Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law
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Do Connecticut courts accommodate the disabled?

Finding yourself criminally charged is bad enough, but it can be even more taxing if you happen to suffer from a disability. However, having a disability should not impact your ability to go to court and contest criminal charges. If you or someone you know is disabled and is facing a court date in Connecticut, you should take steps to make sure the court knows about your disability and can accommodate you.

The Connecticut Judicial Branch website says that Connecticut courts allow for anyone to make an accommodation request at any time. However, the court prefers that you make your application no less than ten days before the court date, although in emergencies the court will set aside the ten day limit. You can make your request verbally or in any number of written forms, but the preferential way to make a request is through a Request For Accommodation By Persons With Disabilities form.

The court will also accept an accommodations request made from any number of locations. You can go to a court clerk’s office to make the request in person. You may also opt for a court service center, which many courthouses in the state provide. If your mobility is limited, you can make an accommodation request over the phone or through email. You can also make contact with a clerk or court personnel for assistance. For example, you can ask for a large print form or a form in Braille.

Sometimes the court may turn down a request for accommodation. However, this is not the end of the road. You can still file a complaint or a grievance of the court’s decision. This complaint must be filed within ten days of being notified of the denial of your request. You can also file a complaint if you find the accommodation for your disability inadequate.

As you work out your issues with the court, consult with your criminal defense attorney about how you can function in court during your court proceeding. Your disability should not be an obstacle to receiving the best defense possible in a Connecticut court. Because disabilities affect people in different ways, do not read this article as legal advice. It is only intended to inform you about criminal defense topics.

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