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CT DUI lawyerDrunk driving is an offense taken very seriously by Illinois courts. If you are arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI), you face an immediate administrative driver’s license suspension. If convicted, you face further criminal consequences including possible jail time. Losing your license after a DUI can make it nearly impossible for you to get to and from work, transport your children, or perform everyday tasks. Fortunately, you may be able to regain your driving privileges by participating in a driving relief program and installing a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in your vehicle.

How Do Illinois BAIIDs Work?

A breath alcohol interlock device is a device that measures the amount of alcohol on someone’s breath and uses that information to calculate his or her blood alcohol content (BAC). Similar to a breathalyzer, a test subject uses a BAIID by blowing into the device’s mouthpiece. If the device detects a BAC that is above 0.025 percent, the ignition will not engage and the vehicle will not start. BAIIDs are also equipped with a camera that takes a photograph of the test subject. This ensures that the person providing the breath sample is the person for whom the device is intended. There is no way to “cheat” a BAIID. Mints, gum, candy, mouthwash, or other rumored tactics cannot allow an inebriated driver to start his or her car once the BAIID is installed. Furthermore, misusing a BAIID may lead to a lengthened driver’s license suspension period and additional criminal consequences.

BAIIDs Are Required for a Monitoring Device Permit or Restricted Driving Permit

If you have been convicted of a first-time DUI, you may be able to regain your driving privileges through a Monitoring Device Driving Permit (MDDP). As a condition of this permit, you will need to have a BAIID installed in any vehicle you plan on driving. Driving a vehicle that does not have a BAIID installed in it once you have received a MDDP is against the law. If you have been charged or convicted of a second or subsequent DUI, you may be able to restore limited driving privileges through a Restricted Driving Permit (RDP). To obtain an RDP, you will need to prove that a hardship exists, participate in a professional drug and alcohol evaluation, attend a hearing, and have a BAIID installed in your vehicle.

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CT DUI lawyerDriving while under the influence in Connecticut is a very serious crime, with the potential to cause fatalities and injuries not only to the people involved, but also to pedestrians. If you are charged with one, the consequences will be serious, but a second DUI ups the proverbial stakes, and there will be far fewer chances to try and seek a lesser sentence. An attorney is absolutely crucial at this stage in order to protect your rights.

First vs Second Offense

Driving while under the influence is a crime in Connecticut, with a first offense being a misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail plus a fine of up to $1,000. In addition, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least 45 days and your car will be fitted with an ignition interlock device for up to one year. This is all in addition to probation, which has expensive fees that can add up. Depending on your specific situation, you may be able to seek entry into a pretrial diversion program, which can result in your charges being dismissed if you comply with all the required terms.

Even if you do complete a pretrial diversion program and have your first offense effectively erased, a second DUI charge is considered more serious. A second DUI is always a felony charge, carrying a prison term of anywhere between four months and two years, along with a fine of up to $4,000, ignition interlock for three years, license suspension, and probation. With a second DUI, probation will also usually include more requirements, such as community service and alcohol education.

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Posted on in Juvenile Crimes

CT defense lawyerToo many people see petty crime or mischief offenses as part of growing up, especially for young boys and men. However, it is still important not to overlook the potential consequences of committing a crime, and in some cases, the crime may be serious enough to be removed to adult court, with all the attendant consequences. Having an experienced juvenile justice attorney on your side can help smooth out the process while still preserving your child’s rights.

Juvenile Court: More Rehabilitative Than Punitive

In juvenile court, there are two broad categories of offenses that a young person may be charged with: delinquent acts, or serious juvenile offenses. Delinquent acts are defined as the violation of a federal or state law (with exceptions) by a juvenile. Essentially, if the act in question is not defined as a serious juvenile offense, it will generally qualify as a delinquent act. Serious juvenile offenses, by comparison, are specifically laid out in the relevant statute, and if the prosecutor thinks it necessary, allow your child’s case to be removed to adult court.

In most cases where a juvenile is arrested, Connecticut’s justice system has the stated aim of trying to rehabilitate them, rather than solely punish them for their choices. Their young age and (in most cases) lack of life experience are seen as mitigating factors, to some degree, and especially in cases of non-violent crime, many juvenile offenders are offered alternative options to a jail sentence, such as diversion programs or community service.

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CT defense lawyerMost people think that white collar crime is the province of Wall Street and the wealthy; in reality, white collar crime is the name used for a wide variety of crimes that do not involve violence, but do involve cheating or lying. It is a serious charge to lay at someone’s door, and if you have been accused of such conduct, it is imperative to have an experienced attorney on your side who understands this type of law.

An Ever-Changing Term

Because historically, the ‘white collar’ has been used to denote a richer and ostensibly less violent class of people, but also the hallmark of professionals such as lawyers and accountants, the term ‘white collar crime’ has been used to describe any crime involving dishonesty or fraud. Examples to be found in the Connecticut General Statutes include (but are not limited to) fraud (more specifically mail fraud, credit card fraud, insurance fraud, and the like), embezzlement, money laundering, bribery, identity theft, forgery, tax evasion, creating or passing counterfeit bills, and many more.

In recent years, the term has evolved yet again to include more ‘new’ crimes, such as those requiring technology to commit. Cyber crimes fall under the realm of white collar crime, even though they can at times be violent - for example, stalking can turn violent if the behavior is not stopped or the alleged perpetrator is not arrested. It is important to keep this umbrella term in mind, even if it is inexact, because sometimes judges, in particular, may try to make ‘examples’ out of ‘white collar criminals.’

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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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