Connecticut Criminal Law & Injury Blog

Hartford bike accident attorney dooring injuryIn recent years, biking has become a popular form of transportation for many Americans who live in urban areas. Not only does it provide an easier and sometimes faster way to get from place to place, but it also offers great health benefits. According to Statista, there were 47.5 million cyclists in the United States in 2017. While this form of transportation has become popular, it has also proved to be dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were around 840 bicyclists who died in traffic accidents in 2016. One of the most common types of bicycle accidents that occurs in urban areas is what is called “dooring.”

What Is a Dooring Accident?

Dooring accidents occur when the occupant of a motor vehicle suddenly opens the door of the vehicle in a bicyclist’s lane of travel, causing the cyclist to collide with the door. Most of the time, dooring accidents occur purely out of the negligence of the motor vehicle driver or passenger — he or she simply did not look around their vehicle before they opened the door. Dooring accidents are hard to predict and harder to prevent, because they rely solely on motor vehicle occupants to pay closer attention to those who may be on the streets, bike lanes, and sidewalks around them.

Possible Injuries From Dooring Accidents

In many cases, a dooring accident simply results in some scrapes, cuts, or bruises. In other situations, however, dooring can result in much more serious injuries that could have a major impact on the bicyclist’s life. Depending on the cyclist’s speed, they may be seriously harmed by a fall to the pavement. In some cases, a bicyclist can be thrown from their bike and into moving traffic, and serious or fatal injuries are likely to occur if they are struck by a vehicle.

Some examples of serious injuries that could result from a dooring accident include:

  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck and spinal cord injuries
  • Facial fractures
  • Dental damage
  • Soft tissue tears

Contact a Connecticut Bicycle Accident Lawyer for More Information

Getting into any kind of bike accident can be extremely dangerous, especially if you are involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. Dooring accidents may seem trivial, but they can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries to unsuspecting bicyclists. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury from a bicycle accident, you should contact a Hartford, CT personal injury attorney immediately. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we can help you determine whether or not you have a case and how to best proceed. Call our office today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.dutchreach.org/dooring-problem-prevalence/

https://www.bikeleague.org/content/bike-law-u-dooring

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812507

https://www.statista.com/topics/1686/cycling/

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Hartford sex crimes defense attorney sex offender registrySex crimes are some of the most serious crimes you can be charged with in the United States. If you are convicted of certain sexual offenses, you could be required to register as a sex offender in the state where you reside. Sex offender registries are available for the public to access, meaning anyone can see your information on the registry website, including your address and the offense you were convicted of. This can make it hard for those who have been convicted of a sex crime to find a job or a place to live, which is why the state of Connecticut is currently considering changes to the state sex offender registry.

Major Changes to Registry

There are a couple of major changes to the Connecticut sex offender registry that have been proposed in SB 1113. If the bill becomes law, a new sex offender registry board would be created. The board would determine the length of time a person will remain in the registry by examining each person’s risk of re-offending based on information provided by probation and parole officials. The goal would be to make decisions based on the person’s risk, rather than the actual offense they allegedly committed.

The bill would also create two different sex offender registries — one that is much like the current one and available to the public, and one that is only available to law enforcement. The public registry would contain information about high-risk offenders, while low-risk offenders would be placed in the private registry.

Currently, sex offenders are placed on the registry either for 10 years or for life. The proposed bill would create three different time periods that could be assigned to an offender — 10 years, 20 years, or for life. The bill would also only require low-risk offenders to verify their address once per year, rather than the current requirement of four times per year. High-risk offenders would still be required to verify their address four times per year.

Do Not Wait — Call a Connecticut Sex Crime Defense Lawyer Today

Being a convicted sex offender can affect your entire life. Currently in the state of Connecticut, if you are convicted of certain offenses, you could be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years or for life. If you have been charged with a sex crime, you need immediate representation from a skilled Hartford, CT criminal defense attorney. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we can help you determine the best defense strategy and work to minimize the consequences you may face. Take the first step today and call us at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20190415_bill_to_modify_sex_offender_registry_advances/

https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=SB01113&which_year=2019

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Hartford sexual assault charges defense attorneyMost people understand that forcing someone to have sex with them when they clearly do not want to is wrong. This crime is called sexual assault or rape, and it is addressed in each state’s laws, though the definitions, situations, and punishments for sexual assault differ from state to state. A fairly new issue in the laws concerning sexual misconduct is the idea of “rape by fraud.” This idea may sound far-fetched, but it has happened before — and more than once.

A Case of Sexual Deceit

In 2017, a Purdue college student fell asleep in her boyfriend’s dorm and was woken up by a person she thought was him who prompted sex from her. She soon realized that the person was not her boyfriend, but was, in fact, one of her boyfriend’s friends who had sex with her, knowing that she thought he was her boyfriend. The woman went to the police and pressed charges of sexual assault. The imposter was arrested and charged with two counts of rape, which carried a sentence of 3 to 16 years in prison. However, the state of Indiana does not specifically have laws pertaining to “rape by fraud,” and the alleged perpetrator ended up being acquitted of the charges and having his criminal record expunged.

The Issue With Consent

One of the biggest issues that can complicate cases involving sexual deceit is the fact that consent is rarely defined in sexual assault laws. Most states do not have an explicit definition of what constitutes consent, including Connecticut. The states that do have definitions for consent will typically describe it as positive cooperation in act or attitude where a person exercises their free will and has knowledge of the act that is happening. Without an explicit definition, consent is often a gray area. A person may be interpreted as having given consent in a wide variety of circumstances, ranging from a lack of physical struggle to explicit positive affirmation.

Sex By Deception in Connecticut

Though there is currently a proposed bill in the Connecticut General Assembly that would make sex obtained through fraudulent representation or concealment an act of sexual assault, the state of Connecticut does not currently have laws pertaining to sex that is obtained specifically by fraud or deceit. In addition, the state’s laws only mention consent by saying that those who are “mentally incapacitated” or “impaired because of mental disability or disease” can be incapacitated or impaired to the extent that they are unable to consent to sexual intercourse.

Connecticut law only mentions sexual conduct that is obtained by deception or false representation in a few circumstances. This includes sexual intercourse between a psychotherapist and their patient or former patient in which the intercourse occurs “by means of therapeutic deception” or sexual intercourse between a patient and a healthcare professional who “accomplishes the sexual intercourse by means of false representation that the sexual intercourse is for bona fide medical purpose.”

Contact a Connecticut Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Sex crimes are some of the most serious offenses you can be charged with. Because of the loose interpretation of many sex crimes and definitions, those accused of these crimes are often left with a sense of uncertainty about the specific charges and the options for defense. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we are here to help alleviate some of that uncertainty. Our knowledgeable Hartford sexual assault defense lawyer will make sure your rights are protected and work with you to determine your best defense strategy. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today by calling 860-290-8690.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/23/well/mind/is-sex-by-deception-a-form-of-rape.html

https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_952.htm#sec_53a-130

https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_952.htm#sec_53a-71

https://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Imposter-sex-would-be-rape-under-new-law-13687896.php

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Connecticut criminal defense attorney immigration deportationThroughout much of the country’s history, the United States government has used the criminal justice system to prevent certain immigrants from entering the country and to deport immigrants already in the U.S. The term “moral turpitude” first appeared in the Immigration Act of 1891, and this and other laws have held immigrants to a high moral standard. The Immigration Act of 1996 added even more vague language surrounding crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT), and it gave law enforcement agencies and state officials the ability to broadly define these types of crimes in immigration cases.

What Is a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude?

According to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), a crime involving moral turpitude is “an act which is…morally reprehensible and intrinsically wrong.” The BIA has also stated that a CIMT is any crime that involves conduct that is “inherently base, vile or depraved, and contrary to the accepted rules of morality and the duties owed between people or to society in general.” Many officials have pointed out that the definitions of CIMTs are very broad and that there are no specific crimes that are always classified as CIMTs.

Crimes involving moral turpitude are determined on a case-by-case basis, though crimes involving the following tend to be classified as CIMTs:

  • Theft or intent to defraud
  • Intent to cause bodily harm
  • Recklessness that results in serious bodily harm
  • Offenses involving the use of a weapon
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Drug offenses involving sale or distribution

Will I Be Deported if I Am Convicted of a CIMT?

Just because you are convicted of a CMIT does not mean you will automatically be deported or removed from the United States. According to federal law, an immigrant must have been convicted of a CIMT within five years after their date of entry and be sentenced to one year or more of confinement to be eligible for deportation. The laws also allow an immigrant to be deported if he or she is convicted of two or more crimes involving moral turpitude, regardless of when he or she entered the U.S. and whether or not he or she was confined.

Consult With a Connecticut Criminal Defense Attorney Today

The United States has always been a place where immigrants could come to escape the political, social and economic turmoil of their own countries. Unfortunately, the U.S. has strict immigration laws that can result in deportation if you are not careful. If you have been accused of a crime involving moral turpitude, you need a knowledgeable Hartford, CT criminal defense lawyer by your side. At the Woolf Law Firm, we can help you defend your right to live and work in the United States. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 860-290-8690.

Sources:

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/171665

https://www.justice.gov/jm/criminal-resource-manual-1934-appendix-d-grounds-judicial-deportation

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/rpt/pdf/2016-R-0331.pdf

https://www.nationalimmigrationproject.org/PDFs/practitioners/practice_advisories/crimCharts/2017_connecticut-guide.pdf

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