Recent Blog Posts

Can Data From a Home DNA Test Be Accessed by Law Enforcement?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

East Hartford criminal defense attorney DNA evidenceHome DNA tests have been gaining popularity in recent years. Some of the biggest players in the home DNA test industry, Ancestry and 23andMe, aim to help people understand their DNA better, from their genealogical roots to their carrier status for certain diseases and their predisposition for certain traits. This technology has allowed people to connect in a way that they never imagined before, but it has also opened the doors for certain ethical considerations, such as whether or not law enforcement officials should be able to access DNA information when investigating those suspected of criminal charges.

Golden State Killer Was Caught Through DNA Use

For decades, the Golden State Killer eluded law enforcement and was able to rape and murder dozens of people. In 2018, law enforcement officials were finally able to charge the man for committing more than 50 rapes and 12 murders across California, thanks to help from an online genealogy database, GEDmatch. Using DNA that was recovered from crime scenes throughout the years, they were able to locate distant relatives of the Golden State Killer and eventually ended up at his front door.

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What Should I Do if I Am Charged With Violating Probation or Parole?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

Connecticut criminal defense attorney for probation or parole violationIf you are convicted of criminal charges, you could be sentenced to probation,  and depending on the circumstances of your situation, probation may be sentenced in lieu of jail time, or you may be subject to a period of probation after a jail sentence has been completed. While probation may not seem as serious as jail time, , it should not be taken lightly. The same type of seriousness applies if you have been released from your jail sentence early and are on parole. There are certain rules that you must abide by when you are on probation or parole. Violating any of the rules of your probation or parole can result in further consequences, including facing additional jail time or being required to serve the remainder of your jail sentence.

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When Is a Negligent Driver Liable for Motorcycle Accident Injuries?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Personal Injury

East Hartford personal injury attorney for motorcycle collisionsMore than a few Americans enjoy the thrill of riding a motorcycle. According to the latest information from the Federal Highway Administration, there were more than 8.4 million motorcycles registered in the United States in 2014. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that there were nearly 5,000 motorcyclist deaths in 2018, a disproportionate number of fatalities when compared to passenger vehicles. When a motorcyclist gets into an accident with another motor vehicle, they are commonly the ones who suffer serious injuries because of the lack of protection that their vehicles offer. Road rash, broken bones, brain injuries, or nerve and spinal cord injuries are common after a motorcycle accident. If you have been in a motorcycle collision, a Connecticut personal injury attorney can help determine if you are entitled to compensation.

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What Are the Connecticut Laws Regarding Concealed Carry of Handguns?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Weapons Offenses

Hartford criminal defense lawyer for weapons chargesSince the establishment of the United States, one of the freedoms inherently given to American citizens is the right to gun ownership. The right to bear arms is one of the many unique characteristics of the U.S., but this “right” is commonly restricted and regulated by state governments. One of the many ways the use and possession of firearms is regulated is by requiring some kind of permit or license to legally purchase and possess a firearm. Each state has its own laws, but Connecticut tends to be more strict with its gun laws than many other states.

Carrying Permits

Anyone who wishes to purchase a firearm in Connecticut must obtain an Eligibility Certificate. This will allow you to buy a gun and transport it to your home or place of business. However, before you can carry a handgun on your person, you must apply for and receive a permit for carrying a pistol or revolver. This permit is broad; Connecticut law does not specify whether the permit applies to open carry or concealed carry, just carrying a pistol in general. If you plan on carrying a handgun in any place other than your home or place of business, you must have a valid pistol permit on your person.

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Understanding Connecticut’s Deadly Weapon Offender Registry

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Dangerous Weapons

Connecticut criminal defense attorney for deadly weapons chargesThe deadly shooting that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT in 2012 shook the country and especially the state of Connecticut. Shortly after the tragedy, the state’s lawmakers enacted several new laws pertaining to firearms, one of which created what is known as the Deadly Weapon Offender Registry. This is a non-public registry, and those who have been convicted of criminal charges involving a deadly weapon are required to submit their personal information to the registry and maintain this registration for five years after their release from prison. While the registry functions similar to the sex offender registry, some are arguing that the registry should not be made public or should not exist at all.

Who Is Required to Register?

The current law states that any person who is convicted or found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect for a crime involving a deadly weapon is required to register within 14 days of being released back into the community. Connecticut law defines a deadly weapon as “any weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, from which a shot may be discharged, or a switchblade knife, gravity knife, bill, blackjack, bludgeon, or metal knuckles.” There are 42 offenses for which convicted offenders must submit their information to the registry, including:

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What Are the Potential Consequences for Money Laundering?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

Hartford federal crime defense attorney for money laundering chargesIn many cases, alleged criminal activity that occurs in the United States involves earning money through illegal means. When businesses need to deal with cash, they may take steps to ensure that they can use, move, and store money. In some cases, this can result in accusations of money laundering, which occurs when profits from alleged illegal activity are made to seem legal. A person who is accused of money laundering may face criminal charges under state laws, but also federal laws in some situations.

What Is Money Laundering?

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), money laundering is the process in which the true origins of profits earned through criminal acts are concealed, and a person makes it look as though money was earned through legitimate means. There are many ways that money can be laundered. One of the most common methods is to funnel cash through a legitimate business. Money laundering can also be done by “smurfing” or “structuring,” which occurs when a person breaks up large amounts of cash and deposits it into multiple accounts in smaller quantities. Whatever the method of money laundering, it is illegal, and it can result in serious consequences.

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How Will My Life Be Affected if I Am on the Sex Offender Registry?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Sex Crime Charges

Connecticut criminal defense attorney for sex crimesIn 1994, the U.S. Congress passed the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, which required all states to establish and implement some sort of sex offender registration program. Since then, many amendments and additions have been made to laws pertaining to sex offender registration, including the creation of a national online sex-offender registry that is accessible to the general public. While this has been touted as a way to increase public safety, sex offender registries can have severe consequences on the lives of those who are required to register.

When Is a Person Required to Register as a Sex Offender in Connecticut?

Each state is allowed to use its own discretion when it comes to the sex offender registry, and states can choose which offenses require offenders to register if they are found guilty. The state of Connecticut has certain requirements for those who must be included on the sex offender registry and how long they must register. In Connecticut, you are required to register as a sex offender in the following cases:

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Can I Pursue Compensation for a Car Accident Caused By a Drunk Driver?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Hartford drunk driving accident lawyerIn all states, it is illegal to drive or operate a vehicle when you are intoxicated or your blood alcohol content (BAC) is more than 0.08. Unfortunately, that does not mean that everyone refrains from doing so. According to the Connecticut Judicial Branch, there were around 8,390 DUI cases that were recorded in the state in 2018. It is well known that driving while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol is dangerous and puts both you and everyone else on the road at risk. Alcohol-related car accidents can result in serious injuries to others and damage to their property. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident, you have options for obtaining compensation. These include:

Suing the Driver

The first thing you could do is to attempt to obtain compensation from the driver or the person who caused the accident. In Connecticut, you can demonstrate fault for an accident by showing that the driver was acting negligently when the collisions occurred. If a driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, this is usually sufficient to prove negligence.

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Should Alleged Victims Be Allowed to Testify in Sexual Assault Cases?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Sex Crime Charges

Connecticut sex crime attorney character witnessesSince the beginnings of the “Me Too” movement, a great deal of emphasis has been placed on the issues surrounding sexual violence. Several high-profile cases have taken place in the past couple of years, including the Brock Turner case, in which a college student was convicted of three counts of sexual assault and sentenced to only six months in jail. Another more recent case is that of Harvey Weinstein, the media mogul who was convicted of two counts of sex crimes after years of allegations and trials. Weinstein’s case was of interest to the criminal justice community in particular for the choice of witnesses permitted to testify during the trial.

Sexual Assault Cases Often Involve “Prior Bad Acts” Witnesses

It is not uncommon for trials involving allegations of sexual misconduct to allow character witnesses to testify about the defendant’s past behavior. These “prior bad acts” witnesses may allege that the defendant committed previous acts of sexual misconduct, even if there were never any charges or convictions pursued for the supposed acts. In two recent high-profile cases, prior bad acts witnesses were involved. In the Weinstein case, three additional witnesses were permitted to testify against Weinstein, even though charges were never pursued for the misconduct the witnesses alleged. In another case involving actor Bill Cosby, five women testified against him, and none of these witnesses’ allegations resulted in criminal charges. It has been speculated that these witnesses played a significant role in the defendants’ convictions.

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Will Connecticut Provide Information to ICE in Immigration Cases?

 Posted on December 00,0000 in Criminal Law

Hartford, CT criminal defense attorney for immigration casesImmigration still remains a hotly debated topic in American politics. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have tried multiple ways to get state and local law enforcement agencies to help them detain undocumented immigrants. While some states and cities have complied with these requests, others have not. Connecticut has long been considered a “sanctuary state” due to its unwillingness to help ICE detain immigrants. The Trust Act that was passed in 2013 details Connecticut’s policy of a hands-off approach when it comes to ICE. However, even with these policies in place, the state has provided information about criminal cases involving immigrants to federal agencies for years.

What Is the Trust Act?

The most common way ICE asks for help with detaining immigrants is by issuing a civil detainer to law enforcement agencies. Historically, Connecticut has not willingly provided information to ICE about immigrants. The Trust Act actually prevented local law enforcement agencies in Connecticut from detaining immigrants on the basis of a civil detainer, unless the immigrant was on a federal terrorist watch list, had been convicted of a Class A or B felony, or had a judicial order issued against them.

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