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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut domestic violence attorneyBoth gun ownership and domestic violence are taboo subjects. The treatment of women and the Second Amendment are both at the forefront of debate, especially in election years. Even though we will have a new president and there will likely be plenty of legislative changes, one significant change has already taken place before the early election process began. On October 1, 2016, a law regarding domestic violence and gun ownership altered the previous status quo.

Prohibitions for Convicted Abusers

The previous restrictions are still intact in regards to gun control and those with severe or violent crimes. The prohibitions pertain to both possession and purchase of weapons by those who have been convicted of a violent misdemeanor, regardless of the relationship between the accused and the victim. Crimes that would preclude anyone not being eligible for gun ownership include:

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut traffic violation attorneyNo matter how minor a traffic violation may be, repercussions will follow upon determination of a guilty verdict. In addition to surcharges assessed through a fine or penalty, points are added to your driving record. These points not only will likely increase your auto insurance rates, but may have an adverse impact on future legal issues as well as prevent employment opportunities. If you handle the situation appropriately, it is possible to prevent a long-lasting impact due to a minor traffic violation.

Infraction vs. Violation

A traffic incident receives a classification of either infraction or violation. To adequately defend yourself, you must understand to what the terms refer. The difference is:

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Illinois defense attorney, Illinois sex crimes lawyerWhen an individual finds themselves convicted of a serious crime, they rightfully expect that their future will change. However, upon conviction of a sexual crime, the difficulty of the uncertainty of their future and any behavior expectations may become overwhelming. One dilemma revolves around sex offender registration. What does this mean for everyday life and how will it impact the future? Sex offender registrants must meet certain requirements to abide by Connecticut laws.

Types of Sex Crimes

Nearly every conviction for any sex crime in Connecticut requires that the offender register on the National Sex Offender Registry. A few of the crimes that are under these regulations are:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Refusing-a-Breathalyzer.jpgA social drink with friends or family can become a legal headache when the police are involved. Once the lights start flashing in your rearview mirror, that buzz may dissipate, but the alcohol remains in the system. Throughout the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty. Therefore, no matter how erratic you were driving, as the officer approaches the vehicle, substantial evidence of DUI is unavailable. However, if there is reasonable belief of driving while intoxicated, a breathalyzer is requested. You do have the right to refuse. However, refusal does come at a price.

Implied Consent Law

It is true that you are innocent until proven guilty of any crime, yet you must also watch out that you are not breaking a different law in the process of maintaining your innocence. While refusal of a breathalyzer or other chemical test may prevent the procurement of quantifiable evidence, the refusal may be construed as proof of knowledge of breaking the law. In the state of Connecticut, as well as many other states, drivers accept their driving privileges with the understanding of implied consent. The implied consent law says that after an arrest under probable cause of DUI, as a part of your driving privileges, you agree to blood, breath, or urine testing.

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Connecticut juvenile lawyer, Connecticut defense attorneyWith an increasing amount of pressure on our teens, we see a rise in unusual behavior. Our children face uncertainty upon leaving high school, partly due to fluctuation in job markets as well as climbing education costs. The need for perfection in school and extracurriculars is high to obtain scholarships to pay for education. Not to mention the additional stress for social status and every mistake spread wildly across social media outlets. Many of these stressors may lead to a cry for help or an error to fit in, potentially resulting in criminal accusations, such as theft or other property crimes.

A Learning Curve

A juvenile is an individual under the legal adult age of 18. In Connecticut, anyone under the age of 18 has a proclivity to make mistakes, and many deserve punishment, although not as severe as the adult counterpart. Many consequences for those in this age bracket are designed to teach a lesson rather than remove rights. This theory applies to a certain extent encompassing mostly theft related crimes because in many other situations adult punishments are the only option.

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut DUI attorneyBeing convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol is life-altering under any circumstances. The offense can have a substantial impact on your driving privileges and can also negatively affect sentencing for future non-related crimes. As if these penalties were not prerogative enough to dispute any allegation of DUI, if you are a CDL license holder, your career may be put jeopardy.

Different Laws to Follow

The career of a commercial driver license (CDL) holder revolves around the ability to safely operate a vehicle. In most situations, the trucks they are responsible for maneuvering are many times larger than the average car on the road. If they were to collide, significant, potentially catastrophic injuries and even death are possible. For these reasons, the standards set for CDL drivers to uphold are higher. Regulations pertaining to operating a commercial vehicle are as follows:

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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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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut criminal attorneyAccidents do not always have to involve other vehicles. An accident can happen with an entirely stationary object, such as a street sign, mailbox or even a tree. Property damage happens for a variety of reasons. Most of the time, the property needs to be replaced or repaired by the person at fault, and any additional consequences are minimal. However, if the incident happened because the driver of the vehicle was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the repercussions are more severe.

When Cause Matters

DUI consequences are harsh, carrying a life-long impact. However, with the inclusion of property damages or personal injuries the penalties can double in severity. Additionally, the cause of the property damage carries variable outcomes. If the incident was avoidable if behavior had been different, the penalty is higher. Let us explore the variances of property damage.

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Posted on in Violent Crimes

Connecticut criminal statutes, Connecticut defense lawyerThe term “hate crime” seems to be rearing itself more often in news stories today. From social media to mainstream television stories, this term is being thrown about, often with disregard to the full legal definition. Although there are individuals who appear to reject the idea, the United States as a whole is embracing the idea of diversity. After all, the country is a “melting pot” of the world, where people from all walks of life are invited to join our great nation. However, with such a wide variation, it is becoming increasingly difficult to determine whether a crime is a crime of convenience or a hate crime.

Constitution of a Hate Crime

If proof beyond a reasonable doubt exists that a violent act or other criminal activity occurred due to the violence or bigotry of an individual, a lesser crime may escalate to a higher charge. Stronger punishments await those charged for violent discrimination against any person for any protected characteristics, including:

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Posted on in Juvenile Crimes

Stamford juvenile defense attorney“They were mean to me!” Most parents have heard this or a similar complaint from their child. In previous generations, children were often left to learn from the experience by handling it themselves. If the methodology chosen was incorrect, our parents were sure to let us know about it as soon as we got home. In the present day, there is a national outcry for the school system to step in and protect children. Although school should have some responsibility to ensure the safety of the child, there is a point where the bully becomes a victim.

What Constitutes Bullying?

Stereotypically, the bully is the child that dominates their classmates, taking their lunch money and locking them in lockers. Bullying comes in all forms, including verbal, emotional and physical. The term has expanded to encompass a broad range of behaviors, which, by law, each school district is to define independently. However, legislation exists at the state and federal level to combat violence and harassment in the education system. The law dictates that bullying is:

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Posted on in Driving Under the Influence

Fairfield County criminal defense attorneyMany children are similar to sponges in that they absorb everything around them. Have you noticed that your child repeats your language or behavior? This repetition is thought to be practicing behavior for children. They practice forming sentences or saying new words by verbally repeating your words. In the same way, they repeat behavior they see, such as exercising or spending time on electronics. Due to this and because children do not have a significant amount of leverage with the behavior of their parents, crimes such as DUI/OUI when children are present are punished more severely.

Risk of Injuries

When a child is under the age of 18, they are in the direct care of a parent or other guardian. It is the responsibility of that adult to ensure the safety of the child in question. The law specifically requires children under the age of 16 to be guarded safely, and anyone who violates this statute is subject to legal repercussions. Among other situations, the law explicitly states that it is illegal to:

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Posted on in Violent Crimes

Fairfield County criminal defense attorneyAs children, many of us were taught not to hit others, but if they hit us first, it was okay to defend yourself. Although that method works for small children, once they reach the pre-teen years, perhaps we should be a bit more elaborate. After all, the law states that only under certain, pre-defined circumstances is it okay for you to use violence as a form of defense. In many violent crime situations, it is entirely possible that the scenario can reverse in court, and the victim can quickly become the aggressor.  

The Scenario

Although the potential to be criminalized for defensive action can occur with almost any circumstance, for the brevity of this post, only one situation will be discussed. What if someone is breaking into your home through the window to your child’s room and protecting your kids asleep in bed, you shoot the intruder as they are crossing the threshold of the windowsill? What if the criminal dies as a direct consequence of their injuries sustained? If their family is distraught over their lost family member, they may obtain legal counsel and bring forth charges against you as the homeowner for murdering this person. You did not seek out to break any laws; you just were defending your family.

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"StamfordBeing accused of any crime is a sobering experience. Whether you are innocent, were in the company of an offender at the time they committed a crime, or made a poor choice that led you to an arrest, being faced with criminal charges of any kind is an unnerving, stressful experience. Along with imprisonment, some criminal charges can affect your most basic rights. Felony charges, in particular, can have a significant impact on your rights as a citizen.

What Crimes Are Considered Felonies?

Connecticut law defines a felony as an offense for which a person can be sentenced to a term of imprisonment in excess for one year. Felonies are broken down into classifications, ranging from Class A to D, unclassified, and capital. Aggravated assault, battery, robbery, theft, vandalism, and driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs are all deemed felonies. These types of crimes typically involve some kind of serious physical threat or harm to a victim, and are considered one of the most serious criminal charges.

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Fairfield County juvenile defense attorneyHearing that your teen is involved in any bullying incident is alarming enough; no parent wants to see one of their biggest fears come to fruition. What about when your teen is not on the receiving end of the incident, though? What happens when the young person in your life is the one being accused of the bullying behavior? Where can you turn, what can you do, and how can you prevent the incident from happening again?

Stay Alert to the Warning Signs

Many parents feel helpless when their child is accused of bullying, but the truth is parents do have some power when it comes to prevention and damage control. While you cannot prevent all poor choices your teen may decide to make, you can help prevent some of them by watching for signs that they might be partaking in harmful bullying activities.

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Stamford Criminal Defense AttorneyBeing accused of any crime is an unnerving experience; criminal charges have the power to severely alter your present circumstances and your entire future, potentially affecting everything from your employment options to your educational choices. Assault charges in particular are especially damaging, as they are often the most serious and carry with them the most devastating consequences. There are some important things to consider when discussing the crime of assault.

“Assault” is a Broad Term

Assault crimes and charges can vary greatly. The law uses the term “assault” to refer to the carrying out of physical, bodily harm on someone else, or a presented threat to carry out such harm. Threats to hurt someone, being involved in a public disturbance, domestic violence, a breach of peace, and other types of disorderly conduct that involve the harm of another human being are all considered forms of assault. In general, less serious assault charges are categorized as third-degree. They are typically the lowest level of assault charges, while first-degree charges are the most serious. The severity of the injury and whether or not a weapon was used are just a few factors that determine the level of assault charge.

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Stamford juvenile criminal defense attorneyFor a variety of reasons, young people are, sadly, the culprits of countless crimes—theft and property crimes, in particular. Such behavior is typically indicative of a much larger problem. Youths who commit crimes are often emotionally and mentally troubled, or they have simply surrounded themselves with negative influences who have paved the way for their poor choices. Most youth-driven crimes are usually minor, but what may be considered a small theft or abuse of property can be the beginning of a pattern early on that later becomes a much more serious problem.

Delinquent Acts Versus Adult Crimes

Juvenile crimes are like any other crimes; they include everything from burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft to shoplifting and assault. One of the distinctions is that when a juvenile commits an offense that is considered by law to be an “adult” crime, the juvenile is deemed a delinquent--essentially a young criminal. This means they are prosecuted for delinquent acts, not crimes, with the exception of serious delinquent acts, which can, depending on the circumstances, be tried in court as adult crimes.

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Stamford DUI defense attorneyOne of the most prevalent questions drivers arrested for the suspicion of operating under the influence tend to have is whether or not they are permitted to refuse the breathalyzer test upon arrest. The answer to this question is generally straightforward. According to the law in the state of Connecticut, you are within your rights to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test if you are pulled over for the suspicion of drinking and driving. However, there are consequences you need to be aware of should you decide to refuse the test.

1. Your Driver’s License Is Automatically Suspended

One of the first consequences you will face when you are found to be operating under the influence is the suspension of your license. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the authority to suspend your driving privileges if you fail or refuse a breathalyzer test or other form of chemical testing. As a first time offender, you will lose your license for six months for failing a test if you are over the age of 21, or for 12 months if you are between the ages of 18 and 20. Younger first time offenders who are 16 or 17 years of age will lose their license for 18 months.

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Stamford juvenile crime defense attorneyJuvenile crimes are among some of the most heartbreaking, especially where parents and loved ones are concerned. Everything from bullying, campus crimes, sex offenses, and drug allegations continue to impact not only the juveniles found guilty of such crimes, but families, friends, and, of course, victims, as well. Anyone involved in these juvenile offenses can testify to the life-altering effects brought on by such tragic behavior.

Recent Developments in Juvenile Crime Rates

As of January 2016, Connecticut has seen a 54 percent decrease in annual juvenile arrests and incarcerations since 2009.  During that same period, there has been a 75 percent decrease in inmates under the age of 18. These statistics are encouraging, driven by the “Raise the Age” state initiative that went into effect back in 2012, which raised the age of juvenile jurisdiction to age 18. Additionally, the percentage of young offender cohort arrests declined, and arrest rates for juveniles aged 16 to 21 on an annual basis have been consistently dropping.

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Fairfield County drug crimes attorneyWhen you are found to be in possession of marijuana or other drugs, whether you are in a public place or in the company of friends, you may face serious criminal charges from a number of different angles. The consequences can be even more grave when those charges involve distributing, selling to, or employing minors to sell such drugs.

Penalties for Possession

According to Connecticut law, marijuana charges (and other certain controlled substances) are penalized in the following ways:

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Fairfield County criminal defense lawyerWhen it comes to your driving record, your wallet, and your safety, certain traffic violations can either mean minor inconveniences or major consequences for you as a driver. By avoiding the following driving behaviors, you can help keep the roads safer, keep your driving record clear, and hang on to that extra cash in your pocket.

Driving With a Suspended License or No License at All

If you are 18 years old or older and you receive two or more tickets for driving without a valid driver’s license, the next repercussion you will face is a mandatory driving privilege suspension that lasts for a period of 90 days. You are required to serve the full term of the suspension before you are eligible for license restoration. The same standards apply if you are found to be driving with a suspended license; you are not permitted to drive a motor vehicle until your privileges are restored and any applicable fees have been paid.

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