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Posted on in Hate Crimes

hate crime, Connecticut law, Stamford criminal defense attorneyWhen one is accused or charged with a hate crime, in many cases, it becomes a case handled by the Bureau of Federal Investigation (FBI). Hate crimes can vary in severity, meaning that any crime from murder to petty vandalism can be considered as such.

What is a Hate Crime?

Any crime committed with an element of bias, against a person or a property associated with a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation can be considered a hate crime. To hate someone or a group of people is not, by any means, a crime, and is protected by the freedom of speech and other civil liberties laid out in the Bill of Rights. Yet when crime is motivated by this hate, it becomes a serious crime and, in many cases, felony. While not all hate crimes will be considered a federal offense and thus investigated by the FBI, very often the federal government does divert federal resources for the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes.

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bail reform, Governor Malloy, Stamford Criminal Defense Attorney Suggested overhauls on the prison system are sweeping the nation, with some proposing reforms to sentencing and others suggesting changes in parole options. In Connecticut, Governor Dannel P. Malloy is taking a different approach by calling for a change to the state’s bail system for charged but not convicted prisoners.

Connecticut Already Ahead of the Curve

While many states have only just started to consider reform for nonviolent offenders, Governor Malloy has already passed a Second Chance initiative. Designed to reduce penalties for many drug offenders, the bill is aimed at successfully reintegrating nonviolent offenders back into society where they can potentially become productive workers. But the Governor is not satisfied just yet; to truly make an impact on the state’s economic state, he wants to change the bail system for prisoners awaiting sentencing.

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juvenile justice, criminal law, Stamford juvenile defense attorneyIn the early 1990s, the juvenile justice system was at its worst. Adolescents, many as young as 16, were being tried as adults, and even those that were not lived in overcrowded, unsanitary facilities that were harsh and overly punitive. Thankfully, the system has learned a lot about juvenile crime over the years, and has responded in a positive way. But there is still more to be done. A recent meeting in Washington D.C., attended by New Haven’s police chief, may be an important step to making those changes happen.

Former Issues Within the Juvenile Justice System

Of all the states in the U.S., Connecticut had probably one of the worst juvenile justice divisions. Teens were routinely arrested and locked into unsafe facilities with little to no hope of rehabilitation or treatment. Many were never even accused, let alone convicted of serious crimes, and 16- and 17-year-olds were tried in adult courts with open records and placed in adult prisons. In effect, the Connecticut juvenile justice system was flooded with uneducated teens that were unlikely to ever find productive jobs or become contributing members of society.

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Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut criminal lawyer, Connecticut sexual assault laws, The issue of sexual assault on college campuses has been blown out of the shadows in recent years with several high-profile cases. In April of this year, Vice President Joe Biden spoke to the successes that college communities have had in recent years in curbing the number of sexual assaults, but noted that there was far more work to do.

While in past years, statistics and reports often found that students who were accused of sexual assault faced little to no reprimand by university authorities — while the lives of victims were often thrown into psychological and social upheaval — according to research in 2015, the pendulum may be swinging too far the other way. That is, in an effort to stay out of headlines and attack the issue of sexual assault head on, some university authorities have begun to take accusations of sexual assault as fact, without doing due diligence to back up these accusations. And the accused often faces severe punishments without fair investigation.

This is often the case when accused men are tried in a college tribunal rather than in court, as would happen if the incident occurred off college campus. In these tribunals, an accused is often not given a period of discovery (thus cannot get the evidence he needs to exonerate himself), is not given an attorney, and has limited right of cross examination. While these tribunals ostensibly operate on the assumption that the accused is innocent until proven guilty, in small college communities the system does not actually function as such in operation.

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Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut crime rate, Connecticut criminal lawyer, Casinos have long been touted as dangerous to a community for the rise in crime with which they are associated in surrounding areas. Casinos are also associated with a rise in tourism and employment opportunities, so most communities tend to vote in favor of their construction and take the risk.

Some studies show that the ratio of available jobs to area adult residents increased by as much as 5 percent. Yet other studies show that the presence of casinos is also associated with an increase in area substance abuse, mental illness, violent crime, theft, bankruptcy, and even increasing suicide rates. Some communities report a 10 percent increase in larceny, bankruptcy, and auto theft after an area casino opened.

It was more than 20 years ago that communities of Connecticut decided to take this risk, and the past two decades have shown that Connecticut may be the exception when it comes to these statistics. In fact, crime rates have decidedly fallen since two of the state’s largest casinos — Foxwoods Resort and Mohegan Sun — opened.

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Connecticut drunk driving attorney, Connecticut defense attoney, Connecticut criminal lawyer,Drunk driving in Connecticut is not worth the cost, or the risk. Sadly, the percentage of Connecticut drivers who admit to driving after drinking too much is still higher than the national average. Even more concerning is that an alarming number of parents get behind the wheel, drunk, with their children in the car. Whether they are aware of it or not, this could lead to additional charges, regardless of there not being an official law covering driving under the influence with minor passengers.

Even at First Offense, DUI Laws Are Costly

Connecticut has cracked down on drunk driving over the years; now, even on a first DUI offense, your license can be suspended and you may spend anywhere from six months to a year with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your vehicle. Each additional offense increases the level of consequences, and if you are charged enough, you could face serious criminal charges.

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Illinois juvenile crimes attorney, Illinois defense lawyer, Illinois criminal attorney Youth in every society, from the beginning of time, have pushed boundaries, and explored their sexuality. Today’s teenagers are no different. But, the consequences of their actions can now be recorded and distributed through smart phones and published on the web for the world to see. Connecticut has developed a set of laws to deal specifically with youth under age 18 who engage in sexting.

Sexting and Child Pornography

The law in Connecticut makes it illegal for anyone under 18 and at least 13 years old to possess or transmit sexually explicit images, through a computer or mobile phone, of anyone between the ages of 13 and 16 years old. Here are some examples of how the law works:

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Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut criminal lawyer, computer hacking, One of the biggest challenges lawmakers face is trying to write laws that keep pace with the rapid advancement of technology. Connecticut has several different computer crimes on the books. Unfortunately, these laws are often written and interpreted broadly, sweeping up some people who may never have thought of themselves as criminals.

The five major computer crimes are:

  1. Unauthorized access to a computer system;
  2. Theft of computer services;
  3. Interruption of computer services;
  4. Misuse of computer system information; and
  5. Destruction of computer equipment

Unauthorized Access to a Computer System

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Connecticut criminal laws, Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut criminal attorney, As long as there has been civilization, there has been graffiti. Whether it is scratching initials into a desk or painting an entire mural on the wall of the local school, people are always looking for new ways to leave their mark on their hometown. However, graffiti is considered a property crime and can lead to serious penalties if police catch you. Budding street artists in Connecticut are finding this out the hard way.

Earlier this year, a group of graffiti artists were arrested after their identities were revealed on Instagram. They are now facing possible jail time after defacing property worth upward of $12,000.

The Potential Consequences of a Conviction

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Connecticut drug laws, Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut criminal attorney, In Connecticut, if police catch you in possession of an illegal substance, chances are you will face drug charges. These can come with steep fines and even time behind bars. However, many people are not aware that if police arrest you for possessing drug paraphernalia, such as a pipe, you may also face severe penalties.

According to Connecticut law, it is illegal for anyone to be in possession of drug paraphernalia with the intention of using it for any of several listed drug-related purposes, which can range from growing or preparing to ingesting or inhaling controlled substances.

Several items are classified as “paraphernalia,” such as:

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Connecticut defense attorney, Connecticut traffic laws, Connecticut criminal lawyer,The consequences of a speeding ticket extend beyond the fines and possible court appearance. Another potential penalty is a driver’s license suspension.

According to the Connecticut Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, if you plead guilty to four unsafe moving violations within two years, then your license will be suspended. It is important to note, however, that receiving a fine and pleading guilty to a violation are not the same.

In Connecticut, drivers can “plead guilty” by mailing in the citation with a payment for the fine. The DMV can suspend your license if you do this four times. It is therefore important to consult a lawyer before sending in your ticket with a guilty plea.

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Connecticut drunk driving laws, Connecticut DUI lawyer, Connecticut defense attorneyWhen most people fail a breathalyzer test, they admit defeat. Many ask, “What is the point of fighting DUI charges?” However, the truth is that these devices can produce false positives if they are not calibrated correctly. In fact, research has shown that breathalyzers have a 40 percent margin of error, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

There have been several cases of false positives. Last year in Connecticut, a DUI case was thrown out of court after DNA tests revealed that the defendant had a BAC of 0.0.

In addition to questioning the breathalyzer results, there are other potential defenses that could work in your favor. For example, your attorney could question whether the officer had probable cause to pull you over in the first place.

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Connecticut domestic abuse laws, Connecticut defense lawyer, Connecticut criminal attorney, Although each case of domestic abuse is unique, they all have one factor in common: Facing domestic violence charges is one of the most stressful and overwhelming experiences of the defendant’s life. Restraining and protective orders can reflect poorly on your record, and you might even face jail time if convicted. Fortunately, all defendants are innocent until proven guilty, and an experienced domestic abuse attorney can assess your case, explain your rights, and represent your interests in court.

If you are facing domestic violence charges, you probably have many questions and concerns. Here are three FAQs about domestic abuse:

Is There a Difference between Protective and Restraining Orders?

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shaken baby syndrome, Connecticut criminal defense attorneyA case that Stamford police are calling one of the most grim they can remember has ended with a manslaughter plea, according to the Stamford Advocate. A man arrested for the homicide and sexual assault of an infant pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and risk of injury to a child, and is scheduled to be sentenced to 14 years in prison with six years of parole. The baby was a victim of shaken baby syndrome, in which brain damage, retinal damage, and bone fractures can be caused by violent shaking, especially when an infant’s head is whipped back and forth or from side to side.

Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a diagnosis that first made national news in 1997, when a British au pair was tried for the murder of a Massachusetts infant. As far back as that, a determined group of skeptics started research, unwilling to believe that a human was truly capable of shaking a baby to death.

They looked to establish, that for an infant to die, he or she would also have had to be injured by a blow to the head. An SBS diagnosis does not require an outward manifestation of injury, making it an easy charge to prove. Additionally, researchers have found, in the intervening years, that other causes can produce the same symptoms of SBS, meaning that at least some percentage of people convicted for SBS could be going to jail for a murder that did not actually occur.

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online solicitation, Connecticut criminal defense lawyerMany crime shows today revolve around the theme of internet predators. With the popularity of social media, the reality of online solicitation of minors is growing as children and young adults frequently use the Internet and social media in their everyday lives, raising concerns about the potential for sexual predator crimes.

In the state of Connecticut, online solicitation of a minor is defined as using a computer service that is interactive to coerce a person less than 16 years of age. If you know that the person you are talking to is under 16, and you attempt to entice them into prostitution or sexual acts, you can be charged with a criminal offense.

Solicitation of a minor is a class D felony in the state of Connecticut. A first offense through a computer network (online solicitation) is a class C felony, and the second offense through a computer network is a class B felony.

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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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Connecticut criminal statutes, Connecticut defense attorney, CT criminal lawyer,Most Americans make an honest effort to follow the laws and encourage others to do the same. However, people sometimes make mistakes that can lead to either misdemeanor or felony charges.

No matter what type of charges you face, the advice of a criminal defense attorney may prove invaluable. Even misdemeanor offenses can remain on your record, which can compromise your employment opportunities and ability to acquire grants for school.

Many people understand that felonies are typically more serious than misdemeanors. Unfortunately, this has led to the misconception that misdemeanor charges are not a big deal. This article will explain why it is important to have a solid legal defense if you are facing misdemeanor charges.

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juvenile, juvenile crime, Connecticut Criminal Defense AttorneyWhen your teen faces charges for illegal actions, a million thoughts can race through your mind. You may wonder how these charges could affect your child’s future, and you likely have questions about effective defense strategies.

Juvenile criminal charges can severely compromise a teen’s opportunities, which is why it is critical that parents consult a juvenile criminal attorney for advice. A lawyer can assess the case and attempt to devise a strong defense strategy that reduces penalties or potentially convinces the court to drop the charges.

According to the Connecticut Judicial Branch, anyone under the age of 18 who has broken a federal or state law will normally be tried for a delinquent act—not for a criminal offense. It is important to keep in mind, however, that there are exceptions to this rule depending on the severity of the crime, especially in regard to major felonies.

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DUI, myths, Stamford Criminal Defense AttorneyAs is common with many other areas of the law, alcohol-related driving offenses are susceptible to a number of popular myths. Many of these fabrications not only are false, but they also can land you in a lot of trouble if you believe them. All drivers should be aware of the laws of the road, and DUI laws are some of the most important. In order to protect yourself under the law, you should be aware of some of the most popular misconceptions regarding driving under the influence.

1. There Are Ways to Fool a Breathalyzer

Breathalyzers display an accurate measurement of a driver's blood-alcohol level by analyzing his or her breath. Since police began using these machines, urban myths about fooling them have continued to flourish. These have included everything from brushing your teeth to placing a battery or penny in your mouth. Some people have even suggested that being a smoker decreases the breathalyzer's ability to take a reading. According to Bactrack.com, these are all entirely untrue.

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juvenile, tried as an adult, Stamford Criminal Defense AttorneyThere has been much media coverage over a recent murder case which occurred in downtown Stamford several weeks ago. According to details released by law enforcement, the 52-year-old male victim was walking out of a fast-food restaurant when he accidently bumped into a 15-year-old teenager. The teen, along with two other males, allegedly beat the victim with hands and a stick. At some point, one member of the group pulled a knife and stabbed the victim several times in the heart, while the other two continued to beat him. A passing ambulance saw the victim on the ground and quickly transferred him to the hospital. The man died several hours later.

The 15-year-old teen has been arrested and charged with the man’s murder. Police claim that he is the person who stabbed the victim. However, prosecutors have charged him as an adult, not a juvenile. He is currently being held on a $2 million bond at a juvenile detention center. Although many people are upset over the tragic and violent way the victim died, there are also many people who are questioning why the 15-year-old accused is being processed in the adult criminal justice system, and not the juvenile system.

In Connecticut, the law allows for the prosecution of juveniles in the adult system under certain criteria. Any child age 14 or over who is accused of committing a Class A or Class B felony is immediately transferred to the adult court system. Connecticut law also lists approximately 50 criminal offenses, referred to as “Serious Juvenile Offenses” or “SJOs” which can also result in a transfer of a juvenile from a juvenile court to adult court.

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