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Life is way too short to be up every night worrying about your defense.

Consistent stress is terrible for your health.Don’t waste another day worrying.

You were meant for more.

I don’t just care about criminal defense.

I care about you.

Don’t you hate it when you spend the whole day worrying about your case?

It can be terrible when you are constantly stressing about what is going to happen. It doesn’t have to be that way. I know how to fix that. I have helped hundreds of people. I want to help you.

I don’t just care about criminal defense.

I care about you.

Don’t you hate it when you spend the whole day worrying about your case?

It can be terrible when you are constantly stressing about what is going to happen. It doesn’t have to be that way. I know how to fix that. I have helped hundreds of people. I want to help you.

I don’t just care about criminal defense.

I care about you.

Don’t you hate it when you spend the whole day worrying about your case?

It can be terrible when you are constantly stressing about what is going to happen. It doesn’t have to be that way. I know how to fix that. I have helped hundreds of people. I want to help you.

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I was facing some serious DUI charges. It could have resulted in some significant jail time! I contacted Erin who agreed to handle my case at a very reasonable fee. She was engaging and easy to talk to. She answered all my questions thoroughly and with clarity. She has an in-depth knowledge of her field combined with a good working relationship with the court system. I am happy to say that thanks to Erin I got the best possible results at my court appearances. 

Donald

I hired attorney Field for my son who is in prison and had an additional felony warrant served. She was outstanding. She called me right back and explained everything to me. Her fee was extremely reasonable. She contacted my son and went to see him. She explained every bit of the process as we were going through it. She truly was an advocate for my son. We are both very pleased with the final outcome. I highly recommend the services of Attorney Erin Field.

Lucy

Attorney Field is amazing. She is extremely intelligent, dedicated, respectful, genuine and honest. Her knowledge about the criminal justice process and system itself is impeccable. She was upfront and realistic when speaking with me about what to expect and I was never left in the dark throughout the entire case. Attorney Field is extremely reliable, easy to get in touch with and prompt when showing up to court. I highly recommend her. 

Meagan

7 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Criminal Defense Case

7 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Criminal Defense Case

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157 Church St, 19th floor
New Haven CT, 06510

Phone: (203) 927-3359

Please call me for a consultation or contact me online now. I will fight for you and look for every opportunity to avoid sticking you with this permanent criminal record.

Your case evaluation is free, confidential, and there is no further obligation.

You will always speak with me, Erin Field, the attorney.

Criminal Defense Attorney New Haven CT

As an experienced criminal defense attorney in New Haven CT, I know how confusing and frightening being arrested and charged can be. I am here to help walk you through the process and help you evaluate all of your options.

Please contact me today for a free consultation. You need to speak to an experienced Connecticut criminal defense lawyer before making any statements to the prosecution, or making any deal. If you don’t, you’ll never know if you got a fair offer, or if your case really should have been dismissed on legal, constitutional, or procedural grounds.

Please remember, once you make a deal – that’s it. It’s over. You can’t go back if you decide you didn’t make the right decision.

Fighting For Your Freedom in New Haven CT

Any Connecticut criminal charge can be serious. Felony offenses frequently have mandatory jail time attached if you are convicted. Even misdemeanor offenses can carry jail time, driver’s license suspensions, and will have other costly and difficult restrictions on your life and your future.

As an experienced criminal defense attorney in New Haven CT, I have successfully represented people facing a wide variety of criminal charges. Some of the charges I defend include:

  • Drug Possession Charges – Possession of marijuana, heroin, cocaine, meth, amphetamines, ecstasy/MMDA, GHB, LSD, mushrooms, prescription drugs, steroids, and other drug charges, including any other narcotic or controlled substance
  • Serious Drug Offenses – Distribution, sale, manufacture, cultivation, trafficking, and school zone violations
  • Traffic Crimes – DUI, Suspended license violations, moving violations, careless/reckless driving, leaving the scene of property damage or injury, operating without insurance
  • Violent Crimes – Assault, murder, manslaughter
  • Sexual Crimes – Rape, statutory rape, sexual assault, child sex crimes and abuse, public indecency and patronizing a prostitute.
  • Property Crimes – Theft, shoplifting, larceny, criminal mischief, arson, burglary
  • Family Crimes – Domestic violence, domestic abuse, restraining order and protective order violations
  • White Collar Crimes – Embezzlement, bad checks, credit card theft, computer crimes, fraud, conspiracy, identity theft
  • Weapons Charges –It’s important to understand gun control facts and myths, including illegal possession of a weapon, unlawful discharge of a firearm, and commission of a felony with a gun
  • Juvenile Crimes – Any crime committed by a minor is handled in juvenile court, where the rules of criminal procedure can be quite different.
  • And More – Breach of peace, disorderly conduct, harassment, stalking, threatening, trespass, outstanding warrants (failure to appear in court) and many other offenses that are considered criminal charges under Connecticut laws.

Common Problems with Criminal Defense Cases in New Haven

Just because the police have collected evidence doesn’t mean you will automatically be proven guilty at trial. In many cases, there are problems with the state’s evidence that make it inadmissible at trial. Without evidence to prove each element of your charges beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecutor or trial court may end up dismissing your case.

Some examples of the problems I see in criminal cases include:

  • Lack of reasonable suspicion or probable cause to detain/arrest – In some cases, the police may stop a suspect, but the circumstances did not support reasonable suspicion or probable cause for the stop. The police may also arrest someone based on an uncorroborated anonymous tip.
  • Lack of probable cause for warrantless search – In other cases, the objective circumstances do not support the police’s use of one of the exceptions to the warrant requirement to conduct a warrantless search.
  • Problems with the search warrant – Sometimes there are issues with the search warrant, including insufficiently corroborated allegations supporting probable cause. The police may also have conducted a search outside the scope authorized by the warrant.
  • Violation of Miranda rights during interrogation – The police are often required to read you your Miranda rights when arresting you. If they fail to do so or fail to observe your rights, any statements you give may be inadmissible.
  • Eyewitness inconsistencies or credibility issues – Witnesses presented by the state may change their story between initial questioning by police and their testimony at trial. Witnesses may also have circumstances that call their credibility into question.
  • Quality of evidence issues – Photographs or recordings may be of such poor quality as to make identification difficult. Lineup or photo array identifications can be tainted by improper suggestion or influence by police.
  • Evidence chain-of-custody issues – The police may not have accurate records of who had possession of a piece of evidence or where and when they had it, raising the possibility that such evidence may have been tainted.
  • Calibration/accuracy issues with testing devices – In DUI and drug cases or cases involving DNA, lack of calibration, improper use of device, or accuracy issues may call the results into question or even render them inadmissible.

These issues can lead to the suppression of evidence. In addition, if tainted evidence led the police to other evidence, that evidence can also be suppressed under the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine. If evidence critical to the state’s case is later thrown out by the court, it can result in dismissal of your charges for insufficient evidence.

Penalties for Criminal Charges in New Haven

New Haven, CT Felonies

Felony charges are those that have a minimum jail sentence if found guilty, typically a year or more.

EXAMPLES SENTENCE FINES
CAPITAL FELONY Specific types of Murder Life in prison N/A
CLASS A FELONY (MURDER) Murder 25 to 60 years in prison Up to $20,000
CLASS A FELONY Aggravated Sexual Assault under 16, Sexual Assault w/younger victims, Kidnapping 1st degree, Arson 1st degree 10 to 25 years in prison Up to $20,000
CLASS B FELONY Manslaughter 1st degree, Assault 1st degree, Sexual Assault, Larceny 1st degree 1 to 20 years in prison Up to $15,000
CLASS C FELONY Manslaughter 2nd degree, Sexual Assault 2nd degree, Robbery 2nd degree, Arson 3rd degree 1 to 10 years in prison Up to $10,000
CLASS D FELONY Assault 2nd degree, Sexual Assault 3rd degree, Criminal Mischief 1st degree, Stalking 1st degree 1 to 5 years in prison Up to $5,000

Misdemeanors

Under Connecticut law, misdemeanor charges are less serious than felonies and have a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail.

EXAMPLES SENTENCE FINES
CLASS A MISDEMEANOR Assault 3rd degree, Threatening 2nd degree, Sexual Assault 4th Degree, Criminal Trespass 1st degree, Larceny 4th degree, Violation of a protective order Up to 1 year in jail Up to $2,000
CLASS B MISDEMEANOR Criminal Mischief 3rd degree, Stalking 3rd degree, Breach of Peace Up to 6 months in jail Up to $1,000
CLASS C MISDEMEANOR Criminal Mischief 4th degree, Disorderly Conduct, Larceny 6th degree Up to 3 months in jail Up to $500

Violations and Infractions in New Haven

Violations and Infractions are not crimes, they are civil penalties, so they do not give you a criminal record. A violation is punishable by a maximum fine of $500, and some specific violations have lesser maximum fines.

An infraction has a fine of up to $90, plus additional fees and surcharges that may go as high as $300.

Typical violations and infraction are motor vehicle offenses such as traffic tickets, speeding tickets, possession of alcohol by a minor, and various city ordinances.

You do not need to make a court appearance for either a violation or an infraction. You can choose to pay your fine by mail, but I do not recommend.

Reference: Connecticut Traffic Infractions FAQ.

Additional Penalties and Collateral Consequences

Many professional licensing boards have standards that prohibit anyone with a criminal record or civil infraction from being admitted or certified.

And now that all criminal convictions in New Haven are posted online publicly, your criminal record could easily become a scarlet letter that haunts you forever.

How a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney in New Haven CT Can Make a Difference for You

When facing criminal charges, you are up against law enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices with decades of experience with criminal prosecution. They are trained to catch any slip-ups or incriminating statements you might make. Having a skilled criminal defense attorney to help you fight the charges you are facing can mean the difference between years in prison and no prison time at all.

The police may tell you that things will be better if you answer their questions, but this is rarely true, even if you are innocent. Exercise your right to remain silent until you have an attorney. Your lawyer can prevent you from saying anything that may damage your case.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can also explain the risks of taking your case to trial. If you choose to plead guilty, a criminal defense attorney will vigorously negotiate on your behalf to obtain a favorable plea deal. And if you decide to plead not guilty, a criminal defense attorney will put the state’s case to the test and make the state prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

What to Do If You’ve Been Arrested in New Haven

If you’ve been arrested, don’t make any statements or confessions until you have first spoken with a criminal defense attorney. Do not attempt to talk to the police or the prosecutor on your own. Instead, calmly but firmly decline to answer any questions and request to speak with an attorney. Be sure to contact a criminal defense attorney in New Haven CT like me about your case at your first available opportunity.

If you are released after your arrest, do not speak with anyone except your attorney about your case. Avoid posting about your case on social media, and refrain from contacting any alleged victims or potential state witnesses. Doing so may violate the conditions of your release and may constitute a crime itself. Avoid committing any new offenses while awaiting trial. It may negatively impact your chances of obtaining a plea deal or could increase your sentence if you are convicted.

New Haven CT DUI Defense

No one ever expects to be pulled over and arrested for drunk driving. It is a shocking and unpleasant experience. But it’s happened, and now you have to deal with it.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI in New Haven, CT, you need to act quickly to preserve your driver’s license. According to Connecticut law, you have 7 days to request a hearing after you’ve received a notice of license suspension from the DMV.

Please contact me right away to discuss the options you have to preserve your driver’s license and prepare to defend your Connecticut DUI charge in court. Take advantage of a free case evaluation from an experienced Connecticut DUI attorney. That’s me!

Can I Beat My New Haven DUI?

Yes, there are many possible defenses in a DUI case. When I evaluate your specific case after discussing it with you, and carefully reading the police report from your arrest, I can suggest how I would fight the charges. A few possible options are:

  • I can challenge the legality of the stop. The police must have a good reason to pull you over.
  • I can challenge all the specific elements of the crime. If you weren’t pulled over directly, did the police actually see you driving?
  • I can challenge the validity of the breath test.
    • How long was it when the breath test was given after your stop? That can affect the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream.
    • Is the breathalyzer machine itself up to date on its maintenance?
    • Can the police provide maintenance records?
    • Can the police establish that the operator is fully trained and is currently certified to administer breath tests?
    • Did they follow the required procedures for operating the device and getting a valid breath sample to establish your BAC?
  • I can challenge the validity of the field sobriety tests.
    • Did the officer follow his exact training in administering the field tests? Did he score the tests according to the standards established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)?
    • Did he have you perform all tests on a well-lit, dry, flat surface?
    • Did he have you perform a nine step walk and turn test on an actual line (notan imaginary line)?
    • If you have shoes with heels or other inappropriate footwear, did he give you a chance to take them off?
    • Did he screen you as a valid candidate for these agility tests? Did he ask if you were over 65, overweight, or have back, neck, leg, knee, or foot problems, or other medical conditions that could affect your agility and balance?

You see, there are many areas to explore in fighting a DUI charge. Every case has some good things about it, and virtually any case can be beaten.

Call me, an experienced criminal defense attorney in New Haven, CT for advice on how I will fight and may be able to beat your DUI charge.

What Is a DUI Charge?

In New Haven, CT, a DUI is an abbreviation for the legal term is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, also commonly known as a DWI, or a drunk driving charge.

There are two different ways to be charged and convicted of what is a commonly called a DUI.

  1. Under Connecticut’s per se law, you can be convicted for simply having a BAC above 0.08 percent, which is sufficient evidence of guilt, regardless of whether or not you were drunk or impaired.
  2. The other way to be found guilty of DUI/drunk driving in Connecticut is if they can find sufficient evidence to prove that you were impaired by alcohol or drugs while operating a motor vehicle, aka drunk while driving. Evidence of impairment relies primarily on the police officer’s testimony as a witness stating that you appeared impaired by your actions in driving on the road, or immediately afterward during field sobriety tests or other observations.

Both of these methods have defenses for them.

New Haven, CT DUI/DWI Laws & Penalties

There are two distinct types of penalties in an New Haven, CT DUI case.

First, you need to be concerned with your immediate license suspension if you fail a breath test or refuse to take one.

Second, the criminal court penalties of you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in Connecticut. You face additional license suspension time, as well as possible jail time, fines, community service, alcohol treatment programs, and more.

Any drunk driving related charge can dramatically impact your life, even if you aren’t at serious risk of jail time. Probation, travel restrictions, fines, and for most people, loss of driver’s license can be a tremendous problem.

For an immediate phone consultation on any DUI charge, please call me immediately. I answer my own phone, and I can talk to you right away.

License Suspension after your New Haven CT DUI Arrest

Immediately after you are arrested on a drunk driving / DUI charge in New Haven, CT, you are subject to a license suspension based on a failure of the breathalyzer, or refusal to take the test. The license suspension is an administrative penalty issued by the Connecticut DMV.

Refusing to Submit to a Breathalyzer test

If you refuse to take a breath test, the license suspension is longer than if you had failed with a very high BAC level.

Refusal penalties are in addition to any license suspension penalties as a result of being found guilty or convicted of the DUI/DWI charge.

Under 21 Breathalyzer Failure Penalties

The penalties for failing a breath test if you are under 21 (the legal drinking age) result from a BAC reading of 0.02 or higher. The penalties are:

  • For a first offense, your license will be suspended for 90 days.
  • For a second offense, your license will be suspended for 9 months.
  • For a third offense, your license will be suspended for 2 years.

Connecticut DWI/DUI Penalties

First offense DUI:

  • Jail for 6 months. Either 48 hours mandatory minimum must be served, or a suspended sentence with 100 hours of community service
  • Fines of $500-1000
  • Driver’s license suspended for 1 year.

Second offense DUI:

A drunk driving charge is considered a second offense if you have a previous conviction within 10 years.

  • 2 years in jail. 120 days mandatory minimum must be served, along with 100 hours of community service
  • Fines of $1,000-$4,000
  • Driver’s license suspended for 3 years (or until age 21, whichever is longer)

Third offense DUI:

A drunk driving charge is considered a third offense if you have at least one previous conviction within 10 years (of the two convictions).

  • 3 years in Jail. 1 year mandatory minimum must be served, along with 100 hours of community service
  • Fines of $1,000-$4,000
  • Driver’s license suspended permanently (revoked).

What to Do If You’ve Been Accused of DUI in New Haven CT

If you are pulled over or questioned following an accident and accused by a police officer of driving under the influence, the first thing to remember is to remain calm. Don’t attempt to argue with the police or get angry.

If they ask you for your driver’s license and vehicle registration, comply with the request. Follow all the officers’ requests in a calm, respectful manner. The officers are observing you for signs of intoxication, such as the smell of alcohol or marijuana, slurred speech, or unsteady movements.

You can refuse to answer a police officer’s questions about where you are driving from or whether you’ve been drinking. If the officers ask you to perform field sobriety tests or blow into a Breathalyzer, you may also refuse to do so. If you choose not to answer questions or perform tests, always remain respectful and courteous toward the officers.

If you fail field sobriety or breathalyzer tests or refuse to take them, you will likely be arrested on suspicion of DUI. Officers may continue to question you after they put you under arrest. Politely decline to answer any questions and request to speak with an attorney. Make sure you speak your request loudly enough so that it is recorded by any recording devices.

Your Rights After a DUI Arrest in New Haven CT

If you are arrested for DUI, always remember your Miranda rights. If you are arrested, the officers will read your Miranda rights to you and ask you if you understand them.

First, you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to answer any questions asked of you. It is critical that you do not answer any questions about where you’ve been, since any statements you give may be used against you in a later trial.

Second, you have the right to an attorney and to speak with an attorney before being questioned. If you ask the police to speak to an attorney, they must stop questioning you until you’ve had an opportunity to speak with a lawyer. However, if you start a conversation with the police about your arrest while waiting to speak to an attorney, the police may resume questioning you.

You have the right to refuse to participate in field sobriety tests. You also have the right to refuse to take a Breathalyzer test, or to submit to blood alcohol testing. You should speak with an attorney before deciding whether to take the test, since doing so may make you eligible for favorable disposition of your case. However, if you refuse the test, your driver’s license may still be suspended even if you are ultimately not convicted of DUI.

What to Expect If You’ve Been Arrested on a DUI Charge in New Haven

When you are arrested on a DUI charge, you will be transported to the police station, searched upon your arrival, photographed, fingerprinted, and placed in a holding cell. After you are processed, the police may continue questioning you or ask you to submit to a breath, urine, or blood alcohol test after reading you the implied consent advisory. The police will also give you the opportunity to call a lawyer, especially if you request to speak with one.

Eventually, the police will release you from the police station after your bail is paid or on a promise that you will appear for your assigned court date. Your driver’s license will also be suspended for a 24-hour period following your arrest so that if you are intoxicated you can sober up before driving again.

Once you’ve retained me to represent you, I’ll begin investigating your case, reviewing your performance and results on field sobriety and blood alcohol tests, the qualifications of the arresting officer and test administrators, and the reliability of the police’s testing equipment. At your pretrial conference, I’ll negotiate for a disposition of your case that avoids jail time.

If I can’t obtain a satisfactory disposition of your case, I’ll obtain discovery from the state and move to exclude certain evidence against you. If I can’t reach a favorable plea agreement for you, your case may go to trial. I will fight to make the state prove every element of your charges beyond a reasonable doubt and hopefully obtain a not guilty verdict.

For more information on your options for your defense, call me, Erin Field, for a free legal consultation from a criminal defense attorney in New Haven CT. There’s no obligation.  Contact me now!


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New Haven CT Marijuana Possession – Penalties

Enfield Drug Possession LawyerMarijuana possession in Connecticut was decriminalized for quantities under half an ounce. But prosecutions for more than 1/2 ounce are still common and can be harsh.

Possession of Marijuana carries the following penalties under Connecticut law if you are found guilty:

POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA PENALTIES FIRST OFFENSE SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE
UNDER 1/2 OZ $150 fine Up to a $500 fine
1/2 OZ TO 4 OZ Up to 1 year in jail
Up to a $1000 fine
Up to 5 years in jail
Up to a $3000 fine
4OZ OR MORE Up to 5 year in jail
Up to a $2000 fine
Up to 10 years in jail
Up to a $5000 fine

Hallucinogen Drugs – Penalties

Substances classified as hallucinogens under the statutes include:

  • LSD/acid
  • Molly/MMDA/ecstasy
  • PCP/angel dust
  • Mescaline

Possession of Hallucinogenic Drugs carries with it the following penalties if you are found guilty:

FIRST OFFENSE SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE
POSSESSION OF DANGEROUS HALLUCINOGENS – PENALTIES Up to 5 year in jail
Up to a $2000 fine
Up to 10 years in jail
Up to a $5000 fine

Possession of Narcotics – Penalties

Substances classified as narcotics under the statutes include:

  • Heroin
  • Cocaine
  • Crack cocaine

Possession of Narcotics is a specific criminal drug possession class that includes, heroin, cocaine, and crack cocaine. Narcotics possession carries the stiffest possible drug possession penalties under Connecticut law. The penalties if you are found guilty are:

FIRST OFFENSE SECOND OFFENSE THIRD OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE
 POSSESSION OF NARCOTICS – PENALTIES Up to 7 years in jail
Up to a $50,000 fine
Up to 15 years in jail
Up to a $100,000 fine
Up to 25 years in jail
Up to a $250,000 fine

All other Drug Categories – Possession Penalties

Other Connecticut Drug Possession Penalties. Possession of any other illegal controlled substance has the following penalties:

FIRST OFFENSE SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE
POSSESSION OF ALL OTHER DRUGS/ CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES –  PENALTIES Up to 1 year in jail
Up to a $1000 fine
Up to 5 years in jail
Up to a $3000 fine

Possession of Drugs in a School Zone

If you are charged with possession of illegal drugs within 1500 feet of a school or day care center, there is a mandatory 2 year jail sentence for possession of drugs within a school zone, in addition to any other penalties listed here.

You can be charged with a school zone violation even if you had no idea you were in a school zone. You could be inside an apartment that happens to be next to a school, and be facing a mandatory 2 years in jail.

But there are school zone drug violation defenses. As a criminal defense attorney in New Haven CT, I can dispute the proximity, to a school, day care center, park, or other zone, with expert testimony. I could get an investigator to measure the distance exactly and testify to that fact in court if I believe you were outside of that legal zone.

A school zone drug possession violation, under Connecticut law, must be served consecutively with any other sentence.

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Penalties

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (pipes, bongs, spoons, scales, etc.) is considered a Class C Misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of 3 months in jail.

Many common, household substances may be characterized as paraphernalia by the police. Do you have a small spoon for your espresso? Do you have a plastic sandwich bag? A bent Coke can with a hole in it? The police can easily jump to conclusions and overcharge this offense when it is unwarranted and unsupported by the facts.

Under Connecticut law, The sale of drug paraphernalia is a Class A Misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail.

What to Do If You’ve Been Arrested on a Drug Possession Charge

If you’ve been arrested on a drug possession charge, you should first remember to remain calm. Arguing with the police will not help you and may in fact make your situation worse, even if you are innocent.

Anything you say to police can be used against you during trial. When the police ask you questions, politely decline to answer any questions and request to speak with an attorney. Make sure your voice is loud enough to be picked up by any nearby recording devices, such as a bodycam, dashboard cam, or audio/video recording devices at the police station.

If you request to speak to an attorney, the police should stop questioning you until you’ve had an opportunity to speak with your lawyer. However, if you continue to speak with the police about your arrest while waiting for a lawyer, the police may resume questioning you.

When given the opportunity to do so, call an attorney. Do not speak to the police until you’ve discussed your arrest with an attorney, who will advise you about whether you should speak to the police and what questions you should answer.

What to Expect After a Drug Arrest in New Haven CT

After your arrest for drug charges, the first thing the police will likely do is read you your Miranda rights – your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. The police will ask you if you understand your rights and remind you that anything you say can be used against you in court.

The police may then tell you that things will be easier for you if you cooperate and answer their questions. However, you should refrain from speaking with the police until you’ve spoken to an attorney, even if you are innocent. Politely but firmly decline to answer any questions until you’ve had the chance to speak to an attorney. An attorney can help you decide whether it is better for you to answer questions from the police.

After your arrest, you will be taken to the police station, searched for contraband, photographed, fingerprinted, and placed in a jail cell. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, the police may again attempt to ask you questions.

At some point during this process you will be given the opportunity to contact and speak with an attorney. Your attorney will also speak to the police or the prosecutor. After discussing your case with you, you and your attorney may decide it is best for you to answer questions from the police or investigators.

You may be released if you or someone on your behalf pays the bail amount set by the police, by bail staff, or by the court. The police or the court may release you without monetary bail on your promise to appear in court on your charges and to satisfy other conditions, such as remaining under certain persons’ supervision, restricting your travel, and avoiding drug use. If bail is placed on you following your arrest and is not paid, the police may continue your detention up to and through your trial.

Ultimately you will appear in court for one or more pre-trial hearings. At these hearings, the court may agree to place you in a diversionary program, in which successful completion of education and treatment programs will lead to dismissal of your charges or your sentence. Otherwise, your attorney and the state will engage in discovery, exchanging evidence related to your case. The state may offer you a deal to plead guilty in exchange for reduced charges or sentences and, potentially, for testifying on behalf of the state in other cases.

If you are not placed in a diversionary program or do not reach a plea agreement with the state, you will eventually proceed to trial on your charges. The state will be required to prove each element of your charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney will present evidence that calls the state’s evidence into question and raises reasonable doubt. If the jury agrees that there is reasonable doubt that you did not commit one or more elements of a charge, you will be found not guilty on that charge.

How to Beat Your New Haven CT Drug Charge

There are a wide variety of ways to fight and win a drug possession criminal case in New Haven. A common successful tactic is to challenge the search and file a motion of illegal search and seizure. The police do not have the right to search your person, car or home without a warrant, or a reasonable suspicion that you might be in possession of illegal drugs. If they do so, the results of the search must be thrown out, and the case dismissed.

For minor charges, such as a first offense possession of marijuana charge, the prosecution will often agree to a “nolle” or nolo prosequi, which means “no prosecution.” The terms of a nolle are the prosecutor drops the case, and if you do not get charged with another crime in the next 13 months, the charge is dropped and removed from the court records.  If you do get in trouble during that 13 months, the prosecutor can refile the original charge, and the consequences may be much more serious.

In many drug cases there are other alternative dispositions available for 1st offense drug possession charges, such as drug education and community service labor program. The drug education and community service labor program involves working for at least 2 and up to 30 days on projects such as cleaning up trash in the community. You can usually pick your own community service. I can discuss these and work out a deal that you can live with, and that will give you a chance to get your charges dismissed after you are able to complete these programs.

These are just a few examples of how I might defend drug possessions charges, but it really depends on the facts of the case. Call me, and experienced criminal defense attorney in New Haven, CT for a consultation, and I’ll let you know what I can do for you.

Drug Treatment and Diversionary Programs

The state of Connecticut offers two programs for drug-involved offenders. Under the first program, courts may refer someone charged with possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia to the pretrial drug education and community service program. An offender is generally ineligible for this program if they’ve previously participated on two prior occasions, but can be allowed to participate a third time upon a showing of good cause. In this program, participants must complete a 15-session drug education program, a substance abuse treatment program with at least 15 sessions, and community service.

A second, separate program allows courts to order drug-dependent offenders into treatment. Offenders are ineligible for this program if they are charged with any DUI offensesecond-degree assault or manslaughter with a motor vehicle, or a class A, B, or C felony, or if they have been already been through the program on two previous occasions. If a drug-dependent offender has already been sentenced, the court may still suspend all or part of the sentence and impose probation with participation in the program as a condition of probation.

In both programs, if the participant successfully completes the program, the court will dismiss the charges against the participant. Under the second program, if the participant also refrains from drug use for two consecutive years, the court can modify the participant’s sentence or probation terms, or terminate probation.


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About New Haven CT

New Haven is the second largest city in the state of Connecticut. Situated on the coast and the New Haven Harbor, New Haven is part of the New York metropolitan area with a population of over 129,00 in the city and over 862,000 in the metro area.

New Haven was founded in 1638 and was the first planned city in America. The original city plan is now a National Historical Landmark.

Yale University is the main employer of the city, and is a very big part of the economy along with health care, professional services, finance, and retail.

New Haven is known as the “Cultural Capital of Connecticut” with its many theaters, museums, and music venues across the city.

Police in New Haven CT

If you need to contact the police after an arrest or criminal charge in New Haven, you can contact the local police department here:

New Haven Police Department
1 Union Avenue
New Haven, CT 06519
(203) 946-6316

New Haven Court System

During criminal proceedings you may need to be in court or contact the court in New Haven for documents:

Geographical Area 23 at New Haven
121 Elm Street
New Haven, CT 06510
(203) 789-7461

Contact Erin Field Now and Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney in New Haven CT About Your Case!

Please call me for a consultation or contact me online now. I will fight for you and look for every opportunity to avoid sticking you with this permanent criminal record.

Your case evaluation is free, confidential, and there is no further obligation.

You will always speak with me, Erin Field, the attorney.

As we move through this new coronavirus crisis together, our law office will remain fully operational. All matters, for the time being, can be handled over the phone, video conference, live chat and via email. Please contact our office if you need any help.