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Tara Leigh Knight

Criminal defense Attorney at New Haven, CT

5.0   9 reviews

also known as Tara Knight, Tara L. Knight


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About Tara

Learn Tara’s areas of practice.

Tara Knight is the founding member and senior partner of the firm of Knight & Cerritelli L.L.C. located in New Haven, Connecticut. Attorney Knight specializes in criminal defense law and is board-certified in criminal trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. She is now using her skills as a negotiator and criminal trial lawyer to represent individuals in personal injury matters.

In 2012 and 2014 the Expanded Governing Board of Yale Law School appointed her Clinical Tutor in Law at the Yale Law School.

She is one of the directors of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification which is the governing board overseeing the certification of lawyers as Board Certified throughout the nation in criminal law and other areas of specialty. In 2012, she was inducted into the American Board of Criminal Lawyers.

She is rated “AV” by Martindale Hubbell, its highest rating.

Her extensive criminal litigation background includes trial and appellate experience in both state and federal courts. She has tried numerous cases to verdict including defending individuals charged with: Capital Murder; robbery; assault; sexual assault; narcotics; weapons violations; computer and pornography crimes; embezzlement; marijuana; and domestic violence.

Attorney Knight is admitted to practice before the Connecticut State and Federal Courts; the Second Circuit Court of Appeals; and the United States Supreme Court.

She is one the first women ever to be listed in the publication, The Best Lawyers in America, as an outstanding criminal law practitioner in Connecticut. She has been listed in The Best Lawyers In America yearly since 2003.

Attorney Knight has been named a " Connecticut Super Lawyer " yearly since 2006. Additionally, she was designated as one of the Top 25 Women Lawyers in the state since 2007, 2011 and 2012 and one of the Top 50 Lawyers in the state in 2006 by Connecticut Magazine. She was listed in New York Magazine in its 2006 through 2014 editions as one of the best criminal defense lawyers in the New York area. In 2009, Irish America magazine and the Irish Voice Newspaper named her to their "Legal 100" list- a listing of the leading figures in the legal profession across North America.

In May 2016, Attorney Knight was awarded the honor of being the only female attorney in Connecticut listed as a "Best Lawyer" for Criminal Defense Practice in the Spring 2016 issue of Best Lawyers Business Edition.

Attorney Knight taught Criminal Procedure at the University of Connecticut Law School during the Fall Semester 2010. Additionally she was an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Law at Quinnipiac University from 1999-2001 and has been a guest lecturer for classes at Yale University Law School, Quinnipiac School of Law, and the University of New Haven and has participated as a panelist and/or lecturer at numerous seminars and conferences sponsored by various bar associations, law schools, television and radio programs, colleges and other organizations.

She is a past-president of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (2005-2006).

She was appointed by the Judges of the Superior Court in Connecticut to serve as a member of the grievance/ethics panel for the Ansonia/Milford Judicial District (2006-2009, 2009-2012).

In 2007 the Mayor of New Haven, John DeStefano, Jr., selected her to be a member of an independent review board which was formed to examine the policies, procedures and structures of the New Haven Police Department in the wake of a well-publicized corruption scandal.

She has been a guest commentator on The TODAY Show, Court TV, now TruTV, since 1997 and has been invited to comment as an expert on criminal law on MSNBC, CNN and FOX News. Additionally, she has been featured in two A & E Network Productions and on Court TV’s, The System. She and Attorney Hugh F. Keefe are frequent guests on New Haven’s popular morning radio program, "Chaz and AJ in the Morning" (99.1 WPLR).

Her publications include "How Many Fingers Do You See?" (Connecticut Law Tribune, November 2002) and "Criminal Justice Model A Costly Mistake," (Connecticut Law Tribune, January 2012).

Attorney Knight is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and New Haven County Bar Association. In 2001, she was inducted into the Connecticut Bar Foundation. She is an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. She has been an executive committee member of the Criminal Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association since 1995. She is a member of the NORML (National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws) legal committee and FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums).

Attorney Knight is a graduate of Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut and Suffolk University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts. She also completed the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia.

Ms. Knight resides in New Haven with her husband, Hugh Keefe, who is the senior and managing partner of Lynch, Traub, Keefe and Errante PC in New Haven, Connecticut.


Photos and videos

Licensed for 32 years
State CT
Status Active
Acquired 1990
Updated 04/16/2022

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Contact Tara

Knight & Cerritelli LLC
2 Lincoln St
New Haven, CT, 06510-1264

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  9 customer reviews
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Posted by Ezra | March 5, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Client
Tara is a great lawyer all around the board. I hired her for a serious criminal case that I had involving sale of a narcotic. She is very familiar with the laws surrounding this kind of case and she did a great job of communicating and helping me with wheigh out all my options. She spent time going over all the evidence with me and making sure that any question I had was answered. With her by my side I felt confident to go to trial and I knew that she was going to fight and give it her all. Tara is very organized and when it comes time for trial she will focus on only your case. We spoke back and forth for days leading up to my trial making sure that we were on the same page with everything and that every angle was covered. She went as far as hiring a private Investigator to further look into some issues we had with my case. I can say that she definetly went above and beyond. Tara made me feel very comfortable during the whole process and she was very prepared for the trial. We went through the jury selection and had finished after some days. Through all those days though she was still trying to get me a better deal talking to the prosecutor and showing him flaws in their case. I was in no mind frame though to take any kind of deal. The day I went to court to begin my trial she had got the prosecutor to agree to a deal that even I couldn't refuse. She also helped guide me through a federal violation I had pending as well and in both cases I received results that to me are still unbelievable. Tara Knight helped me get my life back literally. I would highly recommend her to anyone who is looking for an excellent criminal lawyer
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Posted by Kara E | October 4, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Knight in shining armor
I hired Tara Knight when I believed I was unfairly arrested. I had never been arrested before and my career and reputation were on the line. Tara was able to get the entire case thrown out and off my record. No fines and no returning to court for me. I never felt for a minute I was being judged by her and I knew she truly cared about the outcome of my case. Having Ms. Knight show up for me that day was amazing, I didn't have to worry about a thing. I felt at ease while she was standing beside me in the courtroom and I knew I was in the best hands possible. I would definitely use her services again, although I do not plan on being arrested again, I would highly recommend her to anyone going through a similar experience. She definitely lives up to her reputation as a fierce lawyer and genuinely cares about her clients.
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Posted by anonymous | May 2, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Skilled Dynamic Defense Attorney
We recommend Attorney Knight highly and without reservation. She represented our son against felony charges in the federal system. Her legal expertise is extensive and thorough. Attorney Knight will use her many resources and is highly respected by her peers. To quote the prosecutor, “Attorney Knight zealously defended her client”. She showed our family consistent respect and understanding, making a difficult situation more bearable. She is stern and caring when appropriate. Attorney Knight always responded to questions and concerns expediently. We have a great deal of respect for her as an attorney and as a human being. Through her skilled counsel, the best possible outcome was achieved for our son.
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Posted by Sean | April 7, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Legal Representation!
Attorney Knight was my counselor for a criminal defense case which lasted approximately a year and six months and throughout the entire experience the confidence I had in her being my legal representation never wavered. She proved time and time again that she is a professional whose only goal is to help her clients have a positive outcome. With the charges I was facing Attorney Knight got me not only the best possible outcome imaginable but one that I didn’t even think was possible. I am giving her a five star rating and suggest that anyone who is in need of legal counsel should consider hiring Attorney Tara Knight.
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Posted by John | April 5, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Tara Knight
Needed a criminal attorney for my son who was facing multiple felony charges. Tara was highly recommended and it turned out she was the best councelor for my son. Tara not only navigated the court system with professionalism, she also took time to make sure my son was maturing and on the right path. The results she delivered for my son were the best for my son and Tara made sure during the process that we always had a realistic picture of what those results could be. If faced with having to hire a criminal attorney, I would not hesitate hiring her again or recommending her skills to anyone in need of an attorney.
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Posted by Curt | April 22, 2015
Best defense lawyer around!!!
Do yourself a favor and look no further! Tara has represented me for years when I had a substance abuse problem and found myself in loads of trouble and facing years and years in prison!! Im clean now and free and never served a day in prison thanks to her!!! By far the best lawyer in Ct. and reasonable.
Posted by anonymous | November 5, 2013
Top notch; highly recommended
Simply put, you could not be in better hands. Tara is not only an excellent lawyer, she is also someone that truly has a passion for seeing her clients get the representation they deserve. Be honest with her and trust her. She knows what she is doing. I would, without a doubt, recommend Tara to anyone looking for representation, especially in a criminal matter.
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Posted by anonymous | September 11, 2013
Best Lawyer in CT
Facing multiple felonies, I hired Tara to represent me in Milford Superior Court. She did an outstanding job, kept me completely informed throughout the process, and ultimately got the entire case dismissed. I would reccomend Tara to anyone facing criminal charges. She is an incredibly talented attorney.
Posted by Trace | August 25, 2013
Excellent attorney
After being wrongly accused of three felonies , I found myself in serious legal trouble. After discussing the matter with others that had hired Attorney knight and prevailed I also retrained Tara Knight to defend us. After a year of legal wrangling we emerged victorious .justice was served and all charges were dismissed. Attorney Knight is a true professional. She was responsive and considerate of our needs and feelings. I would highly recommend her to anyone in need of legal representation. I will hire attorney knight for any future legal concerns without hesitation..... Thank you Tara for helping us through this very difficult timeand standing up for us until justice was served.
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Cost

Rates
  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 9.6 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Clinical Tutor in Trial Practice
  • Yale Law School
  • 2013 - Present
  • Founding Partner
  • Knight & Cerritelli LLC
  • 1994 - Present
  • Taught Criminal Procedure
  • University of Connecticut Law School
  • 2010 - 2010
  • Adjunct Professor of Criminal Law
  • Quinnipiac University
  • 1999 - 2001
View all work experience

Education

  • Suffolk University Law School
  • JD
  • 1990
  • Fairfield University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1987

Associations

  • National Board of Legal Specialty
  • Director
  • 2013 - Present
  • American Board of Criminal Lawyers
  • Fellow
  • 2012 - Present
  • Connecticut Bar Foundation
  • Lifetime Member
  • 2001 - Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 1998 - Present
  • Connecticut Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1990 - Present
  • New Haven County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1990 - Present
  • National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Families Against Minimum Mandatories (FAMM)
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • President
  • 2005 - 2006
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Awards

  • AV Preeminent Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2022
  • Connecticut Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2017
  • Best Lawyer
  • Best Lawyers Business Edition
  • 2016
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2016
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2015
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2014
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2013
  • Named one of the Top 25 Women Lawyers in the State
  • Connecticut Magazine
  • 2012
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2012
  • Named one of the Top 25 Women Lawyers in the State
  • Connecticut Magazine
  • 2011
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2011
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2010
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2009
  • Named to the Legal 100 in North America
  • Irish American Magazine
  • 2009
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2008
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2007
  • Named one of the Top 25 Women Lawyers in the State
  • Connecticut Magazine
  • 2007
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2006
  • Named one of the Top 50 Lawyers in the State
  • Connecticut Magazine
  • 2006
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2005
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2004
  • Super Lawyer
  • Connecticut Super Lawyers
  • 2003
  • Board Certified
  • National Board of Trial Advocacy
  • N/A
  • Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in New York Area 2006—2015
  • New York Magazine
  • N/A
  • Listed 2003—present
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • N/A
  • AV Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • N/A
View all awards

Publications

  • Connecticut Law Tribune
  • Criminal Justice Model—A Costly Mistake
  • 2012
  • Connecticut Law Tribune
  • How Many Fingers Do You See?
  • 2002

Speaking Engagements

  • Panel at University of New Haven
  • Sexual Assault Cases
  • 2015
  • Speaking Event at New England School of Law
  • Criminal Law
  • 2015
  • Guest Lecture at Yale Law School
  • Criminal Law
  • 2006

Attorney endorsements

Received (1)
Given (0)
Endorse Tara
Unknown Attorney | Oct 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"As the current President of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, I endorse Attorney Knight. Attorney Knight is a member in good standing in our organization and a well regarded criminal defense lawyer in the state. She has shown a passion for criminal defense issues and zealously defends people charged with criminal offenses."
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New Haven Criminal defense Lawyer Tara Leigh Knight
Tara Leigh Knight
Criminal defense Attorney
New Haven, CT
Licensed for 32 years
Free Consultation