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Criminal Defense Archives

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.

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?

Can an electronic device be a 'witness' against you?

The ever-increasing sophistication of electronic gadgets in our homes and workplaces has given rise to legal issues regarding privacy. One case that has garnered considerable media attention recently involves an alleged murder where police and prosecutors are seeking access to the information recorded on the victim's Amazon Echo.

Why are people wrongfully convicted?

Wrongful convictions probably happen more than you think. The Innocence Project tracks how many people have been cleared using DNA evidence since 1989, and they note that it's happened to 347 people so far. Twenty of those individuals were facing capital punishment.

Allowing underage drinking over the holidays could cost you

Over the next month, many Connecticut residents will be hosting holiday parties in their homes and other venues, like their country clubs. Some will be for adults only, while others will likely include teens and even younger kids.

New law aims to prevent rape kits from languishing untested

Rape kits include forensic evidence collected from alleged victims of sexual assault via a medical examination. However, many of these kits have sat dormant in crime labs and police warehouses, sometimes for years. Therefore, they have not been examined for DNA and other evidence that could be used to charge or exonerate a defendant. In some cases, women have had to file repeated extensions to prevent their rape kits from being destroyed without ever being tested.

Do you have to provide a DNA sample when police ask for one?

In some cities across the country, police officers are asking people for DNA samples, even if they haven't been accused of or arrested for a crime. While citizens aren't required to give these samples (via a swabbing of the inside of their cheek), many don't realize that.

Know Connecticut's distracted driving laws

Connecticut saw a 45 percent increase in vehicle fatalities in the first half of 2016. That shocking statistic was cited recently by State Senator Tony Hwang, who believes that distracted driving, and particularly texting while driving, is a significant factor behind that increase.

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