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Windham County Criminal Law Blog

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.

Why are gun-related road rage incidents becoming more common?

Many Connecticut residents and other Americans spend hours a day in their cars -- sometimes sitting in stop-and-go traffic, seemingly moving nowhere. This frustration can and does lead to road rage.

Increasingly, according to a recent study, the number of road rage incidents involving guns is rising. A non-profit organization that deals with firearm issues reported that there were 1,300 such incidents from 2014 through 2016. Nearly half of those occurred last year alone.

Sentences you may face if you share your prescription drugs

If you take a prescription drug for a common medical ailment, you might know someone else that takes either the same thing or another comparable drug. If you've forgotten your prescription or you've been in a situation where your illness has struck at an inopportune moment, you might have even taken your friend or family member up on their offer of one of their pills in hopes that your condition would improve.

While accepting your friend or relative's offer might seem innocent enough, it unfortunately is not. If you happen to get caught having made such an offer to someone, it could result in you facing serious charges for having done so.

What actions are considered hate crimes?

When a violent crime is believed to have been committed against a person because of that person's race, religion, ethnicity, disability or other characteristic, it may be prosecuted as a hate crime. These crimes can carry much tougher sentences than violent crimes committed for other reasons. Sometimes they are considered federal crimes.

The characteristics included under hate crime laws have increased over the years. For example, in 2009, President Obama signed a law that included sexual orientation and gender identity.

What are some common examples of forgery?

When people think "forgery," it probably conjures up images of some fellow wearing a jeweler's eyepiece in the back room of a shady business, cranking out documents for people who need new identities.

In reality, forgery is a fairly common crime -- and it is often done right out in the open, particularly when combined with credit card fraud or check fraud.

Local police ask for resources for Sessions' crime crackdown

Newly-minted Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed that under his helm, the Department of Justice will start cracking down on violent crime throughout the country. Sessions, a former prosecutor, has also advocated for longer mandatory minimum prison sentences.

This focus on local violent crime marks a shift away from the focus on homegrown extremists and cyberattacks of the Obama administration. Under the previous administration, the DOJ also focused on giving local police departments resources for building relationships with the people in their communities.

6 university students charged in young woman's death

When young people go off to college, the combination of newfound freedom from parental constraints and easily accessible alcohol can lead to serious -- and sometimes deadly -- errors in judgment. Six students at the University of Connecticut are facing various criminal charges after a 19-year-old woman was fatally struck by a fire department truck belonging to the university last October.

The six men, all fraternity brothers, are 21 and 22 years old. They've been charged with permitting a minor possess alcohol illegally, possession of alcohol by a minor and sale or delivery of alcohol to minors.

Breath tests aren't always accurate

When you're pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving and the breath test says that you are over the legal limit, you may be stunned. You may tell the police officer that it can't possibly be right. You know you didn't have enough to be over the limit. The officer, though, might tell you that the breath test is accurate and that he or she can arrest you for a DUI.

This is partially true. The "positive" test is grounds for an arrest, and you should never attempt to resist arrest, even if you think you're not guilty.

Is 'guilty' the same as 'no contest'?

You have a few different options when you enter a plea in criminal court. This starts, of course, with pleading guilty or not guilty, but you also have the option to plead no contest. What does this do for you, and is it basically the same as pleading guilty?

They are similar. Either way, you're not fighting the charges. However, if you plead guilty, you're admitting that you did it, that you were at fault. By pleading no contest, you're not admitting to anything. You're just saying that you won't be offering a defense and you are conceding the charge.

Connecticut man arrested during demonstration

We've seen a lot of protests and marches around the country since the new president took office last month. Peaceful protest is our right as Americans. However, if protesters harm someone or break the law, they can be arrested.

On Feb. 4, Connecticut State Police arrested a protester for blocking an ambulance during a demonstration against President Trump's immigration policies. Authorities say the ambulance was "carrying a critically ill patient."

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