The Blanch Law Firm’s has an extensive criminal defense practice that includes handling state and federal court cases across Connecticut. We are respected for our integrity and professionalism in matters involving all complexity of criminal cases. We have a team of attorneys dedicated to assessing every aspect of a case and formulating a defense strategy that best fits the facts of each case. It is never too early or too late for effective intervention by our legal team in your case. Our firm has a reputation for being informative. We want to ensure that each client is aware of the process they will encounter in the criminal justice system. The Blanch Law Firm is licensed in NY but can defend clients throughout Connecticut through the pro hac vice admissions process. A summary of what you can expect in Connecticut follows.
An arrest occurs when police pick you up on a warrant or when they believe they have probable cause that a crime was committed, such as after witnessing a crime or arriving shortly after a crime. Often, police question you about a crime before deciding to arrest you. It is imperative that you demand to speak to an attorney before speaking to police. It is during this questioning that police often use any means possible to get you to make an incriminating statement. Do not do it.
Once police decide to charge you, a police supervisor sets bail or you are taken before a judge who will set bail. In the case of a warrant, the judge who issued it has already set bail. Factors that influence bail include the nature and circumstances of the crime, your prior convictions, your family, employment and community ties, your financial resources and your character. If you make bail or are released on your own word, you must appear in court as ordered or your bail will be revoked. If you cannot pay your bail amount, you will be held in custody until you can or until trial.
In less-serious cases, you will be issued a summons and told when and where to appear in court. If police take you into custody, by the next business day you will be arraigned before a judge. This arraignment is your first appearance in court. Here, you are told the charges against you, and your bail is set or modified. You must enter a plea of guilty or not guilty at the arraignment.
Because each police agency in Connecticut operates differently, your experience during an arrest will vary with each one. You could be held in custody until your arraignment at the police station or in the county jail. State charges are filed in Superior Court in the county where you are alleged to have committed the crime. The U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut has courthouses in New Haven, Hartford and Bridgeport. Federal arraignments take place in these courts.
Following an arraignment, your defense begins. A pre-trial conference is held, at which you, your attorney and the prosecutor discuss the case. The prosecution and defense lawyers show each other what evidence they have. A plea bargain may be arranged at this point, which would end the case. However, if the case is going to trial, attorneys at The Blanch Law Firm commence a series of pre-trial motions designed to control the trial. Our attorneys may move to dismiss the case or some of the charges for lack of evidence or for other reasons; we may also move to suppress forensic or other evidence from trial. Our options are considerable, and we never hesitate to take advantage of them to benefit our client’s case.
- Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced on April 29 that Edwin Charon, 30, of West Haven, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for possessing stolen firearms. According to court records, in November 2012, Elliot Perez stole three boxes containing a total of 111 firearms from the Smith & Wesson manufacturing plant in Springfield. Perez and his cohort, Michael Murphy, were arrested later that month on charges stemming from the theft, but not before they had sold the majority of the firearms into the illicit gun market in and around Bridgeport. In April 2013, the Bridgeport Police Department arrested an individual in possession of one of the stolen guns; he bought it from Charon from a storage locker. A search of the locker turned up four handguns, including another of the stolen Smith & Wesson handguns, and a stolen Ruger 9mm pistol loaded with a high capacity magazine and containing 17 rounds of ammunition. Charon has a prior felony conviction, and it is a violation of federal law for a person previously convicted of a felony to possess a firearm or ammunition that has moved in interstate or foreign commerce.
- On May 2, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that Amaury Villa, 39, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and theft charges for stealing $80 million in pharmaceuticals from an Eli Lilly Company warehouse and storage facility in Enfield, Connecticut in 2010. Villa and his co-conspirators loaded approximately 49 pallets of pharmaceuticals into a tractor-trailer that they had backed up to the loading dock of the warehouse. The tractor trailer then traveled to Florida. The pallets of pharmaceuticals included thousands of boxes Zyprexa, Cymbalta, Prozac, Gemzar and other medicines. A search of a storage facility in Florida recovered pharmaceuticals that had been stolen from the Enfield warehouse. Villa pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Florida to conspiracy and possession of stolen goods charges and was sentenced to 140 months in prison. He also has pleaded guilty to multimillion dollar warehouse burglaries in Illinois, Virginia, Florida and Kentucky.