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Connecticut criminal defense attorney for vehicular manslaughterIn Connecticut and throughout the United States, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol, illegal drugs, or other substances that impair one’s ability to drive safely. An arrest and conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) can result in a variety of consequences, including fines, jail time, community service, participation in diversionary programs, and/or the requirement to use an alcohol interlock device in one’s vehicle. However, the penalties can become much more severe if a person was killed in a collision that occurred while you were driving under the influence. While this offense is commonly known as “vehicular homicide,” in Connecticut, it is referred to as “manslaughter with a motor vehicle.”

Second-Degree Manslaughter With a Motor Vehicle

According to Connecticut law, you can be charged with manslaughter in the second degree with a motor vehicle if you are operating a vehicle while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and as a result, you cause the death of another person. Manslaughter charges involve a degree of recklessness or negligence. Basic second-degree manslaughter charges require you to have “recklessly caused the death of another person.” The same principle applies to manslaughter with a motor vehicle charges, but in these cases, the element of driving while intoxicated will also be considered.

Penalties for Second-Degree Manslaughter With a Motor Vehicle

Manslaughter in the second degree with a motor vehicle is a Class C felony. Under Connecticut law, Class C felony convictions can result in 1 to 10 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, or a combination of both. Because of the intoxication aspect of these charges, a conviction will also result in a mandatory one-year driver’s license suspension and the requirement that an ignition interlock device be installed on your vehicle for at least two years following the reinstatement of your driving privileges.

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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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suicide, Connecticut criminal defense lawyerThroughout the United States, suicide is a serious yet under-discussed problem. Each year, more than 40,000 Americans succeed in taking their own lives, with countless more making one or more attempts. Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death for individuals between 15 and 34—only accidents claim more lives. For friends and family members of a suicide victim, the situation can be traumatic and life-changing, as they may feel like they have failed their loved one. Recently, however, a Massachusetts court ruled that a young woman who encouraged her boyfriend to kill himself must now serve at least 15 months in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

A Tragic Set of Facts

Three years ago, an 18-year-old man Massachusetts man committed suicide by filling his pickup truck cab with carbon monoxide in a store parking lot. As officials investigated the death, they found that the man’s girlfriend—a 17-year-old young woman—had been sending him messages via text and social media encouraging him to go through with his suicide plan. According to reports and court documents, the teen even allegedly told the young man to “get back in” when he got scared and got out of his carbon monoxide-filled truck.

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