Recent Blog Posts

New Laws and Recent Court Rulings Address Firearm Ownership Rights

 Posted on July 17, 2023 in Criminal Defense

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-37.jpgFirearm rights and gun control are hotly contested issues in the United States. Gun owners believe in protecting people's Second Amendment right to bear arms, while others are seeking to implement reasonable reforms that are meant to prevent gun violence and deaths. The laws surrounding firearm possession are constantly changing, with court decisions being issued that address people's rights and new laws being passed that may place restrictions on gun owners. By staying abreast of these changes, firearm owners and those who may face criminal charges related to weapons possession can protect their rights and determine how to address accusations that they have violated the law.

Court Ruling Addresses Firearm Ownership by Convicted Felons

The laws of the United States generally prohibit the possession of firearms by people who have been convicted of felonies or other offenses that are punishable by a prison sentence of more than one year. However, some have challenged this restriction, arguing that it should not apply to people who have been convicted of non-violent crimes. A recent decision by an appeals court in Pennsylvania addressed this issue.

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Is Facial Recognition Technology Racially Biased?

 Posted on July 12, 2023 in Criminal Defense

b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-16.jpgDigital technology has revolutionized many aspects of modern life, although many people may not realize the extent to which computer systems track their movements, their online activities, and other information about them. One area that has caused some concern involves the use of facial recognition technology by police. This technology may be used to identify suspects, perform arrests, and prosecute alleged offenders on criminal charges, but it is prone to errors. In fact, there have been several instances in which people have been falsely arrested, and studies have found that many of these cases involve racial bias.

Wrongful Arrests of Black Men Due to Facial Recognition Technology

There have been a number of instances in which police have arrested people solely based on false identifications provided by facial recognition systems. In one case, a man in Georgia was arrested due to a warrant issued in Louisiana based on a match in a facial recognition database, even though he had never been to the state. In another, a man in Detroit was arrested based on video footage of a jewelry store robbery, but police did not perform any other investigations beyond identifying his image using facial recognition software.

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How Often Do Felony Arrests Lead to Convictions?

 Posted on June 28, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Hartford Criminal LawyerBail reform is an issue that many criminal justice advocates have focused on in recent years. The cash bail systems used in many states are often unfair and unjust, and people who cannot afford to pay bail may be forced to remain in prison until the criminal charges against them have been resolved. While advocates have called for reform to this system, and several states have begun to limit the use of cash bail for people charged with non-violent crimes, opponents of bail reform have claimed that these policies have led to felony offenders being released, increasing the likelihood that they will commit additional crimes. However, by looking at the statistics related to how felony offenses are prosecuted, it becomes clear that these claims are misleading.

Most Felony Charges Are Dismissed

It is often claimed that bail is necessary to ensure that violent offenders will remain behind bars, preventing them from committing additional offenses. However, just because someone is charged with a felony, this does not mean that they actually committed the offense in question. In fact, the statistics surrounding felony prosecutions demonstrate that the vast majority of people who are charged with felonies are not convicted of these offenses.

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How Does Police Violence Affect Victims and Others in the Community?

 Posted on June 22, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Hartford Criminal LawyerPolice violence has been an ongoing issue in the United States for decades. In recent years, there have been multiple high-profile incidents in which police have been caught on video using excessive force against criminal suspects and taking actions that led to the deaths of people who were unarmed. While these documented examples of inappropriate police violence are shocking enough, there are many other cases where police commit egregious acts of brutality without facing any consequences.

While there have been multiple protests and calls for reform, not enough has been done to stop police violence from occurring. In fact, according to Mapping Police Violence, the number of people killed by police throughout the United States has steadily increased between 2019 and 2022. To make matters worse, minorities are disproportionately affected by the actions of police. Even though Black people make up around 13 percent of the U.S. population, they account for around 25 percent of police killings, and they are 2.9 times more likely to be killed by police than white people.

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Connecticut Updates Bail Thresholds for People Facing Criminal Charges

 Posted on June 15, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Hartford Criminal LawyerFor people who are arrested and charged with a crime, the first priority is often to determine how they can be released from custody. Securing a speedy release can be crucial, since it can help a person avoid consequences such as the loss of a job or issues that affect their custody of their children. In many cases, a person will be required to pay a certain amount of bail. However, some people may not have the resources to make a large cash payment, and they may be required to remain in custody until their case is resolved. To address this issue, Connecticut judges will be implementing a new rule that will allow lower amounts of bail to be paid in certain situations.

Understanding Bail in Connecticut

When a person is arrested in Connecticut, bail will be set by the police, staff members of Pretrial Services, or a judge. After paying this amount, the person may be released from custody, and they will be required to appear in court at all scheduled hearings and during their trial. After the completion of the case, the amount paid will be returned to the person, as long as they met all requirements put in place when bail was set.

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Could the Supreme Court Take Away the Rights of Criminal Defendants?

 Posted on June 08, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Hartford Drug Crimes LawyerPeople in the United States have a number of rights that protect them when they are accused of crimes and tried for criminal offenses. While many of these rights have been established through laws passed by Congress, others have been put in place through judicial rulings that have interpreted the Constitution. Unfortunately, this means that some of these rights may be at risk of being removed based on rulings by the Supreme Court.

Rights That Could Potentially Be Overturned by the Supreme Court

Currently, six of the justices on the Supreme Court have been appointed by Republican presidents, and three justices have been appointed by Democrats. The conservative majority on the court has already led to some decisions that have affected people's rights, such as the ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which took away the right to abortion. Some other rights that may be at risk include:

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How Often Do 911 Calls Lead to Unnecessary Arrests?

 Posted on May 30, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Hartford Criminal Defense LawyerIn recent years, many people have raised concerns about the role of police in our society, including whether they are best suited to deal with emergency situations. When people call 911 for assistance, police will often be dispatched to the scene of an emergency along with other first responders, such as firefighters or emergency medical technicians. Unfortunately, the presence of police officers in certain situations can make things worse, especially in cases involving mental health issues. Since police officers are focused on identifying criminal activity, they may treat the people involved in an emergency as suspects, subdue people who they believe are behaving dangerously, and perform arrests rather than de-escalating a situation and offering aid.

Unfortunately, people who are involved in situations where someone called 911 may be subject to unnecessary arrests, and they may face criminal charges. This can be a major concern in cases where someone calls 911 to report a domestic dispute, and police who are called to the scene are likely to arrest at least one person involved on charges related to domestic violence. Those who have been arrested and charged with crimes in emergency situations will need to understand how they can defend against these charges and resolve a criminal case successfully.

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How Can Victims’ Rights Be Protected in the Criminal Justice System?

 Posted on May 22, 2023 in Criminal Defense

East Harford Criminal LawyerWhen a person is accused of a crime, the criminal justice system will often focus on investigating the allegations, pursuing criminal charges, and implementing punishments following a conviction. During a case, the prosecution will attempt to demonstrate the person's guilt, while the defendant will work to prove their innocence or provide information about mitigating circumstances. In the midst of the legal proceedings, the victim or victims of the alleged offense are often overlooked. However, they can often provide important information about a case, and their rights should be respected in matters related to prosecution, sentencing, and post-conviction appeals or requests for relief.

Increased Focus on Crime Victims' Needs and Desires

Due to a number of recent high-profile cases in which victims have spoken out against people who have allegedly committed acts of violence, sexual assault, or abuse, there has been an increased focus on how victims are affected by these issues and how they are treated in criminal cases. In a recent book, Judith Herman, a pioneering psychological researcher who has brought attention to the trauma experienced by victims of crimes such as sexual abuse, looked at the issues that many victims face as they deal with the aftermath of sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, and other similar traumatic situations.

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Can Police Use Google Search History to Identify Suspects?

 Posted on May 16, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Hartford Criminal LawyerSearch engines and other online tools have become essential in many people's lives. Being able to quickly and easily look up information or get directions allows people to complete multiple types of daily tasks while at home, at work, or anywhere else. However, this easy access to information comes with a cost. The searches people perform and the other ways they use websites and apps leave behind a digital trail that could be used to track their movements and activities. In some cases, this information may be accessed by law enforcement and used as evidence in a criminal case. Privacy and criminal justice advocates are challenging these practices, and a case that is currently being heard by the Colorado Supreme Court may play a significant role in how Google search information may be accessed and used by law enforcement.

Colorado Supreme Court Addresses Reverse Keyword Search Warrants

In August of 2020, five people were killed in a house fire in the Denver area that was allegedly started by three teenagers. As police officers investigated the incident, they were unable to identify the suspects until they issued a search warrant to Google. This warrant required Google to turn over information about anyone who searched for the street address of the home in question within 15 days before the fire. The search turned up several accounts and eventually led to the identification of the suspects, who were charged with first-degree murder, arson, and other offenses.

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The Fentanyl Epidemic May Lead to Changes in U.S. Drug Policies

 Posted on May 05, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Harford Criminal LawyerThe United States is facing an unprecedented crisis due to the increased availability of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. Fentanyl has been linked to tens of thousands of overdose deaths across the country in recent years, making it one of the leading causes of drug-related fatalities. The rise in fentanyl overdoses has raised alarm bells among public health officials, who are calling for changes to U.S. drug policies that focus on harm reduction rather than pursuing drug charges for those who are accused of possessing or using this deadly substance.

What Is Fentanyl, and Why Is it So Dangerous?

Fentanyl is a synthetic drug that is classified as an opioid. While other types of opioids, including heroin and morphine, are made from poppy plants, fentanyl is synthesized using chemicals. While fentanyl was originally developed in the 1960s as a pain medication, it has seen increased use in recent years as an illegal drug. In many cases, those who have become addicted to prescription painkillers have turned to fentanyl.

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