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Stamford Criminal Defense Law Blog

Domestic violence reports in 2017

Very often, public news reports detailing allegations of domestic violence in Connecticut make it all but seem the accused person is guilty right off the bat. There is generally little discussion about the possibility that an incident either involve a person truly defending them against someone else, for example. This is just one situation that may change a person's view of a defendant if more facts were known.

Data released recently indicates that the city of Bridgeport has logged more than 3,800 calls for potential domestic violence instances during the first three quarters of 2017. As with reports about individual domestic violence accusations, many things remain unknown. For example, it is not known how this number compares to prior years and if this is an increase or a decrease. No details were provided as to how many of these calls led to actual arrests or then to actual convictions.

Drug addiction plagues people in U.S.

Connecticut residents who read stories about people being arrested for and charged with crimes involving drugs may sometimes want to better understand how this might happen. More and more is being learned recently about the extent of a serious problem in the county involving addictions to prescription drugs, epecially opioids often used for pain relief.

The fact of the matter is that a person who may originally use or take a prescription opioid drug for a legitimate reason can develop an addiction that leads them down a very dangerous path. This path may well involve criminal activity or charges. Understanding that addiction is the real problem is something that needs to happen in order to properly address the issue. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading cause of accidental deaths nationwide today is actually opioid addiction or overdose.

Arrest made after bag reportedly left behind

Connecticut residents who hear about people being arrested might initially think some sort of investigation had been underway. While this may happen in some cases, it is not always the path that leads to a criminal charge. A person may actually end up being accused of one crime even after a previous interaction with the law that is completely unrelated.

That is actually what has happened to one man from Waterbury recently. Reports indicate that law enforcement officers were called to a particular location for an undisclosed reason one day. It appears that no arrests were made as a result of the visit. However, later on another person called the police back again. The reason the officers were called was because the man, who was 23 years old, apparently left a bag at the location. It is not known why the caller did not simply let the man know he left his bag.

What is a mandatory minimum sentence?

People who are arrested and charged with criminal offenses in Connecticut may often have immediate concerns about what type of punishment or consequence they may face. In particular, it is understandable for you or anyone is this position to want to know if you will have to spend time in jail and, if so, how much time you will need to spend. Depending upon the offense that a person is convicted of, there may be what is called a mandatory minimum sentence.

As the State of Connecticut Office of Legislative Report indicates, not every crime has such a sentence but many do. As the name implies, a mandatory minimum sentence is a length of jail or prison time that must be ordered for someone convicted of a specific crime. It eliminates a judge's discretion on the low end of the sentence but does maintain the judge's discretion for the high end. For example, if a mandatory minimum sentence is one year, a judge may order a person to spend 18 months, two years or more in jail. The judge may also order only the minimum 12 months be spent.

New domestic violence law in neighboring state

With Connecticut being a relatively small state from a physical area perspective, it can be especially interesting and important for residents to be aware of the laws in its neighboring states. Family, friends and even jobs often necessitate frequent trips back and forth from Connecticut to other states. In Rhode Island the Governor recently signed into law a new piece of legislation relating to domestic violence.

At its core, the new law aims to help children who have been exposed to abuse in their homes or among family members. Money from the state's Department of Justice would be made available to these children to fund therapy sessions designed to help them process through the trauma that they may have witnessed or experienced in some way.

Man held on $2 million bond in alleged homicide

The circumstances surrounding a criminal arrest in Connecticut can vary greatly. When people find themselves facing serious charges such as those for murder or homicide, it can be very important to understand not only the potential penalties associated with the charge but what may have led prosecutors to make such a charge.

One man today is in such a situation after he was placed under arrest and charged with homicide in the death of a woman who he was said to be in a romantic relationship with. While waiting for a court appointment the man was being kept in custody and his bond was set at $2 million.

Man arrested for drunk driving

When a driver in Connecticut is stopped by officers and suspected to be under the influence of alcohol, there are certain procedures that may be followed before the person may be placed under arrest. These may involve the administration of standardized field sobriety tests that are approved for use by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

One man who was recently arrested in Plainville was apparently asked to perform some tasks but, according to reports, the things he was asked to do were not part of the three standardized field sobriety tests. It is not known if those tests were also administered or not. Regardless of this, the man was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. One of the things the defendant was asked to do was to count aloud starting at 67 and ending at 55. Another thing officers requested was for him to say the alphabet starting partway through.

Factors that can impact Breathalyzer accuracy

If a law enforcement official pulls you over on suspicion of drunk driving in Connecticut, you will likely be asked to submit to a breath test using a device called a Breathalyzer. Though broadly used, Breathalyzers are not immune to error, and there are numerous factors that can impact their accuracy. Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law, has a comprehensive understanding of the outside factors that can make your breath test produce an inaccurate reading, and he has considerable experience in helping Connecticut clients facing drunk driving charges.

The penalties associated drinking and driving are severe, which highlights just how important an accurate Breathalyzer reading truly is. Among the things that can lead the device to produce a false reading is electronic interference. Alcohol Alert reports that electronic interference can come from a number of different sources, among them cellphone towers and police radios, and it can cause falsely elevated Breathalyzer readings that can land you in serious hot water.

Officer suspended with pay after arrest

The thought of being arrested and charged with even one crime let alone multiple criminal offenses can certainly make Connecticut residents concerned. For many people, such a situation may well interfere with their ability to work and earn a living both immediately and in the future if they end up with a criminal conviction on their record. For some, the ability to maintain privacy and avoid an employer knowing about a problem may be possible. For others, this may not be possible.

For one man who is a police officer, his arrest nearly a year ago was not able to be hid from the department for which he worked. However, instead of losing his job, he was able to receive a suspension but one that allowed him to continue to draw his salary. It is not known if the suspension with pay also meant he could maintain any benefits during the suspension period. The man was arrested after being charged with driving under the influence, assault, threatening and a few other offenses as well.

Are drug courts effective?

If you are facing drug-related criminal charges in Connecticut, you may, depending on the specifics of your situation, receive an offer to enter a drug court program as an alternative to having to serve time behind bars. While they are not available in all areas, drug courts may not only keep you out of jail, but also help give you the tools you need to kick your drug addiction once and for all.

How? For starters, drug court participants are, according to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, more likely than those outside of the program to get off drugs, and stay off them. In fact, without the accountability that drug courts require (such programs typically involve regular drug testing and appearances before a judge) about 70 percent of drug addicts ditch treatment before they are fit to do so.

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