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If you or a loved one find yourselves being investigated or arrested for Arson Murder in Connecticut, you are no doubt scared and full of questions. At Kevin Smith, Attorney at Law LLC, our team stands ready to speak with you and answer those questions.
A free, confidential initial consultation can be done with just a phone call, and you can expect to get answers to the questions below, as well as any other case-specific questions you may have.
If you or a loved one are charged with Arson Murder in Connecticut, in violation of Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-54d, the stakes simply could not be any higher. Arson Murder in Connecticut is a Class A Felony, and penalties you face if convicted of Arson Murder include:
Though every Connecticut Criminal case will proceed differently on an individual basis, there are certain procedures and phases common to all Connecticut Criminal cases, including Connecticut Murder cases, that you or a loved one charged with Arson Murder can expect to encounter. Proceedings and phases you can generally expect in Connecticut Arson Murder cases include:
Investigations in Connecticut Arson Murder cases take place before an Arrest, may be conducted by local, state, or federal law enforcement agencies, and may also include Grand Jury proceedings. These investigations often involve the execution of search warrants, interviews with witnesses, and collection of evidence from the scene or suspects.
If you or a loved one find yourself the target of a Connecticut Arson Murder investigation, you have the absolute right to an attorney and to remain silent if you or a loved one are questioned by law enforcement. The right to an attorney and the right to remain silent are guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Connecticut Constitution, and you should exercise them decisively and aggressively.
Remember: law enforcement agents are not required to be truthful with suspects, and what you say to law enforcement CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU. Your best defense against mistakenly forfeiting your rights is to retain counsel as soon as you or a loved one learns that you are the target or a suspect in a Connecticut Arson Murder case.
Our attorneys can then:
In some cases, our attorneys can prevent an arrest of you or a loved one in a Connecticut Arson Murder investigation.
In these instances, we may be able to provide law enforcement with evidence that demonstrates your innocence, or evidence that undermines the credibility of evidence already in their possession.
Each case, however, is different, and the best way to determine if a Connecticut Arson Murder arrest can be prevented is to contact one of our attorneys for a free consultation as soon as you become aware that you or a loved one are the target or a suspect in a Connecticut Arson Murder investigation.
In some cases, an Arrest cannot be prevented in a Connecticut Arson Murder case.
In these cases, law enforcement officers will either make an on site arrest, or else they will apply for and be granted an Arrest Warrant. The Arrest Warrant may be the result of the Connecticut Arson Murder investigation conducted by law enforcement agencies, or a Grand Jury indictment following a Grand Jury investigation.
Once an Arrest Warrant issues, the subject of the Arrest Warrant will either be involuntarily taken into custody by law enforcement, or allowed to turn him or herself in voluntarily.
If you or a loved one find yourself the subject of an Arrest Warrant in a Connecticut Arson Murder case, our attorneys can arrange for a voluntary turn in, and allow you to make the necessary preparations rather than being blindsided at your home or business by arresting officers. Our attorneys can also discuss with you the options for posting bail or remaining in custody.
Arraignment is the formal name used for the first Court appearance before a judge by a Defendant in a Connecticut Arson Murder case. Once a person has been arrested and arraigned in Court, they are known as a Defendant.
At arraignment, the State’s Attorney will generally read the charges against the Defendant, make an argument regarding the Defendant’s bail and conditions of release, and provide some initial disclosures of the evidence against the Defendant.
Arraignment is also the Defendant’s first opportunity in a Connecticut Arson Murder case to plead not guilty, make arguments regarding bail and conditions of release, and make formal discovery requests for evidence.
Our attorneys will represent you or your loved one at Arraignment by gathering evidence to support arguments for a reasonable bail and conditions of release, and to support your plea of not guilty. Our attorneys will also make discovery requests in order to ensure that all evidence the State’s Attorney intends to use in its case is disclosed to the defense.
Once a Defendant has been arraigned in a Connecticut Arson Murder case, they will then enter the Pre-Trial phase of the case.
During the Pre-Trial phase of a Connecticut Arson Murder case, the Defendant and his or her attorney will generally be required to make a Court appearance once a month, though in some instances the time between Court appearances may be longer or shorter.
At these Pre-Trial Court appearances, the Defendant’s attorney and the State’s Attorney will discuss the case, exchange evidence, and raise any legal issues with a judge. A Defendant in a Connecticut Arson Murder case is also entitled to a Probable Cause Hearing to challenge the evidence against him or her and seek dismissal of the case, and this Probable Cause Hearing takes place during the Pre-Trial phase of a Connecticut Arson Murder case. Negotiations to resolve the case, often called “Plea Negotiations” or “Plea Bargaining”, also take place during the Pre-Trial phase. Although there is no set time limit for the Pre-Trial phase of a Connecticut Arson Murder case, it typically lasts for as long as 18 months.
At Kevin Smith, Attorney at Law LLC, our attorneys will represent you or a loved one during all aspects of the Pre-Trial phase by reviewing evidence with you, conveying to you all negotiations with the State’s Attorney, and protecting your right to plead not guilty and preserve your innocence throughout the process.
A Defendant in a Connecticut Criminal case is entitled to Plead Not Guilty and demand a Trial, either by a Judge or a Jury.
At a Trial in a Connecticut Arson Murder case, the State’s Attorney will be required to prove the Defendant guilty by a burden of proof known as proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. In order to do so, the State’s Attorney will have to prove each Essential Element of the crime of Arson Murder Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. The State’s Attorney will not be able to Convict you of Arson Murder unless all jurors unanimously agree that your are guilty.
According to the Connecticut Criminal Jury Instructions, the Essential Elements, or legal components, of the crime of Arson Murder in Connecticut are:
In plain English, this means that the State’s Attorney will have to prove Four things. First, that the Defendant committed the Crime of Arson by Starting or Causing a Fire or Explosion with the Specific Intent to or Recklessly Causing Damage or Destruction to a Building and an Additional Factor. Second, the State’s Attorney must prove that the Defendant Caused the Death of Another Person. Third, the State’s Attorney must prove that that the Death was Caused During the Course of Committing the Arson. And, finally, the State’s Attorney must prove that the Person who Died/Victim was Not a Participant in the Arson.
If you or a loved one are charged with Arson Murder in Connecticut, you should know that there are a number of defenses that must be explored. Some common defenses to Arson Murder in Connecticut are listed below.
If you or a loved one are charged with Arson Murder in Connecticut, our attorneys will rigorously and methodically review the evidence and the law and exhaust all possible defenses for you.
Under Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-54a, an Extreme Emotional Disturbance defense is an Incomplete Defense to a Connecticut Arson Murder charge, meaning that it can shield a Defendant from an Arson Murder conviction, but it can expose a Defendant to a Lesser Offense Conviction for Manslaughter.
An Alibi Defense in Connecticut involves establishing that the Defendant could not have committed the Arson Murder because he or she was physically in another location.
A Mistaken Identity Defense in Connecticut involves establishing that the Defendant has mistakenly been identified as the person who committed the Arson Murder, often by an eyewitness who is either confused or wrongfully accusing the Defendant.
Under Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-19, a Defense of Others defense to Arson Murder in Connecticut, similar to a Self-Defense claim, involves establishing that the Defendant killed another person while defending someone else from being attacked by the person who was killed.
Under Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-13, a Lack of Capacity Due to Mental Disease or Defect/Insanity Defense in Connecticut, also commonly referred to as an NGRI (Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity) Defense, involves establishing that the Defendant at the time of the offense lacked the substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his or her conduct or to control his or her conduct within the requirements of the law. This defense is often highly technical and requires the testimony of an expert or experts.
At Kevin Smith, Attorney at Law LLC, one of our Connecticut Arson Murder attorneys will review all the evidence and conduct legal research necessary to guide you to the appropriate expert or experts and mount the strongest defense available based on the specific circumstances of your case.
These are only general examples of some of the ways to fight a Connecticut Arson Murder case. The best defense will always be the one that is tailored to the specific legal and factual characteristics of an individual case. A good defense can not only protect you from the worst possible outcome, it may also help you resolve your case without ever having to go to trial or prison.
During your free initial consultation our Connecticut Arson Murder defense attorneys will review your case, assess potential defenses and avenues for further investigation, and tell you how we can help you and what you can expect from us.
Every Connecticut Murder case is unique, and the cost of defending each Connecticut Arson Murder case will depend upon a number of factors, such as:
If you or your loved one are charged with Arson Murder in Connecticut, you cannot afford to make the wrong decision about hiring an attorney. Though you may be forced to make tough financial decisions about your defense, the cost of hiring the right attorney will always outweigh the costs of the fines and jail time that may come with a conviction that is the result of a poor defense.
At Kevin Smith, Attorney at Law LLC, our Connecticut Arson Murder attorneys will give you a free consultation to review the expected costs of your defense and help you make the best decision for your future.
When you or a loved one have been charged with Arson Murder in Connecticut, it can seem like the whole world is ending, and the fear and anxiety of the situation can be paralyzing. But you must act swiftly and decisively to protect your future.
At Kevin Smith, Attorney at Law LLC, our attorneys act with a single goal in mind: aggressively pursuing all legal avenues to defend you against an Arson Murder conviction and get you the best possible outcome for your case. The first step on this path is a Free Consultation to review your case and let you know what options you and your family have.
Do not go it alone: we are here for you and your family, and we are ready and waiting to accept the honor of defending you.