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hartford criminal defense laywerDefendants in criminal cases often struggle to protect their rights, especially when police officers or other law enforcement officials use threats, lies, and coercion to extract confessions. While most people are aware of their “Miranda rights,” which include the right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions or provide information requested by police officers, as well as the right to be represented by an attorney, many people are convinced to waive these rights during an investigation or interrogation. A recent case in New Jersey illustrates how this issue may be handled in certain situations and how those who are accused of committing crimes can protect their rights.

New Jersey Supreme Court Reverses Verdict Based on Defendant’s Right to an Attorney

In the case of State v. Gonzalez, a woman who had worked as a nanny was accused of assaulting a child that was in her care and causing broken bones and other injuries. Prior to being interrogated by police officers, she had signed a waiver of her Miranda rights. During the interrogation, an officer lied to her and claimed that there was video surveillance of her interactions with the child. This led her to confess to abusing the child, and the officer also convinced her to write an apology note to the child’s parents.

During her trial, the defendant attempted to have the confession and apology note suppressed because she had not been allowed to have an attorney represent her during the interrogation. The court denied this request and allowed the evidence to be used during the trial, and the woman was convicted of child endangerment and assault and sentenced to nine years in prison.


hartford criminal defense lawyerIn recent years, many people have become aware of the opioid crisis that is affecting people throughout the United States. Due to the widespread availability of prescription opioid painkillers, many people have become addicted to these drugs, leading them to turn to illegal sources. To make matters worse, fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, has become more available, and this drug has led to many overdoses. In addition to risks that may affect a person’s health and well-being, those who use fentanyl or other substances may face drug charges that could lead to serious criminal consequences. 

Counterfeit Drugs Lead to Increased Risks of Overdoses 

Fentanyl is a drug that is synthesized in laboratories, and unlike drugs such as heroin, it can be created using chemicals rather than being harvested from natural sources. Because it is much easier to create and distribute, it is highly profitable for drug trafficking rings. Unfortunately, it is also much more dangerous, and it can be 50 times as potent as heroin. 

Because fentanyl is typically available in pill form, it is often made available to people who are seeking other types of drugs. Counterfeit versions of opioid painkillers such as Percocet or anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax often contain fentanyl, and those who use these drugs may experience dangerous or lethal overdoses. In many cases, teenagers or young adults are able to obtain these drugs by connecting with dealers through social media apps such as Snapchat or TikTok. Deaths caused by drug overdoses have skyrocketed in recent years, and more than 70,000 people were killed by fentanyl and other synthetic opioids in 2021.


hartford criminal defense lawyerDishonesty is an issue that affects nearly every part of people’s lives. People lie for many reasons, and these lies can affect others in a variety of ways. However, there are some people that are expected to behave honestly, including police officers and other officials who are tasked with upholding the law. Unfortunately, law enforcement officials are as prone to dishonesty as everyone, and when they lie or bend the truth, this can have serious consequences for those who are involved in criminal cases. By understanding why police officers lie and the rights that apply to those who are arrested or charged with crimes, a person can protect themselves as they defend against criminal charges.

Types of Lies Told by Police

Deception can take multiple forms. Some lies involve complete deception in which a story is entirely fabricated and contains no truth. However, many lies are incomplete, and they may involve half-truths, exaggerations of facts, or the omission of pertinent information. Police officers may engage in all of these types of lies during the investigation or prosecution of an alleged crime. In fact, officers generally have no requirement to be truthful when questioning or interrogating suspects, and they may engage in dishonesty such as:

  • Claiming that they have evidence showing that a person committed a crime when no such evidence exists.


hartford drug crime defense lawyerDrug addiction can be a difficult burden to bear, and it can affect both an addict and their loved ones. Unfortunately, many addicts become caught up in the criminal justice system, and they may face drug charges for possession of controlled substances, possession with intent to distribute, or drug trafficking. In addition to or instead of facing criminal charges, some addicts may be forced to undergo treatment meant to help them overcome their addictions. However, some advocates have questioned the effectiveness of these forms of treatment and raised concerns about how “involuntary commitment” laws may violate people’s rights.

Civil Commitment for Drug Addicts

Multiple states have laws that allow a person to be forced to complete rehabilitation or other forms of addiction treatment. This is sometimes seen as a compassionate solution that will ensure that those who may be a threat to themselves or others can take steps to address issues related to addiction and get their lives back on track. Many family members support these programs, and they may believe that they are the only option for a person who has refused to accept help.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that these forms of treatment are often ineffective. While some may benefit from forced rehab, they are usually in the minority, and in most cases, these programs do not result in significant reductions in drug use or drug-related crimes. Some studies have even shown that involuntary treatment programs have led to increases in drug crimes and higher rates of overdoses or other negative outcomes for those who have been required forced to undergo treatment. Many advocates believe that voluntary treatment programs are much more effective, especially when a person is encouraged to work toward achieving life and career goals and receives assistance from family members.


b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_2087573356_20220519-170428_1.jpgMinors who are charged with crimes and involved in juvenile delinquency proceedings or criminal cases in adult courts may face multiple types of consequences. In addition to criminal penalties, such as being placed in juvenile detention, paying fines or restitution, performing community service, and serving a sentence of probation, a person may face a number of other consequences. A criminal record can limit a person’s future job prospects, their ability to pursue an education or find housing, and multiple other areas of their life. Unfortunately, the mistakes made by a young person could follow them for the rest of their life.

Criminal justice advocates believe that juvenile offenders deserve the chance to put criminal offenses behind them as they move forward into adulthood. Multiple scientific studies have shown that when people are in their teens and early twenties, their brains are still developing, and they may not fully be able to understand the consequences of their actions or have the ability to control impulses. Because of this, minors who are charged or convicted of crimes will be likely to outgrow this behavior and avoid criminal activity in the future. However, a criminal record can make it difficult to do so. To address this issue, advocates are calling for changes to laws to ensure that juvenile criminal records can be expunged or kept confidential.

How Connecticut Law Addresses Juvenile Records

The laws that address criminal records for juvenile offenders differ significantly from state to state. Some states provide for the automatic expungement of criminal records after a minor reaches adulthood, while others require juveniles to apply for expungement. Fortunately for those who live in Connecticut, the state’s laws provide minors with protection and help ensure that they can receive the fresh start they deserve once they have served their sentences.

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