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Stamford Criminal Defense Law Blog

What are the consequences of an OUI?

There are both short- and long-term consequences you might face if you were arrested for an OUI in Connecticut. These would depend largely on the time of day or week you were arrested, the situation of your arrest and future legal results of your case. The number of previous arrests you had would also probably factor into the eventual outcome.

One of the most important things would be not to panic. Your actions, and those of the police officers with whom you interact, would likely form the basis of the negotiations and legal proceedings to come. 

Dealing with false accusations of abuse

Sometimes, people go too far. Even if your marriage were to experience problems — differences of opinion about living arrangements, financial trouble or child-rearing disagreements, for example — there would be no excuse for your partner to use false accusations of domestic abuse to settle the argument. At the offices of Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law, we are proud to defend our Connecticut clients — and the reputation of the legal system, by extension — by working to reveal the truth behind these types of spurious claims. 

Depending on what is at stake in a given argument, spouses may act rashly and irresponsibly. We have seen it many times: someone learns that it might be possible to effectively cut out a partner by taking undue advantage of the legal system's protections. In the heat of the moment, one spouse enters an unsubstantiated domestic violence claim against another, requesting a restraining order.

Is Connecticut a stop-and-identify state?

In short, Connecticut is not a stop-and-identify state. This means that police would not usually have the right to demand ID from you — that is, they could not arrest or detain you should you fail to produce identifying documents when asked.

Simply asking for ID from another citizen is rarely a violation of rights. By extension, asking for ID is usually within a police officer's authority. In fact, multiple encounters with police would probably show you that it is a relatively common question. Law enforcement agents are trained to gather and record information to use in investigations and prosecutions, and identification cards are one of the most efficient tools in doing so.

What penalties do Connecticut’s underage OUI offenders face?

If you are under 21 and receive a charge of operating under the influence in Connecticut, or conversely, if you have a child charged with OUI in Connecticut, you may have concerns about the possible penalties you, he or she may face if convicted. Authorities do not have to prove that you have a particular amount of alcohol in your body to file such a charge against you or your underage child – instead, they simply must prove that you are under the influence enough for your driving ability to suffer.

Per Connecticut’s Department of Motor Vehicles, the state imposes harsh penalties on those who abuse drugs or alcohol before getting behind the wheel. More specifically, if you or your loved one is under 21 at the time of the arrest, you can anticipate a loss of driving privileges for 45 days. After that, you or your underage child will have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for another year, which is a system that prevents you from drinking and driving by having you blow into a device every time you need to start your car.

How we aim to stop trials before they start

When a client walks into our Connecticut offices, the team supporting Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law, is focused on one thing — getting his or case resolved in the most advantageous and expedient manner available. That often means that we must start quickly, gathering information and taking full advantage of the state's robust pre-trial negotiation phase.

If you have heard of a plea bargain, then you already know something about pre-trial. What you might not know is that, should you stand accused of a crime, you could have several other options to resolve your case without undue consequences. In fact, we often prefer to prioritize alternatives, if they are available. Bargaining with your right to plead innocent could involve you admitting to a crime — albeit not the one with which the state's attorney originally charged you, most likely. 

Understanding Connecticut arraignments

Those accused of a crime are often initially confused about the Connecticut criminal judicial process. This confusion could lead to fear, especially if one were anxious about the long-term consequences of a trial. However, it is usually advisable to act from a considered position, informed by a study of the multiple stages of criminal proceedings.

One significant milestone in a case is called the arraignment. This is an initiation of the judicial process, in which an accused individual is formally entered into the court records as a defendant. Since the judge typically reads rights to all defendants at once — before hearing individual cases — arraignments have the potential to take a significant portion of the day, depending on docket position. 

What to know about Connecticut’s ignition interlock device laws

If you are a Connecticut resident who has your driver’s license suspended because of one of several particular vehicular-related crimes, you will typically have to install what is known as an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a given period. In addition to having to do so at your own expense, you will have to blow into the device every time you want to start your car to demonstrate your sobriety, which can prove timely, inefficient and embarrassing. Attorney Joseph J. Colarusso recognizes the considerable toll a drunk driving or other vehicular criminal conviction can have on your life, and he has helped many people facing similar circumstances defend themselves and minimize the damage done to their lives.

Per CT.gov, you will generally have to install an ignition interlock device on your car for a set amount of time if you are fail or refuse to take a chemical test, or if a judge or jury finds you guilty of operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You will typically also have to do so if you receive a conviction for vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter, although the length of time you can expect to have to use it will vary based on circumstances.

How drug courts are helping methamphetamine addicts get clean

If you are a Connecticut resident grappling with an addiction to methamphetamine and you are also facing drug-related criminal charges, you may have concerns about the penalties you may face, and whether you will ever be able to put your addiction behind you. A meth addiction can prove incredibly difficult to break, but one particular program is helping meth addicts get clean and stay clean far longer than others. Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law, recognizes that drug courts have proven, positive effects when it comes to combatting meth addiction, and he has helped many drug offenders facing criminal charges enter programs that address the root of the problem: the addiction itself.

Per the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, meth addicts who participate in drug court are 50 percent less likely to continue to abuse meth than those who participate in outpatient treatment alone. Similarly, addicts who participate in drug court abstain from meth use far longer than addicts in outpatient treatment programs, with some of them doubling, tripling and even quadrupling the amount of time they stay clean compared to those in outpatient programs.

Are eyewitness lineups accurate and reliable?

If you have been charged with a crime in Connecticut, you may be forced to participate in an eyewitness lineup. While many states in the nation implement these procedures, multiple studies show that this method of identifying a suspect can be inaccurate and often yields unreliable results. According to the Innocence Project, more than 70 percent of documented wrongful convictions in the U.S. involved eyewitness misidentification, making it one of the leading causes of conviction errors. The problem not only lies in faulty lineup procedures implemented by law enforcement departments, but also in flaws involving the human memory and the way the brain functions under stress.

There are several problems that may occur during a physical lineup. You may be the only one in the lineup that matches the perpetrator’s description, which increases the chances of you getting picked. For example, if the suspect was said to have a tattoo and beard, there should be more than one person in the lineup with a tattoo and beard.

Domestic violence allegations and your career

When someone is facing accusations related to domestic violence, they may be worried about how the charges could affect their future. We have discussed how domestic violence allegations can have an adverse impact on a dispute over child custody and some of the other consequences related to these charges. However, it is essential to bear in mind that being accused of domestic violence can spell trouble for your career. In this post, we will briefly look into the different ways these charges could affect you now and in the future.

After domestic violence allegations arise, someone may find themselves out of work, even if the accusations are untrue. An employer may not tell you that the allegations were the reason you were terminated, but with such a harsh stigma surrounding these charges it is certainly possible. Moreover, you could have difficulty finding work in the future as a result of these allegations. Additionally, you may be under an incredible amount of pressure while facing these charges, which could affect your performance in the workplace.

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