Recent Blog Posts

How Can Jailhouse Informants Impact a Criminal Case?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

Connecticut criminal defense attorney for informant testimonyThe United States is a unique country in many ways. When it comes to the U.S. legal system, defendants are given quite a few inherent freedoms that many other countries do not provide. The way the legal system is set up here in our country, law enforcement officials can give individuals clemency for certain crimes in exchange for information. For example, police can choose to let a person walk free if they can offer up information about a crime committed by someone else. Prosecutors have the ability to recommend a lesser sentence or even drop criminal charges altogether if a defendant cooperates. One of the best examples of this is the practice of allowing prison inmates to testify against other inmates in exchange for various benefits.

The Issue With Jailhouse Informants

Recently, the use of jailhouse informants has become a hot topic. This has come in part because of the availability of new DNA testing technology that has helped quite a few people be declared innocent of the crimes they were accused of committing. Many of the people who have been exonerated were convicted because of testimony from jailhouse informants, whose intentions are not always the best. In many cases, informants are offered certain benefits for providing testimony, such as a reduction in their own sentences.

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Connecticut Passes New Law to Keep Juvenile Felony Trials Private

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Uncategorized

East Hartford criminal defense lawyer for juvenile chargesThe juvenile justice system has always functioned differently than the adult criminal justice system -- and for good reason. Since the creation of the first juvenile justice court in Illinois at the end of the 19th century, it has been known that youth who come into contact with the criminal justice system have different needs than adults who find themselves in trouble. All states have a separate criminal justice system for juveniles, though in recent years, an increased focus has been placed on reducing the number of juveniles who come into contact with the criminal justice system. In an effort to follow suit, Connecticut recently passed a law to make certain juvenile trials are more private.

Reduced Charges Can Be Transferred Back to Juvenile Court

The new law, Public Act 19-187, changes quite a few things concerning the juvenile justice system. Existing laws state that the juvenile court is required to automatically transfer a case involving a child who is at least 15 years old to adult court if the case involves murder, a Class A felony or certain Class B felonies. If a juvenile is charged with any other type of felony, it is up to the court’s discretion to transfer the case or not.

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3 Types of Distracted Driving That Can Cause Dangerous Car Accidents

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Connecticut distracted driving car accident attorneyDistracted driving is one of the most serious problems plaguing today’s roads. It is so easy, especially with the popularity and availability of cell phones and other handheld devices, for drivers to pay attention to something other than the road, putting themselves and everyone else around them in danger. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 3,200 people killed in car accidents involving a distracted driver in 2017. The NHTSA also estimates that more than 420,000 people are injured in accidents involving distracted drivers every year. These injuries can range from superficial scrapes or bruises to severe injuries, such as whiplash or traumatic brain injuries.

What Is Distracted Driving?

There are a couple of definitions people use when they talk about distracted driving. In general, the NHTSA defines distracted driving as something that diverts a driver’s attention from the task of safely operating their vehicle. This can be literally any type of distraction, from a child in the back seat to a cell phone.

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How Accurate Are Breath Tests in Connecticut DUI Cases?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Uncategorized

Hartford criminal defense attorney for DUI chargesOver a million Americans are arrested each year for alcohol-impaired driving. Though each state has its own procedures for performing DUI arrests and prosecutions, most arrests follow a similar process. First, a person is pulled over, and the officer may perform a variety of field sobriety tests. Then, the officer may ask a driver to blow into a portable device to get a preliminary reading of their breath-alcohol concentration, and the results of this test will be used to determine whether to make an arrest. Following an arrest, the driver will be transported to the police station, where he or she will be asked to submit to a “more accurate” breath test. However, recent investigations have found that these tests are often not so accurate after all.

Why We Should Question the Tests

The fates of many DUI cases are often sealed with the breath test. Portable breath tests, like the ones used on the roadside by police officers, are usually not admissible in court, but results from the machines that are used at the police station can be used as evidence. If the machine returns a breath-alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, a person may face a conviction for DUI. Further, many people are pressured into submitting to these tests because penalties exist if testing is refused. In Connecticut, a person who refuses to submit to a chemical test faces a one-year driver’s license suspension with the requirement that an ignition interlock device be installed on any vehicle they drive during the suspension period.

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Can Officers Legally Search My Electronic Devices at the U.S. Border?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

East Hartford criminal defense lawyer for illegal searchesMany of the laws in the United States were written hundreds of years ago, when the most advanced forms of technology available were bifocal eyeglasses and steamboats. In today’s world, where everything is at your fingertips in the form of a handheld device, the application of these laws can become tricky. In recent years, people have argued that their Fourth Amendment rights have been overstepped at U.S. border checkpoints. Millions of people travel in and out of the United States on a daily basis, and they may be subject to electronic device searches, whether they are U.S. citizens or not. The question is, are these searches legal?

Civil Liberties Advocates Argue for More Privacy

In recent years, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents have been searching more and more electronic devices at U.S. borders. In 2015, there were an estimated 8,500 searches conducted on electronic devices at the border. In 2018, there were 33,000 searches conducted, which is a three-fold increase. Many civil liberties advocates, most notably the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have argued that these searches are often done for no apparent reason and violate the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

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What Are the Penalties for Manslaughter With a Motor Vehicle in Connecticut?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Uncategorized

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.

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What Role Does Cell Phone Evidence Play in Criminal Cases?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

Hartford criminal defense lawyer for digital evidenceTechnology is a common and often unavoidable presence in today’s world. Think about your own life; how often do you use your cell phone? What do you use your cell phone for? If you have ever used apps like Google Maps or Apple Maps to get from place to place, your location has been recorded. Even if you delete phone calls or text message conversations from your phone, the records of these conversations still exist. When it comes to criminal cases, technology has become a commonly-used source of evidence.

Cell Phones and Types of Evidence

Almost everything you do on your cell phone is recorded and stored. Information about any calls you make, any text messages you send, and any apps you use can all be accessed on your cell phone, even if you have attempted to delete those records. There are many different types of cell phone data that can be used in criminal cases, including:

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How Should I Respond to Accusations of Domestic Violence?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

East Hartford family violence defense attorneyDomestic violence is a serious social issue that has received increased attention in recent years. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 10 million people become victims of some form of domestic violence each year in the United States. Because of these harrowing statistics, an increased focus has been placed on prosecuting domestic violence offenders. While this is a valiant effort by lawmakers and law enforcement officials, those who face accusations of domestic violence can have a difficult time proving their innocence and dealing with the effects that these charges can have on their relationships, family life, and reputation. If you have been accused of domestic violence, there are a few things you should do to help your situation.

Connecticut Domestic Violence Laws

In Connecticut, domestic violence is referred to as “family violence.” Connecticut statutes define family violence as any act between family or household members that results in physical injury or creates reasonable fear that physical injury will occur. Family and household members can include:

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When Is Theft a Felony Offense in Connecticut?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Hartford Criminal Defense Attorney

Hartford larceny defense attorneyThere are many situations in which an action could legally be considered theft. In the state of Connecticut, theft is typically referred to as larceny, and all of the laws pertaining to theft use this term. Connecticut statutes state that larceny occurs when a person takes, obtains, or withholds property from its owner with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of the property. Larceny in Connecticut includes actions such as embezzlement, extortion, theft of services, shoplifting, and even receiving stolen property. Certain actions are charged in Connecticut as misdemeanor larceny crimes, but charges can also be elevated to felony larceny charges, depending on the circumstances surrounding the situation.

Larceny in the Third Degree

The first level of felony larceny charges, larceny in the third degree, occurs when a person commits larceny and the property:

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When Can a Person Be Charged With Risk of Injury to a Minor?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Defense

Connecticut criminal defense lawyer for crimes against childrenWhen it comes to crimes involving children, everything is more intense. Charges are often specific in nature, penalties are often more severe, and offenders are more likely to be subject to minimum sentences if they are convicted. One such crime, risk of injury to a minor, encompasses a wide range of actions that can result in serious actions being taken against an alleged perpetrator. Because of the gravity of crimes involving children, the benefit of the doubt is often not given to those who are suspected of child endangerment, which is why it is essential to work with a skilled criminal defense attorney.

What Is Risk of Injury to a Minor?

The Connecticut statute that contains the law against endangering a child is a widely-encompassing one. According to the law, a person commits risk of injury to a minor when that person:

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