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Connecticut defense attorneyLast month, a recently enacted law went into effect that, with a few exceptions, will prevent judges from setting money bail for certain low-level misdemeanor offenses. The new law is expected to significantly reduce the state’s pretrial prison population and cut state spending, while keeping non-violent offenders out of jail until their trials. If you were recently charged with a crime or have questions about how the new law could affect you, you should contact a Fairfield criminal defense lawyer who can address your concerns and advise you on your next steps.

An Act Concerning Pretrial Justice Reform

Last month, Governor Malloy signed the first of a series of laws intended to reform the state’s pretrial justice system. The new law, which was supported by both chambers is based partly on input provided by the Connecticut Sentencing Commission and the Connecticut Civil Liberties Union. The law went into effect on July 1st and makes the following significant changes to state law:

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Posted on in Juvenile Crimes

Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut juvenile attorneySexting is a newer spin on the age-old desire of adults and teenager alike to express themselves sexually. Regardless of potential personal objections, the act of sending, creating, or posting suggestive images or video to various outlets such as cell phones, emails, and internet have various draws for consenting individuals of all ages. Technologically savvy adults over the age of 50 are even getting into the act to “spice up” their marriages. However, for minors, the act is closely related to “child pornography” and as such, the repercussions are severe.

Consensual Child Pornography

As naive as the behavior may be, occasionally young teenagers “in love” have the bright idea to send each other nude photos of each other. While it is certainly frowned upon, with two consenting children of the same age bracket, the behavior should be considered an innocent mistake. Of course, it has been seen time and again when an ex in the relationship still maintains ownership of their copy of their ex and spreads them across school and to various social media outlets, causing further damage. However, even while they are in the relationship, the state of Connecticut says that so long as these individuals are between the ages of 13 and 15, a crime occurred on both the sending and receiving ends.

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut juvenile crimes attorneyAs parents, we go out of our way to protect our children. If someone bullies them, we do what we can to help them heal, learn to defend themselves, and punish those at fault. When our child is the one who misbehaved, protection takes a different form. They need punishments for learning experiences, as long as they are within reason. However, when the other parent comes knocking at your door, be careful what you say. Words you say to defend your child may be used against you in a parental liability suit.

Parental Liability

You are likely aware that being a parent comes with a significant amount of responsibility. Not only does your child need to be fed and sheltered, but also needs to obtain an education, maintain health, and attend regular dental visits. What you may not be immediately aware of is that your child also cannot become a disruptive member of society. Anything that your child does can have a direct impact on you and you may be held responsible. Children are not accountable for the same standards that adults are. However, they do have a level of behavior to which they still must adhere. If they are under 16 years of age, an unwritten standard of conduct exists for the rational behavior of those of similar age, experience, and intelligence. This reasonable expectation is how their behavior is judged.

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vehicular manslaughter, Connecticut criminal defense attorneyDetermining the most common causes of death in the world is a challenge, one that varies wildly depending on the reporting agency, year, and country. Yet vehicular manslaughter is one that consistently makes the lists year after year, even as other major health crises are addressed and subverted.

Vehicular manslaughter is defined as the unintentional murder of someone while behind the wheel of a car, usually caused by reckless driving or gross negligence. Driving over the speed limit may be considered gross negligence, and thus the vehicular manslaughter charge could be treated as a misdemeanor. Conversely, if the person behind the wheel was drunk at the time of accident in which someone was killed, the charge will likely be a felony because the circumstance in which the person was driving was illegal from the beginning.

In Connecticut, a vehicular manslaughter conviction automatically carries a one-year license suspension and a two-year period in which the person must use an ignition interlock device in his or her car. A large percentage of vehicular manslaughter cases are the result of drunk driving. In Connecticut, this is considered second degree manslaughter, and carries the punishment of a Class C felony, punishable by one to ten years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine. Between 2001 and 2010, there were 191 second degree manslaughter convictions of this nature in the state.

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Connecticut juvenile attorney, Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut criminal attorney,The problem of underage drinking is rampant everywhere, and Connecticut is no exception. Use of alcohol by minors often leads to the commission of more serious crimes.

Connecticut law provides stiff penalties for minors who purchase or possess alcohol. In addition to fines and possibly jail time, penalties include driver’s license suspensions or a delay in obtaining a driver’s license.

Alcohol Possession

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statutory rape, sexual assault, Stamford Criminal Defense LawyerSex crimes are pretty black and white when it comes down to it. Yet there are some cases in which the crime—and the punishment—can fall into a rather gray area, and statutory rape is among these. Somewhat surprisingly, most states do not refer specifically to statutory rape, but instead designate such a crime as sexual assault or sexual abuse. Assault and abuse are blanket terms used to designate or identify such prohibited activity. Regardless of semantics, statutory rape is a sexual crime against a person who is not of age, based on the premise that until a person reaches a certain age, sexual contact with that person is illegal, regardless of consent. In most states, including Connecticut, the age of legal consent is 16 years old.

The punishment in Connecticut for statutory rape is steep—from 10 to 25 years in prison with a mandatory minimum of five years if the victim is between the age of 10 and 16. A convicted individual will receive a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison if the victim is less than 10 years old.

The US Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reports that the vast majority of statutory rape victims (up to 95 percent) are female, but regardless of gender, almost 60 percent of all statutory rape victims were aged 14 or 15. Thirty percent of statutory rape offenders were boyfriends or girlfriends, meaning that the chance of consent was actually likely—even if the consenter did not have the legal ability to do so. An estimated sixty percent of all statutory rape offenders were acquaintances.

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college sexual assault in Connecticut, Stamford criminal defense attorneySexual assault on college campuses occurs at an alarming rate across the nation. According to an online article published by The Washington Post, nearly 4,000 reports of forcible sex offenses were reported on college campuses in 2012, an increase of 50 percent over three years.

Due to this significant spike, the issue has become spotlighted as a national concern. The White House recently launched the “It’s On Us” campaign against sexual assault on college campuses. According to White House reports, an estimated one in every five women is sexually assaulted while in college with only 13 percent of rape survivors reporting their assault.

Federal law requires every college and university across the country to produce an annual campus safety report documenting crime at its school. For the state of Connecticut, Yale University, Connecticut College, and the University of Connecticut are the top three schools reporting the most forcible sexual assaults in 2012.

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legal term meanings, Stamford criminal defense lawyerThe terminology used in the criminal justice system can be confusing, especially if you have been charged with a crime and need to understand exactly what the charges are. Here are some of the basic terms and their definitions under the law.

Felony

A felony is defined by Connecticut law as an offense for which someone may be imprisoned for over one year. Felonies are generally classified as A, B, C, or D, depending on the length of sentence, with Class A being the most serious offenses with the longest sentences. Felonies include murder, sexual assault, and certain robbery and larceny charges.

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Posted on in Criminal Defense

opioid, drug crimes, possession, Connecticut criminal lawyer, criminal defense attorney in StamfordIndeed heroin, as well as many other illicit substances, have been presenting a challenge to law enforcement officials--as well as the victims of addiction--for longer than the “War on Drugs” has existed. Drug abuse can cause a whole host of problems extending to every facet of life--in addition to hiring a criminal defense attorney and dealing with court, the emotional and psychological toll an addiction can cause on yourself and loved ones  is catastrophic, especially if the end result is a fatal overdose.

The drug overdose statistics in Connecticut certainly seems to be illustrating this as more and more the reality for an increasing number of people. A study beginning January 2nd of this year 2014 and concluding on June 17th found a total of 151 opioid related overdose cases, which is more than half of all cases seen in all of last year.

Opioids are powerful narcotics that are highly addictive and highly dangerous. Heroin is perhaps the most well known of this class of substances, but they also include commonly seen medications for pain-- including, but not limited to:

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trucking violation, commercial driver's license, CDL, Stamford criminal defense lawyerIf you are a truck driver, you know all too well that there are very specific rules and regulations that you need to follow in order to remain licensed. Some of the regulations that must be observed pertain to the weight of your load, the accuracy of your logbook, equipment, traffic rules, and keeping your license in good standing. If you have been charged with a trucking violation, you need legal advice immediately.

Some of the things that you can get ticketed for include:

  • Overweight – there are regulations for total weight of the haul as well as per axle;
  • Weighing stations – you must stop at each weight station as appropriate;
  • Equipment – you must have good tires, lights, mud flaps, etc. and they must be in good condition;
  • Logbook violations – your books must be up to date, factual, and accurate;
  • Traffic violations – general traffic offenses such as speeding, texting while driving, etc. also apply to truck drivers;
  • Licensing issues – driving on a suspended or revoked license;
  • DUI or DWI – the blood alcohol limit for a CDL licensed driver is .04, half of the limit for other drivers.

Anyone who drives professionally, such as truck drivers, bus drivers, trailer drivers, and drivers of passenger vans and buses, will have to hold a valid CDL, or commercial driver’s license.

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