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Stamford Criminal Defense Law Blog

Understanding forensic testing for drug and DUI cases

If you have been charged with a drug-related crime or a driving under the influence charge in Connecticut, you may find it helpful to learn about the types of toxicology and forensic tests that are done  in your case. Many law enforcement officers and prosecutors may look to the results of scientific tests in order to support their arrestof you and their further prosecution of you for the alleged offenses.

According to the state of Connecticut, the Controlled Substance and Toxicology Lab within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection manages this testing. The most common types of drugs evaluated by the lab include heroin, MDMA, cocaine and pot. The agency not only examines samples and materials but provides testimony and analysis on lab findings.

New DNA evidence leads judge to free man from prison

People who are convicted of any form of crime in Connecticut should be aware that the technology used to investigate crimes evolves over time like any other technology and this may provide new opportunities to review evidence even after a trial has been concluded and a person has been convicted. Examples of this include new methods for reviewing DNA samples.

New DNA review technology has played a big factor in the recent release of a man wh was convicted 16 years ago of murdering a woman in 1991. During the original trial, a forensic expert testified that bite marks on the deceased woman were conclusively those of the defendant. Now, the more current DNA evidence has made the same forensic expert changed his opinion and not only has stated that the bite marks do not match that of the defendant but that they could have been made by a large number of people.

Task force to oversee use of body and dash cameras

People in Connecticut may be aware that more and more law enforcement agencies around the country have been adopting the use of video cameras by officers. Some of these cameras are mounted on the dashboards of police vehicles while others are literally worn on police uniforms. Recently, the Connecticut House of Representatives has passed H.B. 7308 which seeks to further the implementation of this technology in the state.

One element to the bill is the focus on establishing a task force that would be responsible for investigating the actual use of cameras by officers. Reports indicate that a heavy emphasis on improving trust among the public of police and other officers is a goal of the use of the cameras. This may be sought by increasing the accountability of officers and attempting to reduce or prevent any instances of misconduct or brutality.

State to increase sex trafficking penalties

Anyone who is arrested for and charged with any type of crime will want to learn about the laws that pertain to that offense. Part of that learning naturally includes getting an understanding of the types of penalties that a person may face if they are ultimately convicted of an offense.

For people arrested for suspected sex crimes, there may well be new penalties in place if the Governor signs legislation that is now headed his way. Originally passed by the state House of Representatives, the bills have just been passed in the Senate. Reports indicate that the vote on the matter was unanimous in favor of the penalty adjustments. A new type of crime has been identified and is called commercial sex abuse of a minor. This would be a Class A felony if the person involved was 14 years old or younger. If the person is 15 or older, it would be a Class B felony.

Electronic monitoring technology

People in Connecticut who are arrested for or convicted of certain offenses may be required to submit to electronic monitoring by probation officers or parole officers. There are two types of systems used to monitor people as the Connecticut General Assembly explains.

An electronic monitoring system may rely on global positioning system technology or on radio frequency technology. Both of these systems allow probation or parole officers to set a particular schedule for a defendant and then track the adherence to that. For example, if a person is allowed to leave their home between certain hours of the day but must be home by a certain time, the ankle bracelet used in either technology can alert authorities to the comings and goings of a defendant. In this way, courts can track whether or not a person is following the designated schedule.

Education board member arrested four times in two months

For many people in Connecticut, when they hear about someone being arrested for and charged with driving under the influence, their minds may well conjure up images of a particular stereotype. This stereotype is not generally a highly educated and successful, upper middle class or even upper class person in their 60s who holds a prominent public position. Not only can that be the face of a person charged with drunk driving but it has been recently in multiple areas throughout the state.

As a member of the State Board of Education, the defendant is a longtime prominent attorney in Connecticut and by all accounts has been a respected and highly regarded member of the community. Reports indicate that his marriage of 40 years recently ended. That divorce coincides with what appears to be a sad rash of destructive behavior on the part of the man. After multiple DUI arrests and a missed court appearance, there is now a warrant out for his arrest. The defendant could spend more than 12 months in prison.

How accurate are field sobriety tests?

Have you recently been arrested and charged with driving under the influence in Connecticut? Whether this experience is your first brush with the law or not, it can be a scary and uncertain time for you. Understanding the opportunities you might have for a defense against the charges you face can be very important at this time. One opportunity may well involve the field sobriety tests used during the arrest process.

FieldSobrietyTests.org explains that there are three types of field sobriety tests sanctioned for use by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If all three tests are used, the estimated rate of accuracy for them together is only 82 percent. Individually, each test has an even lower rate of accuracy.

Changes to restraining order laws in Connecticut

Have you been charged with domestic violence in Connecticut? Perhaps your spouse or partner has talked about seeking a restraining order against you for alleged domestic violence. If you are in such a situation, you may well be looking to understand the laws surrounding these types of charges in Connecticut.

According to the Connecticut General Assembly Office of Legislative Research, some of the state's domestic violence laws were amended in 2016. A new law called Public Act 16-34 was passed that resulted in new provisions surrounding restraining orders in these cases. There are four main elements affected by PA 16-34 and one of these is the ability for an order that was granted without a hearing to be kept in effect after a hearing is held. This type of order is called an ex parte order.

Investigation leads to raid and drug-related arrests

Connecticut residents who find themselves abruptly arrested and charged with criminal offenses like drug crimes may often wonder what they should do next or what to expect from the criminal justice system. This is understandable especially for people who have never been arrested before. Even for people who have faced these types of situations before, a subsequent arrest might change things and make the experience or potential penalties different than if no prior conviction had occurred.

For one man arrested recently in Stamford, that is certainly the case. Because this defendant has previously been convicted of a felony, he was not allowed to be in possession of a firearm. During his most recent arrest, he was found to have a weapon. For this reason, he may now be in a position to face the maximum amount of time in prison for violating this law. He is currently in custody in lieu of a $200,000 bond.

Life with an ignition interlock device

If you have been arrested for and charged with a drunk driving offense in Connecticut, it is understandable and reasonable for you to begin learning about some of the penalties associated with a conviction for these types of charges. If you are ultimately convicted of your driving under the influence charge, it is possible that you may be required to use what is called an ignition interlock device. This is essentially a device that is intended to prevent you from driving if you have been drinking.

As explained by Intoxalock, an IID manufacturer, ignition interlock devices are hardwired into your vehicle and essentially control the ignition of your vehicle. There is also a corresponding handheld unit into which you must blow to provide a breath sample before you want to start your vehicle. The unit measures any alcohol content in your breath to determine whether or not you are allowed to start your car. If your breath alcohol content measures below the programmed level, you will be allowed to start your vehicle and drive normally. If not, your ignition will remain locked.

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