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Posted on in White Collar Crimes

CT defense lawyerYou have probably heard the term “white collar crime,” but you might not know what that term actually means. A white collar crime is generally a nonviolent, financially motivated offense by a business or government professional. The classic example is an employee stealing money from his employer.

In Connecticut, white collar crimes carry stiff penalties. Contact a criminal defense attorney immediately if you have been charged with committing any type of white-collar offense.

Types of White Collar Crimes

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Posted on in Drug Charges

Connecticut defense lawyerFentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is 50 to 100 more powerful than morphine, is now firmly on the radar of state and federal law enforcement. This drug has become a scourge, ushering in an addiction crisis like the country has never seen before, killing tens of thousands, and ensnaring many more in its grip.

Perversely, where there is a blight of addiction, there is also an economic orbit. Thus, as scores grapple with the ill effects of fentanyl addiction, there is much activity directed at illicitly importing, distributing, and selling the deadly drug in both Connecticut and of the nation at large. For those charged with the possession or distribution of fentanyl, serious criminal penalties may be imposed upon conviction. In confronting such charges, the experience of a Fairfield County criminal defense attorney is essential.

Fentanyl to Be a Schedule 1 Drug Under Federal Law

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Posted on in Sex Crimes

Connecticut defense lawyerOur nation is in the midst of a movement against sexual assault, misconduct, and rape. Allegations, admissions, and denials are taking place in the highest halls of politics, media, and entertainment, as well as in the most common corridors of daily life.

In some instances, an allegation may be made strictly in the court of public opinion (e.g. via social media), but still so powerful effect in the form of reputational damage. In other instances, allegations may be formally made in civil or criminal court. With regard to criminal charges for rape, sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct, the accusations must be confronted in court, as the law requires.

Punishments and reputational damage following a conviction may be severe and include a prison sentence. If you have been charged with a sex crime in the state of Connecticut, it is critical that you obtain competent and diligent legal representation.

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Connecticut defense attorneyWith school out of session on account of winter break and snow on the ground, actions that start out as mere mischief may get out of hand and rise to the level of torts and crimes. While it may seem inconsistent with the wintertime and holiday spirit, hitting someone with a snowball can bring serious consequences if injuries are sustained. The same is true for sledding-related horseplay that devolves into fist fighting. You may be charged with the crime of assault or battery, or sued in civil court for money damages. If you have been charged with assault or battery in Connecticut, you need an experienced Norwalk criminal defense attorney to protect your legal rights.

Defining Assault and Battery in Connecticut

In the general, common law sense, battery is a harmful or offensive contact. In Connecticut, more specifically, battery is the “willful application of force with the intent to cause bodily injury or offensive contact.” Assault, in the most basic sense, attempted battery. Specifically, under state law, assault is “attempted battery or the intent to cause another reasonable apprehension or contact.” In these two definitions, one can infer the importance of 1) intent and 2) whether or not contact actually occurs. Even if you have been unsuccessful in making contact, or merely intend to make another human being believe that you intend to make contact (but do not make contact), you may still be properly charged with assault in Connecticut.

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Connecticut defense attorneyA shoplifting charge in Connecticut is a serious matter, whether levied in the holiday season or any other time of year. Depending on the value of the goods in question, penalties may be far more severe than a run-in with mall security or expulsion from a shopping center. Jail time, fines, and reputational damage capable of limiting one’s educational and vocational future are at stake. With so much on the line, a legal defense mounted by an experienced Fairfield County criminal defense attorney is an absolute must.

Shoplifting Is Larceny

If you have been arrested for shoplifting, the criminal charge you are facing is larceny. Connecticut penal law defines larceny as the “intent to deprive another of property or to wrongfully take, obtain or without hold such property from an owner.” Here, the word “intent” should jump out. Even if you are apprehended while attempted to shoplift, your intent, if proven if in a Connecticut criminal court, is grounds for a larceny conviction. In addition, larceny covers more than shoplifting; if you knowingly receive stolen property, you may be properly convicted of the offense. The same is true with regard to auto theft, embezzlement, false pretenses, and theft by fraud.

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Connecticut drug crimesConnecticut, along with the rest of the United States, is in the midst of an opioid crisis. Opioids, the group of drugs that includes heroin and prescription painkillers such as fentanyl, oxycontin, and oxycodone, have killed tens of thousands of Americans – more people, in fact, than died in the Vietnam War.

Since 2010, Connecticut has seen an increase in accidental death involving drugs, including opioids. Faced with such a scourge, state and federal law enforcement are tasked with fighting the possession, use, and distribution of these dangerous and all too often deadly drugs. If you have been charged with an opioid-related drug offense, you will face serious consequences if convicted. For your legal rights and your future, it is imperative that you task an experienced Fairfield County criminal defense attorney with your legal defense.

Opioid Possession is Punishable by Jail Time and Fines in Connecticut

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Connecticut DUI lawyerLast week was Halloween. The holiday is in resurgence with the popularity of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things, and, because it falls on a Tuesday, kids and adults alike spent the weekend before celebrating with parties and events.

With Halloween fun, as we all know too well from childhood and teenage years, comes mischief. Toilet paper rolls will be strewn across treetops, already shriveling pumpkins smashed in the streets, and, at some gatherings, a veritable witches’ brew of alcohol consumed. While toilet paper confetti and pumpkin punishment can get you in trouble, it is the alcohol-related offenses that can truly turn a fun night into a nightmare in the blink of a bleary eye. If your Halloween ended in a DUI or DWI, you will need an experienced Fairfield County DUI/DWI attorney.

Jail, Fines and Penalties, License Suspension, and IID Installation Are Among the DUI Penalties in Connecticut

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Connecticut defense attorneyStamford, Connecticut is less than 40 miles from the New York metropolitan area. It is no secret that New York, like most all major metropolitan areas, is a major market when it comes to the distribution, possession, and consumption of drugs that are illegal under federal and state law. On the distribution side, whether on an organizational or individual level, demand, whether a factor of addiction or recreation or both, creates the market.

For example, cocaine has long been associated, rightly or wrongly, with the “work hard, play hard” characterization of Wall Street. MDMA (the active ingredient in “ecstasy”), on the other hand, has been associated more with young people, portrayed as pleasure-seeking at warehouse “raves.” The list goes on and on: marijuana, LSD, methamphetamine, and more. Whatever the drug, a possession, distribution, or consumption-related charge brought by a Connecticut criminal court is a very serious matter. In such times, a skilled Fairfield County criminal defense attorney will work to protect your legal rights.

A Connecticut Drug Crime Conviction Brings Serious Consequences

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Connecticut defense lawyerAdolescents are notorious for their hasty and often poor decision-making. While this type of behavior is often just a nuisance for parents, it can have serious consequences when the youth’s actions lead to criminal charges, as having a permanent criminal record can make it difficult to secure employment, find housing, join the military, or take advantage of educational opportunities. Fortunately, those who are prosecuted as juveniles may be able to have their records expunged, so if you or your child were convicted of an offense in juvenile court, it is critical to contact a Fairfield criminal defense attorney who can walk you through the process of erasing your criminal record.

Eligibility

When a minor commits a crime, his or her case will most likely be adjudicated in juvenile court. However, this is only true when the minor qualifies as a youthful offender, which means that he or she has not been charged with any serious offenses and does not have a prior criminal record. These offenders are generally given more privacy, as their proceedings are not public and are conducted separately from adult criminal matters. Furthermore, the records of youthful offenders are erased automatically when they turn 21 years old, but only if they:

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CT defense attorneyIn May, the Connecticut Legislature made some minor changes to the laws criminalizing the manufacture and sale of controlled substances. These changes will officially go into effect on October 1, 2017. Despite the clarifications made by Connecticut lawmakers, navigating the state’s drug-related statutes can be difficult, so if you have been charged with the manufacture, transport, or sale of a controlled substance, it is important to speak with an experienced Norwalk drug charges lawyer who can help you formulate a defense.

Narcotics and Hallucinogenic Substances

Under Connecticut law, it is unlawful to manufacture, sell, distribute, transport, possess (with the intent to sell), or administer controlled substances that qualify as:

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CT juvenile defense attorneyAs part of a broader mission to reduce juvenile prosecution and recidivism across the country, Governor Dannel Malloy introduced a bill that would raise the age of criminal responsibility to 21 years old. If passed, this bill could have extremely important repercussions for any youthful offenders being charged or prosecuted in Connecticut. If you or your child have been charged with a criminal offense and you have questions about the current law or how the new law could affect you, please contact an experienced Stamford criminal defense attorney who can address your concerns.

The Benefits of Reform

Last year, Governor Malloy proposed a similar law that would have raised the age when a juvenile could be charged as an adult to 21 years old. Although the law stalled in the Connecticut Legislature, the new bill has received support from a number of different groups in the state. The reintroduction is also part of a country-wide effort to lower recidivism among youth offenders. In fact, at least three other states are considering similar proposals.

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Posted on in Drug Charges

Connecticut defense attorneyIn July, seventeen individuals were charged with federal drug trafficking of both powder and crack cocaine in central Connecticut. Although drug trafficking is also prohibited by state law, the defendants in this case face federal charges as a result of their use of the U.S. mail to transport the substances across state lines. In addition to drug trafficking, the individuals are charged with conspiracy to distribute, and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute. If convicted, the defendants could face a minimum of ten years in prison.

All drug charges should be taken seriously, but federal drug offenses are even more aggressively investigated and prosecuted than their state counterparts, so if you have been accused of federal drug trafficking, it is critical to speak with an experienced Norwalk drug charges attorney who will aggressively represent your interests.

What Qualifies as Drug Trafficking?

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Texas DUI lawyerDriving under the influence (DUI) is considered a serious crime in Connecticut and even a first time offense can result in jail time, a hefty fine, and a 45 day license suspension. Fortunately, there are programs available to first time offenders that can help them avoid these types of harsh penalties, so if you were arrested for driving under the influence, you should consider speaking with an experienced Fairfield DUI attorney who can explain your legal options.

The Alcohol Education Program

In Connecticut, some first time DUI offenders qualify for admittance into the Alcohol Education Program (AEP). The AEP is a state diversionary program that requires participants to:

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Posted on in Traffic Violations

Connecticut traffic attorneyIn Connecticut, law enforcement officers issue tickets to drivers who have committed either an infraction or a violation. While infractions are not considered crimes and only require that drivers pay a fine, violations are more serious and may involve a court appearance. Traffic tickets appear on a person’s driving history and in some cases may also add points to a driver’s license, which in turn can cause his or her insurance premiums to increase. Retaining an experienced Fairfield traffic ticket attorney can help drivers avoid these consequences, so if you were pulled over and ticketed for violating a traffic law, do not hesitate to contact a member of our legal team today.

Infractions vs. Violations

Most traffic tickets are issued for infractions, which include citations for non-dangerous moving violations, such as a broken taillight. These offenses are relatively minor, do not result in the assessment of points on a person’s license, and usually only require the payment of a fine via the mail, although drivers can attempt to have their infraction dismissed by attending a hearing or submitting a letter of explanation to the court. Failing to pay a fine on time or to respond or appear in court, however, can result in more severe consequences. In these cases, the court will find that the driver committed the infraction and require him or her to pay the fine and an additional default penalty. If a driver fails to pay these penalties, his or her driving privileges could be suspended.

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Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut criminal lawyerIn 2015, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued a 7-0 ruling (that is, a unanimous decision) stating that individuals who were convicted before 2011 for possessing less than one-half ounce of marijuana could have their convictions erased. According to the Supreme Court, this is because Connecticut’s legislature approved a measure in 2011 that changed possession of a small amount of marijuana from a misdemeanor punishable by fines and/or jail time to a violation punishable only by a fine. This had the effect of “decriminalizing” – but not legalizing – possession of small amounts of marijuana. Because of this legislative move, the Connecticut Supreme Court concluded individuals convicted of this offense prior to its decriminalization were entitled to have their prior convictions erased from their criminal records.

This case (State v. Menditto) has implications not only for old possession cases but potentially for other individuals with prior convictions as well.

State v. Menditto – What Did the Court Decide?

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut criminal lawyerRaising our children correctly is difficult, to say the least. There is no universal blueprint dictating all the right choices and decisions parents should make while raising their children. The reality is that being a parent is fraught with many tough decisions. For example, when our kids grow into their teenage years and start experimenting with alcohol. Most parents understand the danger of alcohol especially when it comes to a minor. But a tough decision must be made, it is nearly impossible to control every decision your teenage child will make, but what can you do to reduce the potential for them to get themselves into trouble?

Supervised Underage Drinking

Many parents when faced with the choice of not knowing what their teens are doing, if they are safe, or even worse, getting behind the wheel after drinking or with someone who has, will consider allowing their teens to drink at home. Parent's believe that at least the teens are supervised, a parent can ensure that no one gets behind the wheel of a car and the peace of mind that comes with knowing where their teenage children are on a weekend night.

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