Recent Blog Posts

When Can Blood Samples Be Used in Connecticut DUI Cases?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Uncategorized

Connecticut DUI attorney for chemical testsIn Connecticut, you may face charges of driving under the influence (DUI) if you operate a vehicle while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol or if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher. If you are arrested for DUI, you will be asked to perform a chemical test to determine your BAC, and this may be either a blood, breath, or urine test. Though chemical breath tests are most commonly used to determine BAC, other methods may be more accurate, and it is not unheard of to be asked to provide a blood sample.

Requirements for Using Chemical Tests as Evidence

The point of collecting a sample of a suspect’s blood, breath or urine is to have hard evidence of the amount of alcohol or drugs in the person’s system at the time of the arrest. This evidence may be used to demonstrate that a driver was intoxicated, but in order for the evidence to be admissible in Connecticut courts, there are six requirements that must be met:

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Can a Teen Become a Sex Offender for Sharing Selfies?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Uncategorized

Hartford criminal defense lawyer for teen sex offensesAdvances in technology are constantly happening. Every day, it seems as if there is a new device, app, or way of digitally communicating with one another. While technological advancement and evolving behaviors can be beneficial for society, they often pose legal problems. A relatively new act called “sexting” is one of the latest challenges that has been posed to lawmakers across the country, and both parents and children should be aware of the potential sex crime charges that could result from this type of activity.

What Is “Sexting?”

Sexting is a type of sexual behavior that occurs when two people consensually share explicit photos, videos, or messages through an electronic device. According to a study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, around 27 percent of teenagers say that they have received such a text message, while 15 percent of teens admitted that they have sent such a message.

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Supreme Court Ruling Allows Warrantless Blood Draws in DUI Cases

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Hartford Criminal Defense Attorney

Connecticut DUI defense attorneyIn all 50 states, it is illegal to drive while you are under the influence of alcohol. If you have a blood alcohol content of more than .08 percent, you can be charged with DUI. If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, you may be asked to complete a chemical test to determine your BAC. This type of roadside breathalyzer test is used during a traffic stop to establish probable cause. After an arrest, you will be taken to the police station, where there is more accurate equipment that can establish a BAC that will hold up in court. In certain cases, however, a breath test may not always be feasible. In these cases, a urine or blood test may be used. Most of the time, a warrant must be issued before an officer can take a blood sample, though the Supreme Court recently upheld a decision which found that a warrant may not be necessary in some cases.

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Connecticut Joins Other States in Banning the “Gay Panic” Defense

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Uncategorized

Hartford assault charges defense lawyerCrimes committed against members of the LGBTQ community have risen slightly over the past three years. According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), most hate crimes are based on bias toward race and religion, but the number of hate crimes (which may include assault or other violent crimes) based on sexual orientation has risen each year between 2014 and 2017. In 2017, there were 1,130 hate crime incidents reported to the FBI that were based on sexual orientation. In some cases, when the alleged offenders are prosecuted, their defense attorneys use what is called the “gay panic” defense. In recent years, this defense has been outlawed in many states, and Connecticut recently joined the group of states who do not consider the gay panic defense as a legitimate defense strategy.

What Is the “Gay Panic” Defense?

A person who allegedly committed assault or murder against a person may claim that they did so because of the alleged victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This type of strategy may involve claims of insanity or diminished capacity that occurred due to an interaction with a person who is gay or transgender. An alleged offender may also claim that they were provoked to commit a violent offense because of sexual advances made by the alleged victim. The gay panic defense is often seen as blaming the alleged victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity for the alleged offender’s actions. Those who oppose the use of this defense have stated that it may be used to justify and excuse the assault or murder of LGBTQ victims.

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How Can Facial Recognition Technology Affect My Criminal Case?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

 Connecticut criminal law attorney for facial recognition evidenceSince the 1990s, facial recognition technology has become more and more common. What was once just wishful and futuristic thinking is now present in our everyday lives in the United States. Home security devices use facial recognition to identify whether or not a visitor is someone you know. Some airports have implemented facial recognition software at check-in terminals to confirm your identity when you fly. Perhaps the most disturbing use of facial recognition technology is when it is used by law enforcement officials in criminal cases.

Federal Agencies Use Facial Recognition Technology

According to The Washington Post, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been using various states’ driver’s license databases to access photos of millions of Americans without their knowledge or permission. The FBI has long had access to biometric data such as DNA and fingerprints -- but that data was taken from criminal suspects. The majority of the estimated 640 million photos the FBI has access to are of Americans who have never been charged with a crime. Facial recognition searches have become a routine investigative tool by the FBI, but many have argued against the effectiveness of this relatively new technology.

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How Is Cell Phone Data Used in Criminal Cases?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

Hartford criminal lawyer for cell phone evidenceIn today’s world, there are many technological advances that previous generations could not even dream of being possible. As the world of technology has advanced, so has the world of forensics. Advancements in technology have also allowed advancements in gathering evidence and processing that evidence for use in criminal cases. Cell phones are one such piece of technology that is used all over the world as a source of criminal evidence.

What Kind of Data Is Used as Evidence?

Cell phones -- especially smartphones -- gather, process, and store all kinds of data. From the text messages you send and receive, the photos you share, or the websites you visit, almost everything you do on your phone is stored and can be retrieved, even if you have deleted it. Some common types of data that can be retrieved from cell phones include:

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How Do Fourth Amendment Rights Apply to Digital Evidence?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Hartford Criminal Defense Attorney

Connecticut criminal defense attorney for digital evidenceThe Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states that all citizens have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government without a warrant. This provides protection against unfair tactics by prosecutors when a person is facing criminal charges. However, in the 21st century, the increased use of digital media has resulted in a slew of complexities in criminal cases. The Fourth Amendment was written to protect the privacy of American citizens, but what happens when your private digital files are no longer private to only you? In some cases, the “private search doctrine” may apply.

What Is the Private Search Doctrine?

Using the private search doctrine, once a private party (who is not involved with the government) has already done an initial search, the government can repeat that search without infringing upon the property owner’s individual Fourth Amendment rights. Basically, the private search doctrine allows the government to perform a search that is not technically a search in the Constitutional sense.

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Can a State Pardon Prevent the Deportation of an Immigrant?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Uncategorized

Hartford criminal defense lawyer for pardons and deportationIn the United States, immigration has always been a topic of interest, especially in recent years. For many years, immigration requirements have stated that an immigrant who commits certain crimes can lose their citizenship or residency status, and they may be deported by immigration enforcement officials. Immigration laws are complex, and there are many provisions relating to what happens when a non-citizen commits a crime, which is why help from a skilled criminal defense attorney is important in these types of cases.

English Immigrant Receives Pardon for Crimes

In a recent case, an English immigrant who was previously convicted of crimes is still being held in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility in Boston. ICE is still attempting to deport her, even though she received a full pardon for her crimes. The woman, who is currently a lawful permanent resident of the United States, was four years old when she came to the U.S. with her mother. The crimes that ICE is attempting to deport her for include misdemeanor retail theft charges and a felony larceny charge.

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Can Police Search You or Your Vehicle if They Smell Marijuana?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

Connecticut criminal defense attorney for marijuana crimesIn recent years, the recreational and medical use of marijuana has become legal in several states across the country. Currently, 33 states, including Connecticut, permit the medicinal use of marijuana, and 11 states and the District of Columbia allow the recreational use of marijuana for adults. Even just 10 years ago, police could use the “smell of marijuana” as a legitimate reason to search a citizen’s vehicle or person for evidence which could be used to pursue charges for drug possession or DUI. However, times have changed, and some courts have found that this is not an adequate reason to conduct a search.

Is Marijuana Odor Considered Evidence?

Now that more than half of the states have legalized marijuana in some way, lawmakers and law enforcement officials have run into an issue of constitutionality when it comes to using the smell of marijuana as probable cause to search a vehicle or a person. In the minority of states that have not legalized marijuana, a police officer who believes they smell pot has probable cause to search a vehicle in most cases. In other states, however, the line has become blurred, because the smell of pot does not necessarily point to a crime.

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What Is Dual Sovereignty, and How Does it Pertain to My Criminal Case?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

East Hartford criminal defense lawyer for state and federal chargesThe United States Constitution gives citizens dozens of rights that are indicative of the spirit and history of the country, such as the right to free speech, the right to peacefully protest, and the right to bear arms. These rights are contained in the first ten Amendments, called the Bill of Rights, and they are constantly being analyzed in different contexts by scholars, lawmakers, and the members of the U.S. Supreme Court. One of these rights is the protection against double jeopardy, or being tried for the same crime more than once. This has been an issue that has wedged its way into the Supreme Court more than once and that has held precedent for many years.

Understanding Dual Sovereignty and Double Jeopardy

The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution contains a variety of protections and rights given to citizens concerning criminal trials. One of these protections is from what is known as “double jeopardy” or being tried for the same crime twice. Originally, the Fifth Amendment was only meant to apply to the federal government, but over the years, the Supreme Court has ruled that it also applies to state governments.

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