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Criminal Defense Archives

What to say or not say if you are arrested

Almost everyone knows about the constitutional right to remain silent when arrested, so many Connecticut residents will decide not to stay anything to the police until they have contacted legal counsel. However, some people may not exercise this right, or they might become flustered when a police officer pulls them over. It is crucial to keep in mind what to say and what not to say to a police officer to avoid potential problems.

How “plain view” can lead to a vehicle search

Being stopped and searched on a Connecticut road is something many motorists would prefer to avoid. As Findlaw points out, police officers are barred from vehicle searches unless those searches meet specific legal requirements. However, while some search requirements, such as a search warrant, are well known, many motorists may not be aware that something in their vehicle may be giving a police officer a different rationale for a search.

What is the Youthful Offender Program?

A parent of a Connecticut juvenile is notified that their child has been charged with a crime. This can be a terrifying scenario for any parent. What does being criminally charged mean for their child? Will their young one end up going to prison, and will that child suffer a damaged reputation? In such a scenario, it is important to understand that Connecticut offers avenues for some juveniles to avoid worst case punishments and even avert having a criminal conviction on their records.

Factors that determine whether you should plea bargain

The fact that more than 90 percent of successful criminal convictions are accomplished through plea deals may sound surprising to many people in Connecticut. Why would so many people accept a plea deal rather than fight criminal charges in court? According to Findlaw, the motivations for accepting a plea deal are varied and depend greatly on the defendant's circumstances.

Can a lawyer accept a plea deal on your behalf?

According to the American Bar Association (ABA), legal commentators say that 95 percent of judicial cases are settled even before they go to trial. Many people in Connecticut will actually settle their cases through a plea agreement worked out with the assistance of their attorney. However, it is vital for anyone who is going through a court proceeding to understand that acceping a plea deal or a settlement is a choice for them to make alone. 

When can I refuse to answer police questions?

The idea of being questioned by police naturally makes many people in Connecticut nervous. No one wants to slip up and say the wrong thing that can be used against that person in a courtroom. Because of this possibility, it is important to know under what circumstances police may speak to you, and when you can refuse to answer their questions.

Supreme Court rules on pretrial conferences

People who are accused of criminal offenses in Connecticut may sometimes have the opportunity to engage in plea bargains with the prosecuction team. These discussions may offer benefits to both prosecutors and defendants. For the former group, an agreement may result in faster processing of a case which reduces the load on the court system. For defendants, a plea deal may often result in a lesser charge being entered which may in turn lead to a lighter set of penalties compared to that associated with the original request.

What does pleading no contest mean?

When you face criminal charges, the court will ask you for your plea. Most people know you have the option to plead guilty or not guilty, but there are other options in most cases. Technically, this is called pleading nolo contendere, according to NoloContendere.org. This type of plea means you are admitting guilt for the charges and you agree the court may punish you for committing the crime. Even though the plea will end up with the same results as just pleading guilty, it is quite different than a guilty plea. 

What is a mandatory minimum sentence?

People who are arrested and charged with criminal offenses in Connecticut may often have immediate concerns about what type of punishment or consequence they may face. In particular, it is understandable for you or anyone is this position to want to know if you will have to spend time in jail and, if so, how much time you will need to spend. Depending upon the offense that a person is convicted of, there may be what is called a mandatory minimum sentence.

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