When a defendant has a history with the criminal justice system, it can make any future case more difficult for them. The predisposition of the courts and prosecutors to assume that 'there must be something to it' can make it very challenging for defendants to get the system to hear their position and side. Even with that said, though, each and every defendant is entitled to a presumption of innocence in any subsequent case. A key to putting on an effective criminal defense in Connecticut in a case that has the potential for potential bias is understanding the law as well as possible.
A recently arrested defendant in Connecticut will be facing this challenge when he goes before the court to face charges of campaign finance fraud related to a recent campaign for the state Representative in Connecticut. Former state Senator Ernest E. Newton is accused of first-degree larceny, multiple charges of illegal campaign practices and felony tampering with a witness. The larceny charge is based upon receiving public money and an allegation that the money was obtained by using false paperwork.
In addition to these unfortunate charges, Newton has a history of felony conviction on corruption charges and other charges related to previous campaigns in the mid-2000s. He had previously been convicted of taking a bribe and tax evasion, as well as a misappropriation of campaign contributions. He also spent five years in prison related to these previous convictions. This history will make his current case challenging in ways that it otherwise would not be.
To address these current charges effectively, Newton and other criminal defendants like him need to be well informed about the law. While these are difficult circumstances under which to present a case, a grounded approach to the criminal defense in Connecticut can make a big difference in the result. Defendants also need to keep in mind that regardless of their history, they are entitled to a fair trial or hearing and that prosecutors must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: Hartford Courant, "Three-time convicted felon arrested again on campaign finance charges," Christopher Keating, Jan. 4, 2013