Whether you are a long-term resident of Connecticut or have recently moved there, it is essential that you are aware of the various laws governing daily life in the State. Connecticut has a fairly complex system of laws and it can be hard to keep track of them all. While services like PrisonFinder can help locate prisons and learn about how they are run, we’re here to help you abide by the system with this quick guide to Connecticut laws.
Marijuana lovers can now relax, as Connecticut is one of the few US States to have decriminalised its use in small amounts. This means that first-time offences are now regarded like a minor traffic violation, with no criminal record or penalty beyond a 60-day driver’s license suspension for users younger than 21 years. The medical use of marijuana has been legalised since 2012 and patients just need to register with the state to gain access to it.
Gun control laws
Gun laws in Connecticut have become much stricter after the Sandy Hook tragedy of 2012. Under the new laws, almost 200 varieties of assault weapons have been banned. Legal owners can still keep them and use them at shooting ranges, but they cannot transport the weapons with magazines holding more than 10 rounds. The sale (including private) of all firearms requires a national criminal history check.
Minimum wage laws
As of 2018, workers in Connecticut are entitled to a state minimum wage of $10.10 per hour, with overtime pay required for work beyond 40 hours in a week. If the federal minimum wage is raised to match or exceed that of Connecticut, the stage minimum wage automatically goes up by 0.5% above the new federal wage.
Income tax laws
In Connecticut, residents are required to pay an income tax of 3% on the first $10000 earned, and 4.5% on all amounts above that. Connecticut also taxes gasoline at 25 cents per gallon and alcohol at rates that depend on what you are consuming. You also need to pay a ‘use tax’ on goods delivered from outside the state unless the seller has already charged their own sales tax. While tax laws are not always the easiest to understand, you can contact a Connecticut tax law attorney for legal assistance with any tax issues.
Compulsory education laws
Under Connecticut law, every child between five and eighteen years of age is required to attend school for a minimum number of days each year. Exceptions are permitted for home schooling, but the education a child receives at home must be equivalent to what is taught in public school. To prevent a child from attending school is a district offense in Connecticut, and parents who do not comply with the compulsory education laws can be fined up to $25 for each day their child does not attend school.
Connecticut supports fair business competition through various antitrust laws such as the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act, all of which are enforced by the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General. You can report any business that may be violating these laws by filling a complaint form or calling the Consumer Assistance Unit. If you wish to file a lawsuit, you must do so within 4 years of the antitrust violation or your awareness of the violation. Antitrust laws can be complex, and consulting with a Connecticut antitrust lawyer can help you decide the best way forward if you believe you have been wronged by a business violating these laws.
In Connecticut, marriages can be dissolved on legal grounds such as wilful desertion or adultery, and also on ‘no-fault’ grounds such as continuous separation for at least 18 months. If the partners are unable to agree on a custody agreement for children of the marriage, then there will be a custody hearing court during which the presiding judge will take a decision that is deemed best for the safety and well-being of the child. Divorce can be an emotionally stressful experience, and it is strongly advisable for you to consult a Connecticut divorce attorney.
Civil rights law
Connecticut law allows you to file a complaint of civil right violation if you are denied access to public places or face workplace discrimination based on grounds like age, race, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion and disability. You can also sue in civil court for financial losses or damages you suffered as a result of discrimination against you. A Connecticut civil rights lawyer can help you understand your civil rights and file your claims correctly.
Laws like these will help you maintain a better quality of life as a resident of the state. As long as you abide by these laws, you can enjoy the full benefits of citizenship in Connecticut.