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Stamford Criminal Defense Law Blog

Teen convicted of murdering man in wheelchair

Connecticut readers might be interested to learn that a jury has found a 19-year-old Oklahoma City man guilty of second-degree murder for shooting a wheelchair-bound man to death in 2018. The verdict was handed down on Nov. 8.

According to court records, the defendant went to the man's apartment with a gun on the night of Oct. 3, 2018, to retrieve his brother's backpack. Witnesses said he was agitated and hostile when he arrived and ended up getting into a physical altercation with the man, who was paralyzed from the waist down, over the bag. During the struggle, the gun reportedly went off, and the man was shot in the chest. It was later discovered that the backpack also contained a gun.

Police shut down Connecticut narcotics network

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut has announced that a major drug trafficking network in the state has been shut down. In an Oct. 26 press release, federal prosecutors said that 15 people were taken into custody during an investigation conducted by the Waterbury Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration. They have been charged with possession of fentanyl and heroin with the intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and heroin.

Prosecutors say the narcotics trafficking network obtained heroin and fentanyl from suppliers in Connecticut and New York and distributed the drugs throughout New Haven County. The 35-year-old man identified by law enforcement as the leader of the organization was arrested in May. Police believe he continued to run the group from inside prison using smuggled cellphones. Two of the people taken into custody were his sisters.

How community service exacerbates the problem of court debt

Community service is an option that some Connecticut residents may have if they are not able to pay court fines and do not want to serve time in jail. At times, individuals are ordered by the court to perform community service. While it has proven beneficial for some individuals, it seems that there are some downsides to court-ordered community service.

A study that was recently published shows the negative impact that court-ordered community service is having on low-income communities of people of color who cannot pay their fines and have to either serve time in jail or work doing community service full time for three weeks. The study involved 5,000 individuals in low-income communities in Los Angeles over a one-year period.

Man arrested for DUI after going twice legal speed limit

In the early morning hours of Oct. 5, Connecticut authorities charged a man with DUI and drug possession after he was pulled over for driving twice the legal speed limit. The incident took place in Darien.

According to local media reports, an officer with the Darien Police Department saw a black Volkswagen Passat traveling east on Post Road at approximately 1:15 a.m. The car was allegedly going 52 mph in a 25-mph zone. The officer pursued the car and allegedly observed it swerve over the double-yellow lines of the road and almost hit a curb, so he executed a traffic stop.

What happens if you refuse a Connecticut chemical alcohol test?

Even if you had just one alcoholic drink before getting behind the wheel, you may feel hesitant to take a chemical test if a Connecticut law enforcement official pulls you over and asks you to do so. You may know that a Connecticut drunk driving conviction brings with it serious repercussions and penalties, but you may know less about what can happen to you if you refuse to take a breath or other chemical test entirely.

According to the State of Connecticut’s Department of Motor Vehicles, a law enforcement officer who stops you and believes you consumed alcohol prior to driving may ask you to submit to a chemical test using your hair, blood or urine. In most cases, breath tests are the preferred method of assessing your degree of intoxication, but, ultimately, it is at the discretion of the arresting officer to choose which type of test he or she wants to give you.

How accurate is eyewitness testimony?

As someone facing a criminal charge in Connecticut, you may have concerns about any potential eyewitnesses who plan to testify against you and how their testimony might impact your case. Historically, few types of evidence have proven as convincing to judges or juries as eyewitness testimony, which may lead you to believe that eyewitness statements are often valid and accurate. It turns out, however, that this is not always the case.

According to the Association for Psychological Science, while eyewitness testimony can often help convince a judge or jury of an alleged offender’s guilt, being convincing is not necessarily the same thing as being accurate. In fact, eyewitness testimony is actually far less accurate than most people believe.

The impact of a DUI conviction over a lifetime

If a Connecticut resident is accused of drinking and then driving while under the influence, they have a lot to lose if they are convicted. Today, we will take a look at both the short-term and long-lasting impacts a DUI conviction could possibly have on someone's life.

The Connecticut General Assembly closely examines DUI laws in the state. They start off by mentioning that any driver convicted of a DUI will face prison terms and fines. Even first time offenders can potentially have their license suspended for up to 45 days, along with having ignition interlock restrictions. If a person ends up being convicted of a DUI-related crime three or more times, they will have an ignition interlocking device installed.

What are Connecticut’s stalking laws?

A criminal charge can come as a surprise to some people who are accused of stalking. This can be a confusing area of law. You may be friendly with someone you work with even after she turned you down when you asked her out, only for her to misinterpret your friendliness as stalking. However, it is important for you and other Connecticut residents to understand what truly constitutes as stalking.

Stalking is a crime in Connecticut, as it is in other states, according to FindLaw. What exactly is stalking, you may wonder? It is defined as a repeated, intentional series of behaviors that give another person reasonable fear for his or her safety or life. The following behaviors can qualify as stalking:

  • Repeatedly showing up at another person’s residence or workplace
  • Following the other person home from work or to other places
  • Taking photographs of the other person without his or her permission

How do you help your child avoid alcohol charges in college?

For many college students in Connecticut and elsewhere, alcohol use is considered a rite of passage. You may also fondly remember the university events and tailgating parties you attended in your college days. However, if you have children in school, you should understand that they face numerous risks – both to their safety and to their legal interests – if they drink too much during the school year.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism cautions that many students develop drinking problems in college. Why is this, you may wonder? Students who are involved in fraternities, sororities and sports teams may be pressured to drink more than a healthy amount of alcohol during extracurricular activities. It is also common for new students to rely on alcohol to deal with the stress of adjusting to their workload and trying to fit in.

Connecticut residents: be careful with cannabis and driving

With some states still penalizing the use of recreational marijuana, cannabis proponents in Connecticut and elsewhere are interested in the future of marijuana use as it pertains to the entire country. The laws surrounding cannabis use can be confusing, especially when it pertains to medicinal use or driving with tetrahydrocannabinol in one’s system.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the component found in cannabis that causes a high. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain, THC can remain in a person’s bloodstream for weeks after the last marijuana use. A person can have THC in one’s system long after the high has worn off, which can present complications if a driver is pulled over and ordered to undergo a chemical test. Since the high produced from THC can impair a driver’s perception, reaction time, coordination, judgment and ability to make quick decisions, driving under the influence of marijuana can result in DUI charges. However, with THC remaining for so long in a person’s system, it is possible to get a DUI while being unimpaired.

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