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Connecticut Criminal Defense Law Blog

Man says he heard voices before alleged sexual assault

A 26-year-old man in Hartford was accused of sexually assaulting a state employee as she left her office on August 11. When the man was taken into custody after the alleged assault, he reportedly explained to detectives that voices in his head had instructed him to grab the woman. The man also reportedly admitted to smoking an illegal K2 synthetic marijuana cigarette before the incident.

The incident took place near Capitol Avenue and Elm Street after the accused man says he had decided to wander around near the state office buildings. When the man noticed the 24-year-old Department of Energy and Environmental Protection employee at around 3:30 p.m., he reportedly began to follow her and then grabbed her from behind. As a result of the incident, the man was held on $750,000 bail and charged with first-degree sexual assault and second-degree breach of peace.

Woman convicted of supplying meth imprisoned for 5 years

A Connecticut judge sentenced a California woman to five years in prison on Aug. 20 after she entered a guilty plea for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The woman was accused of supplying the alleged drug to a Roman Catholic monsignor who police say ran the largest crystal meth ring in the state.

Federal officials say that the 49-year-old woman conspired with her 44-year-old boyfriend to send meth to the monsignor at a Waterbury apartment. A task force operated under the Drug Enforcement Administration worked with state authorities to take the trio into custody in January 2013. The woman's lawyer said in a statement that she accepts full responsibility for her actions and looks forward to putting her life back together when she is released from prison.

Pair arrested on drug charges

Two people in Connecticut were arrested on drug charges after an officer allegedly witnessed them exchanging money and envelopes at a Super Motel 8 on Aug. 21. The male suspect was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in a drug factory, operating a drug factory, possession of drug paraphernalia, sale of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance within 1500 feet of school and possession of a controlled substance.

The woman was charged with possession of a controlled substance within 1500 feet of a school and possession of a controlled substance. Cromwell police claim the officer saw the 23-year-old male and 48-year-old female passing the envelopes and cash between the two cars. Officers claim they recovered $10,000 in cash, a glass pipe for cooking, two more glass pipes, butane lighters, 115 containers for packing drugs, 10 marijuana 'cake pops," 70 packages of hash oil and 70.6 grams of marijuana packaged to sale within a duffle bag inside the male's vehicle.

Penalties for DUI and defense options

If you are facing a charge of DUI for the first time, a conviction could lead to a six-month jail sentence, a fine up to $1,000 and a one-year suspension of your driver's license. However, the state of Connecticut does allow alternatives to jail, such as the Alcohol Education Program. This may not be available to second- or third-time offenders, who could face significantly increased penalties.

Another penalty is the required installation of an ignition interlock device. Not long ago, the state legislature passed a bill and sent it to the governor to be signed into law. Rather than just second- and third-time DUI offenders being required to install such devices, the bill stated that someone convicted of a first-offense DUI would be required to install one and pay the required fees after 45 days of the driver's license suspension.

Couple receives sentence for Internet identity theft scam

A husband and wife in Hartford received their sentences after they each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The 23-year-old man and 34-year-old woman were detained in November 2013 and pleaded guilty to their charges in May. The accused man was sentenced to spend 46 months in prison while his wife received a 30-month prison sentence. Both of them will be under supervision for three years after their release.

According to information in court documents, the pair admitted to taking part in an identity theft swindle that began in 2010. The couple would use various means, including the Internet, to obtain personal identifying information for several individuals. The information would then be used to access credit card accounts belonging to those individuals.

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.