Connecticut Criminal Law & Injury Blog

Connecticut criminal defense lawyer for crimes against childrenWhen it comes to crimes involving children, everything is more intense. Charges are often specific in nature, penalties are often more severe, and offenders are more likely to be subject to minimum sentences if they are convicted. One such crime, risk of injury to a minor, encompasses a wide range of actions that can result in serious actions being taken against an alleged perpetrator. Because of the gravity of crimes involving children, the benefit of the doubt is often not given to those who are suspected of child endangerment, which is why it is essential to work with a skilled criminal defense attorney.

What Is Risk of Injury to a Minor?

The Connecticut statute that contains the law against endangering a child is a widely-encompassing one. According to the law, a person commits risk of injury to a minor when that person:

  • Knowingly and willfully endangers the life or limb of a child under the age of 16;
  • Places the child in a situation in which his or her health is likely to be injured or morals are likely to be impaired; or
  • Has contact with the intimate parts of the child or subjects the child to contact with the intimate parts of another person.

For all intents and purposes, the statute was created to encompass nearly any behavior that could be considered dangerous to a child. Penalties are always felony charges; risk of injury to a minor is charged as a Class C felony, meaning an offender will face 1 to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if convicted. Child endangerment charges involving contact with intimate parts are charged as a Class B felony, which means offenders will face 1 to 20 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. If the child is under the age of 13, there is a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least five years.

Endangerment Charges in Connection With Other Charges

Often, child endangerment charges are pursued alongside allegations of other crimes, but they can also exist on their own. In some situations, parents or guardians may be knowingly or unknowingly breaking the child endangerment laws. Situations in which child endangerment charges are common include:

  • Domestic violence disputes in which children are present
  • DUI or reckless driving with children in the vehicle
  • Excessive use of drugs or alcohol while children are present
  • Committing a crime while a child is present
  • Leaving young children unattended at home
  • Failing to maintain a clean and safe environment for a child

Consult With Our Hartford Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been accused of putting a child in danger, you need to immediately speak with a knowledgeable Hartford, CT child endangerment defense lawyer. Being convicted of child endangerment could mean expensive fines, a mandatory jail sentence, and a criminal record that will follow you around for the rest of your life. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we can help you swiftly form a defense against any criminal charges you may be facing, including child endangerment charges that may or may not be connected to other charges. To schedule your free consultation, call our office today at 860-290-8690.

 

Sources:

https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_939.htm

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2013/rpt/2013-R-0103.htm

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Hartford larceny defense attorneyThere are many situations in which an action could legally be considered theft. In the state of Connecticut, theft is typically referred to as larceny, and all of the laws pertaining to theft use this term. Connecticut statutes state that larceny occurs when a person takes, obtains, or withholds property from its owner with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of the property. Larceny in Connecticut includes actions such as embezzlement, extortion, theft of services, shoplifting, and even receiving stolen property. Certain actions are charged in Connecticut as misdemeanor larceny crimes, but charges can also be elevated to felony larceny charges, depending on the circumstances surrounding the situation.

Larceny in the Third Degree

The first level of felony larceny charges, larceny in the third degree, occurs when a person commits larceny and the property:

  • Is a motor vehicle worth less than $10,000;
  • Is worth between $2,000 and $9,999;
  • Is a public record, writing, or instrument; or
  • Is a sample, culture, record, or document that contains proprietary information.

Third-degree larceny is a Class D felony, which means it carries up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Larceny in the Second Degree

Connecticut law states that larceny in the second degree occurs when a person commits larceny and the property:

  • Is a motor vehicle that is worth $10,000 – $19,999;
  • Has a value of $10,000 – $19,999;
  • Is taken directly from another person;
  • Is obtained from defrauding a public community and is worth less than $2,000; or
  • Is embezzled or obtained by false pretenses or false promises, and the victim is age 60 or older, blind, or disabled.

Second-degree larceny is a Class C felony. This means that you face a prison sentence of 1 to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if you are convicted.

Larceny in the First Degree

First-degree larceny is the most serious larceny charge in Connecticut. First-degree larceny occurs when a person commits larceny and the property:

  • Is obtained by extortion;
  • Is a motor vehicle or other property worth more than $20,000; or
  • Is obtained by defrauding a public community and is worth more than $2,000.

Larceny in the first degree is a Class B felony. If you are convicted of larceny in the first degree, you face a minimum of one year and a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. Notably, first-degree larceny is the only Class B felony in Connecticut that is eligible, with good cause shown, to be considered by a judge for a pre-trial diversionary program called Accelerated Pre-Trial Rehabilitation. If this program is granted and successfully completed, it will lead to the dismissal of the charge.

Hire a Knowledgeable Hartford, CT Theft Defense Attorney Right Away

If you have been accused of felony larceny in Connecticut, you face serious consequences if you are convicted. These may include expensive fines, as well as jail time and everything that comes along with being a convicted felon. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we know how a felony conviction can change your life. Our skilled Connecticut larceny defense lawyer will do everything in his power to ensure you have a fair trial and get a favorable outcome. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 860-290-8690.

 

Sources:

https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_952.htm#sec_53a-118

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East Hartford family violence defense attorneyDomestic violence is a serious social issue that has received increased attention in recent years. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 10 million people become victims of some form of domestic violence each year in the United States. Because of these harrowing statistics, an increased focus has been placed on prosecuting domestic violence offenders. While this is a valiant effort by lawmakers and law enforcement officials, those who face accusations of domestic violence can have a difficult time proving their innocence and dealing with the effects that these charges can have on their relationships, family life, and reputation. If you have been accused of domestic violence, there are a few things you should do to help your situation.

Connecticut Domestic Violence Laws

In Connecticut, domestic violence is referred to as “family violence.” Connecticut statutes define family violence as any act between family or household members that results in physical injury or creates reasonable fear that physical injury will occur. Family and household members can include:

  • People who are related by blood
  • People who are married or used to be married
  • Roommates or former roommates
  • People who are currently dating or used to date
  • People who have a child in common

The state of Connecticut does not charge domestic violence as an offense separate from other criminal charges. Rather, a violent crime that is perpetrated against a family or household member can be denoted as a family violence offense. An alleged offender will be subject to the sentencing guidelines for the specific crime they are charged with, such as:

  • Assault
  • Sexual assault
  • Threatening
  • Stalking
  • Strangulation
  • Kidnapping

Those accused of family violence should also be aware that a protective order or restraining order may be filed against them. This type of order may prohibit an alleged offender from committing any further acts of family violence, and it may impose requirements or restrictions, such as staying away from the family home or paying child support or spousal support. A person who violates a civil restraining order may be held in contempt of court, and violation of a criminal protective order is a Class D felony, which may result in a prison sentence of one to five years. A person accused of family violence will also be required to surrender any firearms they own, and they may be required to attend a family violence education program.

Being Proactive About Accusations of Family Violence

If you have been accused of domestic violence, your response should be immediate and swift. Charges of violent crimes such as assault or battery could result in serious consequences, including large fines and a prison sentence. Even if you are not convicted, an accusation of family violence could lead to an investigation by the Department of Children and Families, which may affect your child custody rights. These charges could also affect your reputation in the community, your interpersonal relationships, and your ability to work in certain careers. To ensure that your rights are protected, you will want to work with an attorney to determine your best options for defense, including gathering evidence and obtaining witness testimonies to demonstrate your innocence.

A Hartford, CT Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Can Help

Being accused of domestic violence is a very serious situation. Not only do you face criminal charges, but every other area of your life can be affected for years to come. If you have been charged with family violence, or if allegations of domestic violence have resulted in a restraining order being taken out against you, the best thing you can do is to immediately contact a Connecticut criminal defense attorney. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we know how important it is to be proactive about domestic violence charges, and we will work with you to protect your rights, your freedom, and your reputation. Call our office today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.

Sources:

https://assets.speakcdn.com/assets/2497/domestic_violence2.pdf

http://www.ctcadv.org/information-about-domestic-violence/ct-domestic-violence-laws/

https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_815e.htm#sec_46b-38a

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Hartford criminal defense lawyer for digital evidenceTechnology is a common and often unavoidable presence in today’s world. Think about your own life; how often do you use your cell phone? What do you use your cell phone for? If you have ever used apps like Google Maps or Apple Maps to get from place to place, your location has been recorded. Even if you delete phone calls or text message conversations from your phone, the records of these conversations still exist. When it comes to criminal cases, technology has become a commonly-used source of evidence.

Cell Phones and Types of Evidence

Almost everything you do on your cell phone is recorded and stored. Information about any calls you make, any text messages you send, and any apps you use can all be accessed on your cell phone, even if you have attempted to delete those records. There are many different types of cell phone data that can be used in criminal cases, including:

  • History from your internet browser
  • Email messages (when they were sent, who they were sent to, and their content)
  • Call records, such as who you called and when
  • Text messages, what they contained, and who they were sent to
  • GPS and cell tower information, which can be used to attempt to determine the location of the phone

Defendants Often Have Trouble Retrieving Evidence

The United States criminal justice system was founded on the belief that those accused of committing a crime have certain rights. For example, the prosecution has the burden of proof in criminal cases, and prosecutors are required by law to reveal all evidence that they have against the defendant. Though these protections exist, defendants and their attorneys are often still at a disadvantage.

There are two major disadvantages that defendants and their attorneys have when it comes to digital forensic evidence. First, defense lawyers can only subpoena companies to turn over digital evidence, and in many cases, these requests are ignored. Prosecutors working for the government can issue warrants and court orders to gather information, giving them access to information that may not be available to the defendant. Second, digital forensic technology is often out of reach for defense attorneys, yet it is readily accessible to law enforcement and prosecutors.

Why Is This an Issue?

The biggest concern when it comes to digital evidence is the fact that very little effort has been made on the part of the government or digital forensics companies to make their equipment and services more available to defense attorneys. In many cases in which defendants have been accused of crimes, evidence that is contained on their cell phones or in wearable technology can hold the key to their innocence, but this data is often locked away and unable to be extracted by defense attorneys without a lot of work and significant amounts of money.

Contact a Hartford, CT Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you have been accused of a crime you know you did not commit, you may be surprised to learn that your cell phone could hold the key to your innocence. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we understand how modern criminal cases work, and we know the importance of digital evidence in building a defense. Our skilled Connecticut criminal defense lawyer can help you form a solid defense using our extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system and the digital evidence that is available. Call our office today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/22/business/law-enforcement-public-defender-technology-gap.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

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