Recent Blog Posts

The Hidden Secrets of Polygraphs

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

polygraph, Connecticut criminal defense attorneyFor many people, daytime television is a guilty pleasure—whether they stayed home sick from work or simply took a weekday off for once. During the midday lineup, there are several shows that rely heavily on certain types of tests. Some days, they focus on DNA testing and provide the source of the ubiquitous phrase, “You are NOT the father.” Other days, those same shows ask guests to take lie detector tests, also called polygraphs, to determine if they are being honest with their spouse or significant others.

When we watch shows like these, we realize that they are designed to entertain and keep viewers attention. Few of us actually care whether the test results were accurate. Polygraphs are often used in other applications, however, including in law enforcement and criminal cases, and some institutions continue to rely on them when scientific studies suggest they should not.

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Defense Lawyers File Suit Over Monitoring of Emails Between Prisoners and Attorneys

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

email, Connecticut criminal defense attorneyAttorney-client privilege is an important part of the American criminal justice system. Under this privilege, a defendant is supposed to be able to communicate freely with his or her lawyer without the attorney being forced to share what was said with prosecutors or law enforcement. The concept works, essentially as an extension of the Fifth Amendment’s right to be free from self-incrimination and the guarantee of due process, the Sixth Amendment’s right to an attorney, and the right to privacy promised by the Fourth and Ninth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

In most situations, maintaining confidentiality under the attorney-client privilege is fairly straightforward. Prosecutors, law enforcement, and the government at large do not have the authority or the ability to record or request records of communications between criminal defendants and their lawyers. The situation changes dramatically, however, for those who are already in correctional facilities, including jails and prisons.

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Connecticut State Police: Holiday Crashes and DUI Arrests Increase Over Last Year

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Personal Injury

crashes, Connecticut personal injury attorneyChristmas has officially come and gone once again. While some families will still be celebrating through the coming weekend, the Connecticut State Police has released data on the types of arrests, citations, and situations requiring police assistance over the holiday. According to the data, DUI arrests went up substantially over last year, and the number of traffic accidents also increased. Total calls for police service jumped by about one-third.

A Look at the Numbers

The State Police provided the information to news outlets this week and included data on calls between 12:01 a.m. on Friday, December 21 and 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 26. During that period, state troopers arrested 55 individuals on suspicion of driving under the influence. This number is almost double the arrests that were made during last year’s holiday enforcement efforts. In 2017, State Police officers made 28 DUI arrests between December 22 and December 26.

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Bridgeport Jury Awards $200,000 to Child Injured at a Hockey Game

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney

hockey, Connecticut personal injury attorneyThe group that owns Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard was found to be negligent in a premises liability case involving an 8-year-old boy who fell from the stands during a hockey game. A Bridgeport Superior Court jury has ordered the group to pay $200,000 in damages to the boy who is still reportedly suffering from post-concussion syndrome more than five years later.

An Unfortunate Event

The incident occurred in October 2013 while the then 8-year-old and his family were attending the Bridgeport Sound Tigers game at Webster Bank Arena. Before the game started, the boy was leaning against a railing at the edge of the spectator area attempting to give high-fives to the players as they emerged from the locker room on their way to the ice. According to court documents, spectators—especially children—were not only allowed to greet the players at the railing but they were actively encouraged to do so.

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Recent Tragedy Exposes Weaknesses in Eyewitness Testimony

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

eyewitness, East Hartford criminal defense attorneyConsider a hypothetical scenario in which you are in line at your bank waiting for a teller to call you over. Suddenly, at one of the other teller windows, you see a person holding a gun. The person is yelling for everyone to get down and demanding that the bank employee hand over cash. You realize that there is little to be gained from arguing with a person holding a gun, so you get down on the floor and cover your head with your arms—but not before you sneak a look at the would-be robber’s face.

Now for the million-dollar question: Would you be able to accurately describe the face you saw when the police get your statement later? If you were like most people, you would probably answer the question with a resounding “yes.” If you really were like most people, however, the description you give would probably not match images taken from the bank’s security cameras as closely as you might expect, even though you reported everything exactly as you remembered it.  This is one the major weaknesses in eyewitness testimony and one of the most important things to keep in mind if anyone ever claims that they saw you commit a crime.

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Could You Face Criminal Charges for What You Say on Social Media?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

charges, Connecticut personal injury attorneyIn today’s digitally connected world, virtually everyone has a voice that can be heard across the globe. Most people, however, do not really think of social media that way, largely limiting their posts and ideas to their friends, families, and followers. Sometimes, though, a social media post can cause a great deal of trouble for the poster, including the danger of being arrested. While it is not common for a person to be arrested for the things they say online, it can and occasionally does happen.

New Hampshire Man Arrested for Criminal Defamation

In May of last year, a man in New Hampshire was arrested by local police for comments he posted on Facebook. The man had not made any threats nor were his comments harassing anyone. Instead, the police allege that he violated the state’s law regarding criminal defamation—sometimes called criminal libel in other jurisdictions. The New Hampshire law makes it a criminal offense for a person to “purposely communicate to any person, orally or in writing, and information which he knows to be false and knows will tend to expose any other living person to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule.”

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Injured Man Settles With Apartment Complex Over Snow-Covered Walkway Injury

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney

walkway, East Hartford premises liability attorneyIn case we were not convinced, the last few days has proven that winter has officially arrived in New England. As you probably realize, sub-freezing temperatures, along with the ice and snow that typically accompany them, can present a variety of dangers. Icy roads make car accidents more likely, and snow-covered walkways can lead to serious slip-and-fall injuries. Sometimes, snow can contribute to an accident by hiding other hazards, such broken sidewalk slabs or black ice. Such was allegedly the case for a former Vernon resident who recently settled an injury claim against the apartment complex where he once lived.

A Dangerous Combination

According to court records, the incident took place in January 2015 after a snowfall. A 41-year-old man fell on the walkway of his apartment complex on West Main Street in Vernon. The man claimed that the walkway was cracked and uneven, but that snow and ice covered up the walkway’s poor condition. He reportedly suffered injuries to his left leg, knee, and hip, and surgery was required to put hardware in his leg.

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Connecticut State Drug Charges vs. Federal Drug Charges

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

Hartford federal drug charges defense lawyerBeing charged with a drug crime is a serious matter. Those who commit these offenses are not only breaking state laws, but they are likely violating federal laws as well. This means an offender can be prosecuted at the federal level with sentencing that is more strict than state sentencing.

A person can be charged with both state and federal drug charges for the same crime, which may seem unfair at first, but ultimately makes sense. When multiple jurisdictions are involved in a crime, double jeopardy does not apply. The idea of “dual sovereignty” gives both states and the federal government the ability to prosecute an offender for the same crime. However, there are a few differences between federal and state drug charges, and it is important to understand them.

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Murder Charges and Sentences in Connecticut

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

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:

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What Are the Penalties For State or Federal Child Pornography Charges?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

Hartford child pornography charges defense attorneySex crimes are some of the most serious offenses a person can be charged with. When sex crimes involve children, the situation becomes even more serious, and the penalties can be severe. An arrest, or even an accusation, for crimes related to the possession or distribution of child pornography can follow you for your entire life. If convicted of child pornography charges, you will be required to register as a sex offender in the state of Connecticut, which can make your life even more difficult.

Those who have been accused of crimes related to child pornography will likely be worried about how their life will be affected. Unfortunately, these types of charges can result from seemingly innocuous activities or because of the actions of another person, and an alleged offender will likely wonder how their career, personal relationships, and criminal record will be affected. If you are facing child pornography charges, it is imperative that you hire a skilled criminal defense attorney.

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