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Windham County Criminal Law Blog

Charged with hazing frat brothers or sorority sisters? Seek help

If you belong to a fraternity or sorority at a Connecticut college or university, you probably know quite a bit about hazing. While that doesn't mean that you have any primary knowledge of hazing incidents, surely you sat through lectures describing how the practices were forbidden both on and off campus.

What may remain a bit unclear is just what comes under the umbrella of hazing on university campuses. True, the image of intoxicated fraternity brothers funneling beer à la Animal House is prevalent, but falls far short of epitomizing all examples college students may encounter.

Why you need a lawyer even if you haven't been arrested

Have you been notified by authorities that you're being investigated for alleged criminal activity, or do you believe that you may be the subject of an investigation? Perhaps police officers or other authorities have shown up at your home or workplace just to "chat."

It's best to secure legal counsel before you talk to any authorities well before you find yourself under arrest. Experienced criminal defense attorneys can provide guidance and protect your rights.

A Hartford police officer is arrested, charged with drunk driving

An 11-year veteran police officer with the Hartford Police Department was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) on Sunday, Aug. 27. The 44-year-old man was arrested in Plainville, Connecticut, early that same morning after one of the small town's police officers noticed the man driving erratically along state Route 72.

When the Plainville Police Department officer pulled the man over, he noted that he had slurred speech. There reportedly was also a strong scent of alcohol emanating from the vehicle.

College freshmen are particularly vulnerable to alcohol abuse

If you've just sent your child off to college, it's important to know that the first six weeks of a young person's freshman year are the ones where they are most vulnerable to getting into trouble — even serious danger — because of alcohol.

Even though many kids have been exposed to alcohol in their high school years or even earlier, their new-found freedom, combined with greater accessibility to alcohol and fewer adult controls, can lead to excessive drinking.

Is 'hate speech' illegal?

There's been a lot of talk recently about just what constitutes "hate speech." Is one person's hate speech another person's "free speech," as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution?

First, it's essential to understand just what rights the First Amendment guarantees. It states in part that "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press..." That means that the government can't restrict a person's right to say whatever he or she wants. Private entities can, however.

The threat of permanent deportation after immigrant convictions

When it comes to undocumented immigrants accused of crimes, prosecutors are facing a complicated dilemma. For example, imagine that an undocumented immigrant is accused of drunk driving. This is a serious crime that comes with serious consequences for those who are convicted; however, for an undocumented immigrant the consequences of conviction are even more severe than for an average person.

Imagine that an undocumented immigrant has children, and he or she is in the United States illegally, and gets arrested and convicted of drunk driving. Not only will this person face the threat of the usual DUI punishments, but he or she could also face the threat of permanent deportation and potentially being separated from his or her children.

Understanding the differences among theft crimes

People often use the terms robbery, theft and burglary interchangeably. They all generally refer to stealing someone else's property. However, the law distinguishes among the three crimes.

The crime of theft is when someone takes another person's property without authorization in order to deprive that person of his or her property. In Connecticut, as in most states, the term larceny means essentially the same thing. It can include identity theft as well as theft of services.

Taking things that don't belong to you leads to trouble

Taking things that aren't yours is a surefire way to land yourself as the defendant in a criminal case. Even if you think that what you are taking is miniscule, the penalties might reflect otherwise. The same is true if you think that what you are taking isn't really going to affect the party you took it from.

We recently discussed how warrants were issued in a theft at CVS. This is something that proves this point. The defendants in this case are accused of stealing from a store. The theft likely didn't make much of a difference to the bottom line of the business, but it still deprived the store of merchandise that was rightfully theirs.

3 warrants are issued in Suffield CVS shoplifting ring

A Suffield Police Department spokesperson announced on Monday, July 17, 2017, that they had identified three suspects believed to have been responsible for shoplifting from the city's CVS Pharmacy. They're alleged to have stolen from the store multiple times between March and May.

At the time of their announcement, one man had been taken into custody and another is currently being held at a Massachusetts jail on unrelated charges. The third suspect was last reported as still being at large.

Connecticut man facing multiple charges after woman's overdose

If you're involved with selling, distributing or in any way providing illegal drugs, you may find yourself not only facing drug charges, but dealing with the legal ramifications of harm or death caused by those drugs. A 21-year-old Connecticut man is facing multiple charges after a woman reportedly nearly died on July 2 after taking a heroin/fentanyl mix that he allegedly sold her.

Police who found the woman unconscious were able to revive her only after administering multiple doses of the drug Narcan -- also known as naloxone. The drug acts as an antidote to opioid overdoses.

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