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Connecticut Criminal Defense Law Blog

Police raid leads to drug charges for steroids

On Aug. 6, police in Connecticut charged two men with various drug offenses after a search of their houses uncovered significant quantities of human growth hormone and anabolic steroids. Both men were arrested at their Fairfield homes and booked on charges of drug possession and operating a drug factory. They were both scheduled to appear back in court on Aug. 19.

The investigation that led to the raid was conducted by the Fairfield Police Department and began in April. Investigators allegedly determined that drugs were being distributed through a large network in Fairfield and Bridgeport. Police say the investigation began as a result of suspected distribution of narcotic pain medicine. Detectives then allegedly discovered that anabolic steroids and human growth hormones were also being distributed.

What is a family violence restraining order?

When someone in Connecticut is the victim of spousal abuse or domestic violence, they have the right to file a restraining order to seek relief from the court. The state defines domestic violence as a continued threat of physical danger by a family member or someone in a dating relationship. The application for the restraining order must include a statement with the reasons for why the order is needed. The court then has 14 days to hold a hearing.

At the hearing, the court can implement conditions such as visitation rights or temporary child custody in order to protect the person seeking the order from the threat of domestic violence. The defendant might be restricted from contact with the applicant, including living or visiting the family home.

What is drug trafficking?

Drug trafficking is a general term used for transporting, distributing or manufacturing controlled substances illegally. The state of Connecticut doesn't actually use the term "drug trafficking" in its laws, but it does make it illegal for someone who isn't a licensed pharmacist to distribute drugs. The penalties for selling or delivering drugs without authorization are much harsher than the penalties for unauthorized use or possession.

The statutes contain a long list of prohibited acts and list all controlled substances in Connecticut. However, the federal government keeps its own list of controlled substances that may differ from Connecticut's. It's possible for a substance that is legal on the federal level to be prohibited on the state level and vice versa.

Woman received 7 years for manslaughter conviction

On Aug. 1, the courts ordered a Hartford woman to serve seven years in prison after she got behind the wheel of a car and caused an accident that claimed the life of a 52-year-old woman. On May 23, the defendant entered a no-contest plea to second-degree manslaughter stemming from the Sept. 2, 2012 incident. Reports say that she was driving with a blood alcohol content of .272 percent, which is more than three times the legal limit when struck the other woman's car in a head-on collision.

The defendant wept as she spoke to the deceased woman's family. However, the woman's sister does not believe that the seven-year sentence is sufficient. She explained that her father continues to replay the evening he was told of his daughter's death. The decedent's son said that his mother was an amazing woman with many friends who cared for her.

Understanding Connecticut OUI laws

Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every U.S. state. However, not every state has the same laws, so not all drivers fully understand Connecticut laws and the penalties surrounding OUI.

A driver who has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher is considered to be drunk driving. Drivers who are under the age of 21 are considered OUI if they have a BAC of .02 percent or above. However, drivers could be convicted of OUI with or without direct evidence of their BAC. Instead, the impairment of their ability to operate a vehicle is the determining factor in convictions.

Man sentenced after fatal drunk driving crash

After a fatal drunk driving crash, a 31-year-old Connecticut man received a sentence of seven years' imprisonment and 500 hours of community service on July 23. Although the full sentence was originally 15 years in prison, a judge allowed the last eight years to be suspended and added five years of probation. The accused man was sentenced after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter and DUI.

The fatal accident happened in Southington around 11:30 p.m. on Dec. 22, 2012. At the time, the accused man had been driving his Audi the wrong way on westbound Interstate 84 from exit 29. Witnesses who noticed the Audi traveling in the wrong direction called 911 before the man crashed into a Ford driven by a 61-year-old woman. She was taken to St. Mary's Hospital where she died the next morning.

Proof must be provided for conviction

A conviction on a charge of possession with intent to sell a controlled substance carries more significant penalties than a simple possession charge. It may be noted, however, that the more serious charge requires the state of Connecticut to provide more proof of guilt to the jury since it has to prove both parts of the charge. Those parts being that the accused did indeed intend to sell the alleged substance in addition to having it in his or her possession.

For someone to be in possession of a controlled substance, it must be either on his or her person or within an area of which the accused was in control, such as a home or a vehicle. The former is called "actual possession" while the latter is "constructive possession." In addition to showing a substance's location, the state must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was aware of the substance's illicit nature and knew that it was in his or her possession.

Convicted felon found with stolen gun and drugs

A Connecticut man was charged for drug possession after police pulled him over in Newington on July 15. The 38-year-old man was reportedly stopped because of an equipment violation while driving his BMW on the Berlin Turnpike at about 10:30 p.m. The news source did not report the officers' reasons for executing the search of the man's vehicle.

Police reportedly found drug paraphernalia, about two pounds of marijuana, 168 bags of heroin and a .45 caliber handgun that was loaded and stolen. Responding officers also discovered a 124-pill assortment of Adderall, Ritalin and morphine in the vehicle. In addition to multiple motor vehicle and drug offenses, including possession of narcotics, the man faces a count of criminal possession of a firearm by a felon and other gun charges. He was reportedly released on a $150,000 bond.

Couple accused of selling heroin through Craigslist

A couple in Connecticut was accused of attempting to sell heroin to police officers in the Norwichtown area. The 18-year-old woman and the 28-year-old man were detained after police arranged a meeting with them through the Internet. Both of the accused people are reportedly residents of Uncasville.

According to a statement from the Norwich Police Department Community Police Unit, an anonymous tip came in about a person who was allegedly using Craigslist for drug trafficking purposes. After police arranged to meet the alleged drug dealer, they found the accused couple waiting for them at the previously specified time and location. Officers then allegedly found the two people to be in possession of heroin.

Connecticut firefighter, husband charged with domestic assault

Both a firefighter and her husband have been charged in relation to a domestic violence incident that took place in the early hours of July 2, according to police. Police say that they responded a report of domestic violence at the West Hartford couple's apartment in the 100 block of Kane Street at approximately 1:09 a.m. but were at first unable to gain access to the apartment.

Shortly after the police arrived, the firefighter's husband exited the apartment. Police say the man was bleeding from his lip, eye and hand and that the right side of his face was badly swollen. The firefighter also exited the apartment, also reportedly bleeding from the mouth and with a partially swollen face. The firefighter was taken to the West Hartford Hospital for treatment while her husband was transported to the University of Connecticut Health Center where he received stitches in his lip.