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Connecticut criminal defense lawyer for pardonsAccording to statistics from the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles, there were 1,857 applications for pardons in 2018. Of those applications, only 983 were deemed eligible for pardon, and of those deemed eligible, only around 77 percent were actually granted. Lingering records from previous criminal cases can cause difficulty in many areas of life, including making it harder for a person to find a job or get housing. Because of this, a bill was introduced in the Connecticut legislature last year to help make the process a little easier for those who wish to expunge their criminal records. The bill failed to pass during the last legislative session, but Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont plans to reintroduce it in the upcoming session.

Proposed Bill Would Make it Easier to Get a Pardon

People who have criminal records face barriers to housing, employment, and education, even if years have passed after their sentences have been completed, and they have not had any more offenses. Because of this, Gov. Lamont will be pushing for legislation that would create a process to clear criminal records automatically.

The bill that was introduced last year proposed creating a system for automatic pardons and expungement of criminal records three years after a misdemeanor sentence had been served and five years after a felony sentence had been served. That bill faced backlash about what crimes would be eligible for automatic pardons, with lawmakers expressing concern about those convicted of violent crimes and crimes of a sexual nature. The newer version of the bill has addressed these concerns by barring those convicted of sex crimes or offenses related to domestic violence from receiving an automatic pardon.

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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.

Who Is At Fault?

One of the first things to address following a motorcycle accident is determining who was at fault for the collision. In some cases, it can be difficult to establish fault, while in others, responsibility for an accident is clear cut. Determining fault is important, since it will allow you to seek compensation for injuries and damages that occurred due to the negligence of another driver.

When pursuing a civil lawsuit, you will have the burden of proof, meaning you must provide sufficient evidence that the other party was negligent and that this negligence was responsible for causing your damages. In Connecticut, there are a variety of ways in which a driver can be shown to be negligent, including:

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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.

Conditions of Probation and Parole

If you are sentenced to probation, you will be placed under the supervision of the Connecticut Judicial Branch’s Court Support Services Division. If you are released on parole, you will be under the supervision of the Connecticut Board of Pardons and Paroles. Normal parole will allow you to be released from prison early if certain conditions are met. In some cases, you may be sentenced to a period of special parole, which must be completed following the completion of a jail sentence. Special parole may be imposed for any criminal offenses other than drug charges.

If you are released from prison on parole, or if you are sentenced to probation or special parole, there are certain rules that you must follow. The court can require offenders to:

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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.

Ancestry and 23andMe Say No to Law Enforcement Use

Though data from GEDmatch was used to crack the Golden State Killer case, this service does not offer kits for performing genetic tests. Instead, it allows its users to upload data about their DNA which was obtained through at-home tests from other companies, including Ancestry and 23andMe. GEDmatch allows its users to opt in or out of allowing law enforcement to use their data. However, it was found that when a police officer obtained a warrant to search the site’s database, more than a million profiles of people who had chosen not to be visible to police were in fact included in the search.

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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:

  • Knowingly and willfully endangers the life or limb of a child under the age of 16;
  • Places the child in a situation in which his or her health is likely to be injured or morals are likely to be impaired; or
  • Has contact with the intimate parts of the child or subjects the child to contact with the intimate parts of another person.

For all intents and purposes, the statute was created to encompass nearly any behavior that could be considered dangerous to a child. Penalties are always felony charges; risk of injury to a minor is charged as a Class C felony, meaning an offender will face 1 to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if convicted. Child endangerment charges involving contact with intimate parts are charged as a Class B felony, which means offenders will face 1 to 20 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. If the child is under the age of 13, there is a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least five years.

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