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Windham County Criminal Law Blog

What happens to your rights when you're convicted of a crime?

Whether you're charged with a misdemeanor, felony, agree to a plea deal, or are convicted by a judge or jury for a crime, all can impact your ability to get a job. They can restrict your ability to live your life like as you were accustomed to, as well.

Depending on the crime an individual is charged with or convicted of, the individual may lose one's right to continue attending a public academic institution. Additionally, those convicted of crimes may face difficulty in joining Connecticut state-run youth programs or service corps groups.

Charges follow fracas at University of Connecticut speech

In the current heated political climate, guest speakers at college campuses often provoke protests and sometimes even violence and other actions that result in criminal charges. This is particularly true when they espouse views that many people feel are offensive or perhaps even dangerous.

A speech last month at the University of Connecticut ended up with both the speaker and a woman who interrupted it by taking his notes off the podium facing charges.

Search and seizure: Searching a student's vehicle at school

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that for a search to be legal, it has to meet the "reasonableness standard." The circumstances around the search must be measured against the overall intrusiveness of the search and the interests of the government. If a police officer cannot prove that a search was necessary, then it will always be considered unreasonable.

In many instances, a warrant is needed to perform a search. Whether or not a warrant will be issued is dependent on the probable cause statement provided to a judge. If the judge believes there is sufficient probable cause for a search, he or she will sign off on the warrant. However, when are warrantless searches legal?

When is a police search legal?

If you're stopped by police on the street or in your car, or if they enter a residence where you happen to be, it's understandable that you panic. Often, people in these situations submit to anything a law enforcement officer asks or tells them to do.

There are limits to these officers' rights regarding search and seizure. However, whatever you've learned in school or by watching "Law and Order" may go flying out of your head when you're the one facing police.

Your case's characteristics must determine the type of defense

Criminal defense matters are often difficult to navigate. This poses an issue because your freedom and quality of life can be directly impacted by the outcome of the case. This is why many people turn to a defense attorney for assistance.

We realize that you might not have thought that you would be in this position. Facing a criminal charge means that you need to take the time to learn about the case being presented against you. We can help you review all of the points that are present in your case so that you can determine how you would like to proceed, based on our dedication to your welfare and suggestions, accordingly.

Connecticut college student expelled, facing criminal charges

Many college freshmen have difficult relationships with their roommates, with whom they are often randomly paired. However, a young woman who has been expelled from the University of Hartford allegedly took her issues with her roommate to extreme levels. She is facing a charge of criminal mischief and could also face charges involving intimidation based on bigotry.

The case has become national news, and the university is facing accusations by the woman's roommate that people there wanted her to keep the matter quiet. She's also alleging that the university's actions were in part influenced by her race. She says, "If the race roles were reversed, I feel like this would have gone down a different route."

When can someone assert a spousal privilege?

There are two types of spousal privileges that people may be able to invoke if a current or former spouse is being investigated for a crime or has been arrested. There are important differences between them, so it's essential to know which one applies, whether you're the person facing potential criminal penalties or the spouse (or in some cases ex-spouse) of that person.

One is the marital communications privilege. It prevents private verbal or written communications between spouses from being used as evidence against one of them. This privilege can be used in civil cases as well as criminal ones.

What does smuggling involve?

If you're bringing back gifts, souvenirs and other items from a trip overseas, chances are that you aren't violating the law. Bringing home a few tchotchkes from the Louvre shouldn't land you in jail. However, it's important to know what the government considers a customs violation.

Our customs laws are in place to control the goods that are imported into the country, not just for the protection of the economy, but to ensure that diseases aren't spread and that proper taxes are paid by those bringing in legal goods. It's essential to declare the true value of any goods that you bring into the country.

What is 'insider trading?'

Everyone loves a good stock tip. It could be word about a merger that will send a company's stock soaring or news that a company's leading product will soon be recalled, sending the stock plummeting. However, when is it illegal for someone to leak that information, and when is it illegal to act on it?

That gets us into the realm of insider trading, which is a federal crime. According to the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, an "insider" is a director, officer or anyone who owns at least 10 percent of a company. They are limited in their own transactions of the company's stock in order to help prevent them from acting on knowledge of the company's activities for their own financial well-being. This is illegal. So is sharing information with others that it is their fiduciary to protect.

How cocaine-related offenses are punished in Connecticut

New York has long been the breeding ground for illicit drug business. In an effort to combat its image as an enabler of the illicit drug trade, it's implemented strict penalties for drug-related offenses in the last few years. As punishments for drug crimes have become more serious in New York, a significant portion of the drug trade has moved just north into Connecticut.

As a response, state legislators here have also adopted more serious penalties for those who commit drug crimes, especially ones that involve the consumption, distribution or trafficking of cocaine.Sections 240, 243 and 278 of Connecticut code 21a spell out some of the penalties that are associated with the possession or sale of cocaine in the state.

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