUI will not sympathetic to surprise prescription side-effect-related explanations.

...

Connecticut defense lawyerIn Connecticut, the charge of hit-and-run is termed “evading responsibility.” The charge is a serious one and may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the property damage and any personal injuries caused by the accident. With penalties for a felony conviction including jail time or a five-figure fine, mounting the strongest possible legal defense is a necessity.

Defining Evading Responsibility in Connecticut

Connecticut state law defines evading responsibility as the leaving of the scene of a car accident that has caused a personal injury or property damage without providing proper identification to the injured person(s), property owner(s), or without calling law enforcement.

...