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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:

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Hartford criminal law attorney police interrogationIf you are arrested because you are suspected of committing a crime, there are certain procedures that must be followed. Before police can begin to interrogate you or ask you questions, they are required to read you your rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. These rights, known as Miranda Rights, include your right to remain silent or not incriminate yourself, your right to an attorney (or if you cannot afford an attorney, your right to have an attorney appointed for you at no cost), and your right to have your attorney present before you answer any questions.

Protecting the Constitutional rights of citizens has always been of great importance to both the federal government and individual state governments. Because of this, supreme courts often hear cases that assert that people were wrongly convicted of a crime because their Constitutional rights were violated. This is exactly the case in a recent appeals case heard by the Connecticut Supreme Court.

The Right to an Attorney During Interrogation

Earlier this month, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled on State v. Purcell, a case concerning a man arrested on sexual assault charges who was denied counsel after he made repeated, though indirect, statements about having an attorney present. The man was convicted of three counts of risk of injury to a child and received a sentence of 16 years in prison, suspended after 9 years, plus 10 years of probation. The man appealed the conviction, but the appellate court upheld the decision.

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Hartford federal drug charges defense attorneyFor years now, many lawmakers have agreed that the United States criminal justice system has needed major reforms. Many bills intended to address this issue have been introduced in the past few years, but most have fallen on deaf ears in Congress and have not made their way to the President’s desk. This all changed in December 2018 when President Trump signed the FIRST STEP Act into law. The FIRST STEP Act is one of the first major changes to sentencing for federal drug crimes and is intended to help reduce the prison population. It will also help those who are newly convicted with drug crimes.

Reforms Made By the FIRST STEP Act

The FIRST STEP Act pushes the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to assess the risks and needs for every offender when they are sentenced. Then, the BOP will attempt to reduce the rate of reoffending through individualized and evidence-based plans, which will be offered to all inmates. Programs that could be a part of these plans may include substance abuse treatment, mental health care, anger-management courses, job training, educational support, and even faith-based initiatives.

Another reform made by the Act is intended to help inmates transition back into their communities. The Act allows inmates to serve a portion of the end of their imprisonment in a halfway house or in-home confinement. This allows inmates to successfully transition back into normal life and lowers their chances of reoffending. The BOP will perform the risks and needs assessment more frequently during this time to make sure the services the inmate needs are there.

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Hartford, CT murder defense attorneyMurder is one of the oldest and most serious crimes in civilized society. The killing of one human being by another is taken very seriously and can come with extremely severe punishments. Many states divide murder charges into first, second, and third degree murder, but Connecticut is slightly different. Rather than dividing murder charges into degrees, Connecticut determines the seriousness of the murder charge based on a variety of factors, such as the people involved in the crime, whether or not the murder occurred at the same time a felony was committed, the type of felony that was committed, and other circumstances.

Connecticut Murder Charges

According to the Connecticut Penal Code, murder is defined as causing the death of another person when the offender has the intent to cause death. A murder charge becomes a murder with special circumstances when the offender:

  • Murders a police officer, firefighter, inspector, or other government official performing their duties;
  • Murders for financial gain or hires someone to murder for financial gain;
  • Murders someone and had previously been convicted of murder or felony murder;
  • Murders while serving a life sentence;
  • Murders during a kidnapping;
  • Murders during sexual assault;
  • Murders two or more people at once; or
  • Murders someone under the age of 16.

Additional charges and penalties may apply when a person commits murder while also committing or attempting to commit any of the following felonies:

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bail system, criminal law, Hartford criminal defense attorneyConnecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has become relatively well-known throughout the country over the last few years. Since taking office in January 2011, the Democratic governor has built himself a reputation for his sustained efforts regarding criminal justice reform throughout the state. Impressive results, including a drop of more than 20 percent in the state’s prison population and nearly a 30 percent reduction in violent and property crime, earned Malloy a spot as an invited guest to President Obama’s State of the Union Address earlier this month.

As his reform efforts continue, Governor Malloy is turning his attention to the state’s bail system. In a recent letter to the Connecticut Sentencing Commission, Malloy requested that the commission take up the concern, consider the various options, and make recommendations to the legislature about changes to the existing law. The Sentencing Commission exists primarily as a review and advisory body and includes appointed individuals, as well as the state’s Commissioner of Correction, Chief Public Defender, and other influential officeholders.

Poorest of the Poor

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