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Windham County Criminal Law Blog

Your defense options should be carefully considered

As the warm summer months continue to march forward, people are going to have parties and other activities. In many cases, these activities are going to involve alcoholic beverages. It is imperative that you take the consumption of alcohol seriously and make sure that you are acting in a responsible manner.

We know that things happen, especially when there is alcohol involved. If you end up facing criminal charges because of something that happened while you were intoxicated, we can help you to explore your defense options.

Connecticut lawmakers pass law to increase hate-crime penalties

Connecticut lawmakers have passed a new law that -- if approved by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy -- will increase the penalties associated with hate crimes. According to the co-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, it's the best law they've developed in 2017.

The bipartisan bill had already passed the House of Representatives and, in the first week of June, the Senate approved the measure in a vote of 36-0. Now it will fall into the hands of Gov. Malloy to be approved.

Vandalism takes many forms

The crime of vandalism can take many forms. Some types of vandalism are carried out with more innocent intentions than others. Many people consider graffiti, for an example, a means of artistic expression. Egging someone's home or vehicle may seem like a juvenile prank.

These are considered forms of vandalism under the law. However, so is slashing someone's tires, breaking the windows of a home or business or defacing or damaging gravestones. Connecticut law has various degrees of criminal mischief and criminal damage laws that deal with damage to and destruction of property, both personal and public.

New 'Textalyzer' can spot distracted drivers

Many Connecticut residents work in New York or at least travel there on a regular basis to see a Broadway show or dine in their favorite Manhattan restaurant. Despite laws against texting and driving, too many people just can't stay off their phones.

That's why it's important to know that New York lawmakers are considering implementing a "textalyzer." This would allow law enforcement officers to determine whether someone was texting just before or at the time of a crash. So are legislators in New Jersey and other states.

What you should know about assault allegations

Were you accused of assaulting a fellow Connecticut resident? The act of "assault" refers to the threat or attempt to hurt another individual. Assault does not necessarily involve physical contact, it just has to be the attempt to hurt or harm. Battery is the crime that involves actual physical contact with the intent to harm.

Assault crimes may include the attempt to hurt someone physically, but they can -- in some circumstances -- include threatening behavior and verbal threats. Other ways of describing assault include the terminology "intentional attempt" or "attempted battery." Again, you don't need to actually touch the victim to be convicted of an assault charge.

Attorney General instructs prosecutors to seek longer sentences

People convicted of federal crimes can expect longer sentences than they may have gotten even six months ago. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called on federal prosecutors to "charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense" in the cases they handle.

Sessions' May 10 memo to prosecutors rolled back the policy under President Obama's two Attorneys General, Eric Holder and later Loretta Lynch. They gave prosecutors the right to determine the appropriate charge for a particular crime, even if it carried a mandatory minimum sentence.

Why you may still be drunk the next morning

You get pulled over on the way to work, at six in the morning. The officer says you were swerving and he or she believes you are intoxicated. You assure the officer that you're fine and take the breath test -- which shows that you are, in fact, over the legal limit.

You're as shocked as anyone as you're arrested and your license is taken away. Sure, you went out with your friends last night, but you were careful. You just walked to the bar after work, and you took a cab home. You specifically tried not to drink and drive, only getting in the car after you'd slept through the night. Shouldn't you be fine to drive?

Helping someone commit a crime is a crime

It is possible to face charges for a crime even if you didn't specifically commit it and weren't even present when it was committed. These charges usually involve aiding and abetting or being an accessory after the fact.

People can face these charges whether they assisted the perpetrator before and/or after the crime. An example of these charges would be if you knew when a family member's house was going to be empty, provided someone with a security key code and told those intending to rob it where valuable jewels were kept. Perhaps you let the thieves hide the goods they stole in your garage. Any of these activities would be considered a crime.

How an arson investigation unfolds and its impact on sentencing

Arson is a crime defined as involving an individual purposefully setting fire to a property. While many think of the crime of arson as one that involves damage to a building, an individual can be charged with the crime for having maliciously set fire in the forest or to a boat. Arson is almost always prosecuted as a felony offense given its potential for causing serious bodily harm or death of its victims.

Investigators in Connecticut take into account a number of factors when inspecting the scene of a suspected case of arson. Specially-trained crime scene specialists rely heavily on the results of their chemical analyses studies to determine where and how the fire started. These tests require painstaking efforts on behalf of investigators. This is why arson charges can take months if not years to be passed down.

Potential penalties under Connecticut's drunk driving laws

If you decide to drive drunk in Connecticut, it's important to note that you stand the potential of being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) whether you agree to your blood alcohol content (BAC) being taken or not. This is because the state views driving as a privilege and requires drivers to agree to the Implied Consent Law. As such, any police official can take your BAC without securing your consent.

In the state of Connecticut, a BAC that is considered to be representative of legal intoxication is any number that is 0.08 or above. For those under the state's legal drinking age of 21, any BAC level of 0.02 or higher is considered to be intoxicated.

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