Hartford criminal defense lawyer for teen sex offensesAdvances in technology are constantly happening. Every day, it seems as if there is a new device, app, or way of digitally communicating with one another. While technological advancement and evolving behaviors can be beneficial for society, they often pose legal problems. A relatively new act called “sexting” is one of the latest challenges that has been posed to lawmakers across the country, and both parents and children should be aware of the potential sex crime charges that could result from this type of activity.

What Is “Sexting?”

Sexting is a type of sexual behavior that occurs when two people consensually share explicit photos, videos, or messages through an electronic device. According to a study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, around 27 percent of teenagers say that they have received such a text message, while 15 percent of teens admitted that they have sent such a message.

Sending, receiving, or possessing sexually explicit depictions of minors is illegal. But how are cases handled when those depictions are sent, received, or possessed by minors themselves? Often, cases like these are treated in a similar manner as other child pornography cases, and the person who was found in possession of the material is charged with a sex crime and required to register as a sex offender.

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Connecticut DUI attorney for chemical testsIn Connecticut, you may face charges of driving under the influence (DUI) if you operate a vehicle while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol or if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher. If you are arrested for DUI, you will be asked to perform a chemical test to determine your BAC, and this may be either a blood, breath, or urine test. Though chemical breath tests are most commonly used to determine BAC, other methods may be more accurate, and it is not unheard of to be asked to provide a blood sample.

Requirements for Using Chemical Tests as Evidence

The point of collecting a sample of a suspect’s blood, breath or urine is to have hard evidence of the amount of alcohol or drugs in the person’s system at the time of the arrest. This evidence may be used to demonstrate that a driver was intoxicated, but in order for the evidence to be admissible in Connecticut courts, there are six requirements that must be met:

  1. The defendant consented to the chemical test and was permitted to call an attorney before the test was administered;
  2. The results of the test were given to the defendant within 24 hours after the results were known;
  3. The test was administered according to regulations set forth by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection;
  4. The device used for the test was checked to ensure its accuracy prior to the test;
  5. Another chemical test of the same type was conducted at least 30 minutes after the first test, or a chemical test of a different type was conducted at the direction of a police officer to check for a drug other than or in addition to alcohol; and
  6. Evidence shows that the test was started within two hours of the defendant’s operation of the vehicle.

Blood Test Requirements

In addition to specific requirements for any chemical test to be admissible, there are also certain rules and regulations that must be followed when performing a blood test to be used as evidence in court. Police officers are not permitted to draw blood from a defendant; for results to be admissible in court, blood must be drawn by a person who is licensed to practice medicine, a phlebotomist, a laboratory technician, an emergency medical technician, or a registered nurse. A sterile syringe and hypodermic needle must be used during the blood collection, and the defendant’s skin must not be cleaned using anything containing ethyl alcohol. The containers and equipment used for the collection must be able to preserve the integrity and suitability of the blood samples, and each container must be properly sealed and labeled immediately after collection.

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Hartford CT criminal defense lawyer bail reformFor the past couple of years, increased focus has been placed on the criminal justice system and making it more fair for everyone. One of the facets of the system that has received increased scrutiny lately is the bail and bond system. Proponents of change say the current bail system is unfairly biased in favor of wealthier individuals, since they have the ability to post bail or bond without issue. Because of this, a committee of Connecticut Superior Court judges has been considering whether or not to implement new rules and criteria for posting bond, which would make it easier for low-income individuals to remain outside of jail during their criminal trials. The committee recently voted unanimously to implement new rules for posting bond.

Low-Income Defendants are Permitted to Post Only a Percentage of Bond

A new rule was recently approved by the committee of Superior Court judges that would allow defendants who are considered to be low income to post 10 percent of their bond in cash, as long as the bond amount is $20,000 or less. This amount would then be returned to the defendant at the conclusion of the case. The committee stated that this new rule would allow low-income defendants to keep their money, rather than using a bail bondsman, who typically charges a 10 percent fee. The 10 percent cash bond would be given to the court or the police department in exchange for letting the defendant out of jail during the course of the case. The cash bond is a promise that the defendant will show up at future court proceedings; if the defendant skips out on future proceedings, the bond is forfeited, and the defendant will be responsible for paying the remaining 90 percent.

Opposition to the New Rule

In 2017, a law was passed that allowed defendants to post 10 percent of a bond that was less than $20,000 -- as long as a judge allowed it. Because of the requirement for judge approval, the 10 percent cash option was used in very few cases. Under the new rule, the 10 percent cash option will be more widely available. Opponents to the new rule say the state’s bond industry will lose around half of their business because of the changes. Bondsmen not only put up the amount needed, but they also ensure the person returns to court and will go looking for the defendant if they do try to skip out on court hearings.

A Connecticut Criminal Defense Attorney Can Answer Your Questions

If you have been charged with a crime, you know how much of a financial strain it can put on you and your family. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we can provide you with quality legal representation and help you understand your best options for defense against criminal charges. Let our skilled Hartford, CT criminal defense lawyer work with you to achieve a positive outcome. Call our office today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.middletownpress.com/middletown/article/Bail-reform-would-help-poor-CT-defendants-hurt-13850682.php

https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20190618_superior_court_judges_change_bond_criteria/

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snow, hartford personal injury lawyerWinter in the northeast United States is generally characterized by sub-freezing temperatures and seasonal snowfall best measured in feet. Travel, of course, can be become very dangerous, and weather-related auto accidents are extremely common. Slip and fall accidents usually increase during the winter months as well, with snow- and ice-covered parking lots, sidewalks, and stairs often causing serious injury. When such accidents occur, who should be held liable for the resulting injuries? The answer depends on many factors, including where the incident took place and who was involved.

Roadway Snow and Ice

According to Connecticut law, individual municipalities including cities and towns have the authority to create their own local policies regarding snow and ice removal. The state does provide recommended provisions but permits each municipality to adopt and adapt them as it sees fit. The Connecticut Department of Transportation is statutorily tasked with clearing snow from state highways to ensure safe travel, while local and city roads are the responsibility of each city or town.

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