Recent Blog Posts

U.S. Department of Justice Plans to Crack Down on White Collar Crime

 Posted on March 14,2022 in Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_701337022.jpgU.S. government officials regularly take action to address multiple types of federal crimes and pursue charges against those who are accused of violating the law. Fraud is a key issue that is addressed by federal investigators and prosecutors, and a recent report from the Department of Justice has highlighted the types of cases that are being pursued. The Justice Department’s Fraud Section is continuing to focus on prosecuting white collar crimes and other financial crimes, and it is likely to take legal action against individuals and businesses who are accused of committing fraud or related offenses. By understanding the types of cases the DOJ regularly addresses, those who may face accusations of fraud or other white collar crimes can be sure they are prepared to defend themselves against federal charges.

Types of Fraud Addressed by the DOJ

The DOJ Fraud Section has units that investigate and prosecute multiple different types of cases. These units include:

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Why Are Participants in the January 6 Riot Facing Low-Level Charges?

 Posted on March 07,2022 in Criminal Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1519929965.jpgPeople throughout the United States were shocked by the events of January 6, 2021. Protestors who believed that former president Donald Trump had not lost the election in 2020 engaged in violent and destructive behavior as they stormed the U.S. Capitol building. Since those events, many people who participated in the riot have been arrested and charged with crimes. Because the riot involved the destruction of government property, many of the protestors are facing federal criminal charges. However, some have been troubled by what seem to be lenient sentences for people who attempted a violent overthrow of our country’s democratic processes.

Federal Judge Questions Plea Deals in Capital Riot Cases

While more than 100 people have been charged with and convicted of crimes related to actions they took in the January 6 riots, many people have been troubled by what seems to be lenient treatment for these defendants. Recently, U.S. District Chief Judge Beryl Howell questioned whether the way the Department of Justice is pursuing charges in these cases is causing confusion for the American public about the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

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Issues That May Affect the Release of Prisoners Under the First Step Act

 Posted on February 25,2022 in Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_92239273.jpgThe United States has some of the highest rates of incarceration in the world. With more than 200,000 inmates who have been convicted of federal crimes, the government has been looking for ways to reduce the prison population and allow those who have served time to be released and reintegrate into the community. While Congress passed the First Step Act in 2018, allowing certain inmates to be released based on Earned Time Credits, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) had not taken steps to implement these new policies until 2022. However, there are a number of issues that may affect prisoners’ ability to secure early releases.

Racial Disparities in Risk Assessment Tools

Thousands of prisoners have become eligible for release under the First Step Act. Those who are in prison may qualify for home confinement or residence in a halfway house as they begin to take steps to ensure that they will be able to rejoin society successfully. Those who are currently under home confinement or in residential transition centers may be eligible for a full release, allowing them to secure housing and employment.

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Court Ruling May Affect the Use of Video Testimony in Criminal Trials

 Posted on February 23,2022 in Criminal Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1832540992.jpgDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, many courts throughout the country have struggled to hear cases while also protecting the health and safety of participants. To prevent the spread of infections, in-person proceedings have been limited in many cases, and some courts have begun using technological tools to allow certain participants to connect remotely. While the use of remote technology has provided benefits in certain situations, many people have raised concerns about how these practices may affect a person’s right to a fair trial in criminal cases. While courts throughout the United States have addressed this issue in different ways, one recent court ruling may indicate that the use of remote video testimony may violate defendants’ rights in criminal trials.

Missouri Supreme Court Overturns Conviction Based on Remote Testimony

The Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides criminal defendants with the right to confront their accusers. A person should be able to directly question a witness during a criminal trial. When witness testimony is provided in person, a jury can observe how the person answers questions, and their facial expressions, body language, and other responses may indicate whether they are telling the truth and whether they are trustworthy. Testimony provided through video or other remote technology may not provide a jury with enough information to make a decision in a criminal case.

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Connecticut Parole Board May Grant Clemency to People Convicted at a Young Age

 Posted on February 10,2022 in Criminal Law

hartford criminal defense lawyerThe criminal justice system often imposes harsh punishments on people who are convicted of crimes. While certain sentences may seem to be appropriate for those convicted of serious offenses such as murder, they can result in a person spending most of their life in prison, even if they committed these crimes while they were a minor. Advocates for criminal justice reform have noted that scientific research has shown that people’s brains continue developing until they are 25 years old, meaning that offenders who have committed these types of crimes at a young age may not have been fully aware of the consequences of their actions. In recognition of this and as part of ongoing efforts to focus on rehabilitation for those who have been convicted, the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles has begun taking action to reduce the sentences of certain offenders.

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Has Wire Fraud Become More Common During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

 Posted on February 02,2022 in Criminal Defense

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1029053185.jpgThere are a variety of situations where a person may be accused of committing crimes involving theft or misappropriation of money. Many of these cases fall under the category of white-collar crimes, which typically involve the theft or misuse of people’s financial information or other actions in which a person obtains money fraudulently. White-collar criminal cases will often involve accusations of wire fraud, and in some situations, a person may face federal charges. According to the FBI, instances of wire fraud have increased significantly over the past few years. Those who are accused of these types of crimes will need to understand the nature of an offense and the potential penalties they may face if they are convicted.

What Is Wire Fraud?

Fraud includes any actions in which a person obtains money or property through false pretenses. When these actions involve the use of electronic communications, including phones or internet services, they may be considered wire fraud. Because wire fraud will often involve messages or other forms of communication that are transmitted across multiple states, these offenses may be prosecuted at the federal level.

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Connecticut Supreme Court Addresses Search Warrants Related to Drug-Sniffing Dogs

 Posted on January 31,2022 in Drug Charges

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1416718478.jpgDefendants in criminal cases often face an uphill battle as they respond to the charges against them. Law enforcement officials have significant resources that they may use as they investigate an alleged crime, gather evidence, and build a case against a person. However, defendants have certain rights, including protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Recently, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued a ruling that may affect the types of searches that may be performed and the evidence that may be allowed in cases involving drug crimes.

Court Rules on Search Warrants, Canine Sniffs, and Visual Sweeps

In the case of State of Connecticut v. Ricardo Correa, the defendant was charged with multiple drug-related offenses. During his initial trial, the defendant filed a motion to suppress evidence, claiming that the evidence was uncovered due to the use of a drug-sniffing dog and an officer’s visual observations that were performed prior to obtaining a search warrant. This motion was denied, and the defendant was convicted and sentenced to nine years in prison. The defendant appealed the case, but the Appellate Court ruled against him. However, after a further appeal, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Court’s decision and found that the search was unconstitutional.

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Why Have Murders Increased During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

 Posted on January 25,2022 in Hartford Criminal Defense Attorney

hartford criminal defense lawyerWhile the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to affect the people’s lives in many ways, one issue that has become a concern is the significant increase in the murder rate throughout the United States. Between 2019 and 2020, the U.S. saw the largest increase in number of murders committed since the 1990s, and the murder rate increased again in 2021. There are a number of possible reasons for this increase, and because so many people may be affected by this issue, it will be important for those involved in these cases to understand how to address potential criminal charges.

Murder Statistics and Potential Reasons for These Trends

In 2020, the total number of murders in the United States increased by nearly 30 percent, with a total of over 21,000 murders. This increase affected people throughout the country in both large cities and areas with lower populations. However, Black people were much more likely to be affected. Nearly half of murder victims in 2020 were Black, and during this time, Black people were eight times more likely to be murdered than white people. While complete data on murders for 2021 have not yet been released, some preliminary data indicate that murders may have increased as much as 15 percent since the previous year.

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New Rule May Allow Federal Prisoners to Be Released Based on Time Credits

 Posted on January 21,2022 in Criminal Law

Hartford Criminal Defense Lawyers

People who are convicted of federal crimes often face harsh prison sentences. Fortunately, some programs are available to help these prisoners be released early while also encouraging them to re-enter society successfully and avoid criminal activity in the future. The First Step Act, which was passed in 2018, created a program that allows prisoners to earn time credits against their sentences. The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) recently implemented a new rule that will put this program into effect, and it may allow thousands of prisoners to be released in the near future.

Implementation of the Time Credits Program

The programs created under the First Step Act are meant to help convicts take steps to limit the likelihood that they will re-offend after being released, while also ensuring that they will be productive members of society. The law allows prisoners to earn time credits by participating in Evidence-Based Recidivism Reduction (EBRR) programs such as literacy programs or occupational education programs, as well as Productive Activities (PAs) such as Alcoholics Anonymous, drug abuse treatment programs, and programs that address physical and mental health and provide education and job training.

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How Is the Omicron Variant Affecting Court Cases in Connecticut?

 Posted on January 17,2022 in Criminal Law

b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1549604996.jpgAs the COVID-19 pandemic enters its third year, large numbers of people throughout the United States are still becoming ill. To protect public safety as much as possible, government institutions, including the court system, are continuing to take steps to minimize the potential spread of infections. These measures may affect both criminal and civil cases, and those who are involved in these matters will want to understand how they may be affected and how they can make sure their rights will be protected during legal proceedings.

Court Closures and Options for Remote Courtroom Technology in Connecticut

While state and federal courts in Connecticut have implemented measures meant to protect people’s safety, they have been required to make repeated changes to address potential risks. Most recently, the spread of the highly-infectious Omicron variant of Covid has led the U.S. District Court of Connecticut to pause all jury trials and jury selections until at least February 1, 2022. While this will affect cases heard in federal courts, state courts may be able to continue operating during this time.

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