Someone asked me other day what I meant by being a fan of Americana.

Apple Pie. Parades. The Big E.

Voting Booth Selfies?   Not so fast.

As the Presidential election heats up, no matter who you’re voting for, you can be sure of one thing—people will likely show up at the polls next month. Especially the millenials, equipped with their iphones and smartphones. And because many millenials can’t go to the bathroom without snapchatting or posting their every-moment, you can also be certain they will want to forever memorialize (or at least for a quick Snapchat 10 seconds) their experience in the voting booth.

But lawmakers and courts aren’t necessarily having it, as a majority of states have passed laws which protect the privacy of their voting booths from serial social media posters.

So where does Connecticut stand on the issue? Well, depends who you ask…

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New Canaan and Darien Connecticut police are dialing up their underage drinking party enforcement efforts. With school back in session, teenagers and high school students in small towns like Darien and New Canaan Connecticut are once again hanging out at night and on the weekends, sometimes experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and sometimes even with the permission and blessing of their parents.

But here’s the problem, as the best Darien & New Canaan criminal lawyers and attorneys can explain: Connecticut police and prosecutors are no longer giving out “warnings” or “slaps on the wrist” for hosting or turning a blind eye to underage drinking parties. Instead, they are arresting kids and parents, teaching them—and more importantly, teaching the communities that read about these arrests in the newspaper—about the consequences of breaking underage drinking laws by hauling them to court with 1 of 3 serious charges…
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This is my second remembrance and tribute blog posting in a week’s time. Until last week, I’ve never even considered writing one. Yet this week the legal community—as well as the Fairfield County Community as a whole—lost another remarkable legal professional, as well as a wonderful human being, to cancer: Dr. Paul Turner, a veteran forensic evaluator.

Paul—and he preferred to be called Paul rather than Dr. Turner—worked for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) for 26 years, first as a forensic evaluator for 17 years, and then for 9 years as a mobile crisis evaluator. During those 26 years, he provided the Connecticut Superior Courts—the criminal, family and juvenile courts—with over 5000 forensic evaluations. During the 10 years or so that I worked with Paul, I never met a judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, divorce lawyer, or court social worker that ever questioned the integrity of a Paul Turner evaluation report.

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Gun control is a perpetual hot topic around the country, especially during this election year. And Connecticut lawmakers have joined the debate by passing legislation that seeks greater protection for Connecticut domestic violence victims when it comes to temporary restraining orders.

The issue on the table? Whether gun owners who have a temporary restraining order against them—that is, one issued by a judge before the gun owner is able to be heard in court—should have the right to possess guns and firearms while the application is pending.

Starting October 1, gun ownership by people subjected to temporary restraining orders will be illegal, and Second Amendment advocates are fuming…

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Today we lost Craig Yankwitt.   Probably one of the most warm, kind, inspiring and loyal friends I’ve ever had.

He was a tremendous lawyer—combining compassion and advocacy in a manner that set him far apart from and above his litigation colleagues.

He was one of those rare guys who was dialed into you when you were in front of him. Never checking his phone. Never looking around.  Never distracted. He was all about the person sitting right in front of him. He listened and processed and cared. Such an amazing quality of his that added to his charisma.   This was probably what made him so successful in his law practice, as well as in his trials and negotiations.

I’ve seen this same movie time and time again over the past 15 years. Kids getting arrested at Quinnipiac University and on other Connecticut college campuses. Too afraid to tell their parents. Then miserably handling the criminal court case and school discipline process on their own, causing irreparable damage to their permanent records and transcripts.

Don’t even think about making the same mistake…

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There’s no question that Connecticut lawmakers are getting tougher on DUI / DWI / OUI arrests in Connecticut. Last year, we saw a new law passed that required anyone arrested for DUI in Connecticut under CGS § 14-227a or CGS § 14-227g to install an “ignition interlock device” (called an “IID”) in their cars – even if they never pled guilty to a Connecticut DUI / DWI and even if their case got dismissed.

This year, Connecticut lawmakers raised the stakes with a new law that goes into effect in October that will all but guarantee jail if you’re convicted of drunk driving with children in your car…

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If you ask any of the best Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys who are “in the know” about Connecticut State Trooper arrests, they will share 2 little known and quietly kept secrets about State Trooper arrests: first, State Trooper bond amounts are usually much lower than those in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien or other Fairfield County, Connecticut police departments; and second, State Trooper arrests rarely find their way onto the Internet or into Google searches of your name.

What’s the explanation for this? It’s complicated, but I’ll wrap it up in 2 minutes…

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Connecticut police and prosecutors are taking online harassment and social media harassment arrests seriously. Digital forensic police labs are sprouting up all over Fairfield County, and police in Greenwich, Weston, Stamford and Darien Connecticut are benefitting from government funding and top-tier training in cell phone and social media forensics. Their goal is simple: to stop online and digital harassment and bullying. Perhaps that’s why the best Connecticut computer crime criminal lawyers are seeing more harassment arrests originating from texting, emailing and social media messaging applications.

But no matter how fancy and cutting edge the new police technology may be, the time-tested First Amendment just may prevail in getting your Connecticut Harassment Second Degree arrest dismissed…

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It’s one of the easiest arrests for Greenwich, Stamford, Darien and Connecticut police to make. It’s Disorderly Conduct under CGS 53a-182, one of the lowest level misdemeanors and perhaps the most frequently charged crimes in Connecticut. But no matter how minor the incident may be, the crime is still a misdemeanor and will still tarnish your record, causing havoc to your online reputation, and employment background checks.

So why are the top criminal lawyers in Greenwich, Darien and Stamford Connecticut seeing so many Disorderly Conduct arrests in the domestic violence courts? It’s a combination of the unfair overbreadth of the Connecticut Disorderly Conduct statute, coupled with law enforcement’s tendency to be overly cautious in making arrests to essentially kick the can to the courthouse to fix a tense domestic situation.