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Stamford Criminal Defense Law Blog

The First Step Act is truly just a first step

People who live in New York and find themselves charged with a criminal offense might feel trapped and as if they have no options. For many people, there can exist a tragic cycle that keeps them in jail or prison or prevents them from putting their lives on a better path. 

As reported by The Washington Post, the United States has the highest number of people in jails and prisons around the world. With more than two million people behind bars nationwide, the criminal justice system is in need of reform. A potentially bright spot in the problem is that it appears legislators on both sides of the political aisle agree on the need for reform, even if they do not always agree on the method. 

Hopelessness over domestic violence allegations

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you may feel overwhelmed by the entire situation. You may be worried that your voice will not be heard and that an unfavorable outcome is inevitable. You could be concerned about being unable to spend time with your kids or the impact that these charges may have on your reputation and career. Unfortunately, many people find themselves in a position where they feel hopeless when they are facing domestic violence allegations (even if the claims are completely false). In Connecticut, it is pivotal for people to know what their rights are in this tough situation.

Domestic violence cases carry a harsh stigma and people who have been accused of this offense may find that their life never returns to normal afterward. Sadly, some of these cases are based on completely fabricated allegations, such as a former partner who wants to win a custody battle or exact revenge on an ex. If you have found yourself in this position, it is crucial to examine the ins and outs of the incident(s) and the accusations. You should be closely familiar with your legal options and do what you can to ensure that the truth is revealed.

Will a drug conviction show up on my credit report?

You may be someone with a drug conviction in your past and are desperately hoping that your bank does not find out about it. You could be considering a mortgage for a new home or a loan for a new business, but if your credit report contains a notice of your conviction, you might fear Connecticut lenders will reject you. However, even though your past troubles with the law may present challenges in your life, they will not directly affect your credit report.

Smartcredit explains that your credit report does not contain criminal convictions. When someone wants to see your credit report, it is usually to examine how you have handled your finances and to see if you make regular payments on loans and lines of credit. If you have too much debt on your record, your credit score will be low and lenders will be reluctant to approve your loan, or if they do approve your loan, they may require you to pay high interest rates. However, your criminal record is not a part of your credit report.

Can you be charged with DUI while not driving?

It seems pretty simple to evade a DUI. If you happen to be intoxicated and in your vehicle, you just pull over and park. However, Connecticut case law has established that police, under certain circumstances, may still arrest and charge a person with being under the influence even if the person is not actually driving on the road. This cannot happen under a DUI, but it may under an OUI, also known as operating under the influence.

The 2006 court case State Of Connecticut V. Andrew C. Haight litigated the question of a Connecticut driver who was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence. A policeman had discovered a vehicle that was legally parked on the side of a street in New Canaan. The vehicle’s headlights were on. The driver was asleep inside the car with the key in the ignition, but the motor was not turned on. After awakening the driver, the police officer subjected the driver to sobriety tests, which the driver failed. 

Why do people falsely confess to committing crimes?

It seems hard to imagine why someone would admit to committing a crime even though the person is innocent, and yet as the Innocence Project points out, one out of every four people who have been exonerated of criminal convictions due to DNA evidence had made false confessions of guilt in the first place. People in Connecticut should be aware of why people falsely confess and how to prevent making such admissions in the first place.

In some cases, law enforcement may mislead a person who is brought in as a suspect, claiming that they have witnesses that put the suspect at the scene. They could also profess to have bits of the suspect’s clothing or other forms of evidence that could incriminate the suspect. Faced with these supposedly authoritative claims, the suspect may feel there is no choice but to confess.

What are the consequences of domestic violence charges?

With trouble in your marriage, the last thing you would want in Connecticut would be to face domestic violence charges. Apart from the possibility of getting a persistent mark on your criminal record, there are some short-term consequences that could have serious impacts on other matters of the law.

Specifically, a domestic violence charge or conviction could work toward furthering your spouse's interests in a divorce case. Issues such as child custody, spousal support and child support are often settled with at least partial consideration of criminal or violent behavior.

Connecticut considering “opioid courts” to address epidemic

As a resident of Connecticut who is grappling with an addiction to opioids, first, recognize that you are not alone in your struggles. Opioid addiction has become an increasingly pervasive problem across the state and nation, killing hundreds of Connecticut residents each year, and the issue has become so widespread that a task force now exists to determine how the state can best combat the problem. Attorney Joseph J. Colarusso recognizes that criminal behavior often stems from drug addiction, and we have helped many criminal offenders with drug addictions pursue solutions that meet their needs.

According to the Hartford Courant, the opioid epidemic has become so pronounced within state lines that some of Connecticut’s strongest legal minds and judicial officials have come together to try to fight it. While the task force will likely consider any number of different efforts aimed at reducing opioid abuse in the state, one particular effort they are exploring is creating drug court programs aimed directly at opioid addicts.

What are the long-term consequences of DUI convictions?

If a court were to convict you — or if you were to plead guilty — to a DUI charge in Connecticut, you would probably face a number of consequences. Some of these could last quite a long time. What they are exactly, and how long they follow you through your life, could depend largely on what you did before, during and after your involvement with the court.

The first general rule is that you would probably want to avoid any sort of conviction. This could entail any number of strategies; The details of your case and your DUI history would probably determine your options here. Of course, guilty pleas could, in select special cases, form an essential part of a larger plan to mitigate various losses you might incur. However, you would almost always want to take time to weigh the long-term consequences of a plea versus any other alternatives.

Confusion surrounding drug charges is natural

Some Connecticut law enforcement officers are occasionally overzealous in the charges they enter against those suspected of drug crimes. Therefore, it is completely natural for those accused to feel somewhat bewildered when arrested — confused at a long and seemingly inappropriate list of allegations. Combine this enforcement environment with a complex set of rules governing each individual substance and a considerable number of different charges relating to drugs, and a single event leading to drug charges could quickly become an unintelligible tangle for those not accustomed to the system.

Fortunately for those accused of drug crimes, the evidence associated with an arrest may not necessarily line up with the charges. There are also often lesser charges which may be factually more appropriate than the initial ones entered by law enforcement personnel. Dealing with the real situation rather than that imagined by arresting or investigating officers is often the core of an effective defense.

How much does a Connecticut DUI affect auto insurance rates?

A Connecticut driving under the influence conviction can make your life exponentially harder, potentially impacting everything from how you get around to whether you are able to find a job and earn a living. While the criminal repercussions associated with drinking and driving in this state are extensive, your DUI can also impact your life negatively in other ways. Attorney Joseph J. Colarusso recognizes that automotive insurance rates often rise sharply following a DUI conviction, and he has helped many people charged with drinking and driving defend themselves in the hope of avoiding such convictions.

According to Insure.com, a DUI conviction almost always leads to a sharp increase in auto insurance. Typically, American citizens who receive DUI convictions will see their car insurance rates rise between 28 and 371 percent, with these figures varying based on where you live, the circumstances surrounding your arrest and so on.

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