Articles Posted in DCF

Hard to believe, but spanking your child in certain circumstances can get you arrested for a felony in Connecticut.

Many of the best Greenwich, Wilton and Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys routinely see felony Connecticut Risk of Injury arrests under CGS 53-21 when parents go a little bit too far in physically disciplining their children.

While spanking, slapping your child, or hitting them with a belt are not automatically against the law in Connecticut, it can and does lead to felony Risk of Injury arrests in Connecticut when the discipline leaves a temporary mark or bruise.

So if you’ve been arrested in Connecticut for Risk of Injury for spanking or physically disciplining your child (often called corporal punishment by the courts and top Connecticut criminal lawyers), keep reading to learn if and how to get these charges dismissed quickly and cost-effectively.

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About a year ago, Connecticut lawmakers enacted a new Risk of Injury / Child Endangerment law requiring Connecticut mandated reporters (teachers, coaches, therapists) to report any suspicions of child abuse or neglect to DCF within 24 hours. If they didn’t, they could be arrested in Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut for Risk of Injury to a Minor / CGS 53-21 for failing to call DCF.

As a result, there has been a surge of DCF investigations in Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut, many of which are unnecessary, intrusive and triggered more as a result of Greenwich and Stamford schools and teachers going into “CYA” mode rather than having a genuine concern for a child’s safety.

What’s worse is that after the teachers and schools make the call to DCF, their lives go on business-as-usual. But as the top DCF investigation lawyers in Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut know all too well, the detrimental impact these DCF investigations can have on a target family can drag on for months while DCF deep dives into their private and professional lives.

Here’s how you can short-circuit these investigations and keep DCF out of your lives…

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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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Many of the best criminal lawyers in Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan, Wilton and Darien Connecticut are never surprised to hear about arrests in Connecticut for leaving a child unsupervised in a motor vehicle. Connecticut police have wide discretion in classifying the arrest as a misdemeanor or felony arrest for Risk of Injury to a Minor under CGS 53-21. Anyone who leaves a child under 16 unsupervised in a motor vehicle—regardless of whether the car engine is off, whether the keys are or are not in the ignition, or whether it was only for 2 minutes—can face a felony or misdemeanor arrest in Connecticut.

Sound unfair? That’s because it is. And if you’re one of the few, unfortunate people to get arrested in Stamford, Danbury or Norwalk Connecticut for Leaving a Child Unsupervised / Risk of Injury under C.G.S. 53-21, then keep reading to learn if and how you can get your Connecticut arrest dismissed quickly and cost-effectively…

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The best criminal lawyers in Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan and Darien Connecticut frequently see family and divorce case drama spill into criminal court, specifically the Stamford, Danbury and Norwalk Superior Court domestic violence dockets. The best family court lawyers in Fairfield County are routinely leveraging an adversary spouse’s arrest in divorce court, filing emergency motions for custody, supervised visitation and drug testing, based on minor arrests and allegations of Disorderly Conduct, Breach of Peace in the Second Degree and Interference with Police. DCF is called in more for show than substance, and by that point, you can’t blame the family court and criminal court judges for hesitating and issuing onerous Full No Contact protective orders until the dust settles.

What are the top criminal law firms in Greenwich, Darien, Stamford, Ridgefield and Westport Connecticut doing to fight back? For starters, they are invoking a little-known and seldom-used Connecticut Practice Book device in the Stamford, Bridgeport, Danbury and Norwalk domestic violence courts that automatically appoints a Guardian Ad Litem (“GAL”) in the criminal courts, many times separate and distinct from the GAL assisting in the family court action. It’s one of the best keep secrets in Connecticut DV court…

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There’s an unconstitutional, patently unfair, catch-all felony crime in the Connecticut penal code that is the thorn in the side of every top Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyer. It’s an arrest for Risk of Injury in Stamford, Darien, New Canaan or Greenwich Connecticut under CGS 53-21, and they are more popular than ever.  Why? For starters, the statute is so broadly written that sneezing in your kid’s face could qualify for an arrest. And with today’s CYA / cover-your-butt mentality of Connecticut cities and municipalities, Greenwich, Stamford, Wilton, and Darien police are tacking on Risk of Injury arrests to almost any domestic violence arrest where a child under 16 is in earshot.

Can anything be done? Plenty.

Keep reading to learn how you may be able to get your 53-21 Risk of Injury arrest in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, and Ridgefield Connecticut dismissed as quickly as possible…

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You don’t have to look too far in the news these days to appreciate how much more aggressively government and state agencies are interfering in people’s lives, especially when it comes to Greenwich Connecticut domestic violence arrests.  Some of the best Greenwich Connecticut criminal and DCF lawyers would even say that many state agencies—including the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) and the Greenwich Police Department—are adopting a sweeping “CYA” approach to administering their duties.  Make arrests, then ask questions later seems to be the trend in some cases.  While this cautious approach is sometimes justified, many times it is overkill and causes more harm than good to Greenwich Connecticut families, especially if you are arrested in Greenwich Connecticut for a minor Greenwich domestic violence crime, or if you are being unnecessarily investigated by DCF in Greenwich Connecticut.

So how do you put out the fires and contain the damage to your reputation caused by a Greenwich Connecticut arrest or Greenwich Connecticut DCF investigation?  Here’s how…

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As many people arrested in Stamford, Greenwich, New Canaan or Darien know, most crimes require police to prove the element of intent. That is, you must deliberately, knowingly and intentionally engage in misconduct if you are going to get arrested for a crime in Connecticut. However, many people overlook the fact that some crimes can be committed by accident, and without intent to cause injury to people or damage to property. Many of these crimes involve recklessness—dangerous conduct committed with such extreme indifference to human life that Connecticut lawmakers have deemed it illegal and punishable by time behind bars.

This can be confusing to Stamford and Greenwich people arrested for Reckless Endangerment. How can you get arrested for committing a crime you didn’t intend to commit? Here’s how…

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Top Stamford domestic violence criminal lawyers are frequently seeing Felony Risk of Injury / Child Endangerment charges piggybacking even the most minor domestic violence scrapes. Stamford domestic violence arrests for Disorderly Conduct and Breach of Peace—coupled with a CGS 53-21 Felony Risk of Injury to a Minor / Child Endangerment arrest—can wreak havoc on your professional life, as it often takes months and sometimes over a year for the felony arrest to clear off your background checks and criminal record.

So why the upsurge in Darien, Stamford, and Greenwich arrests for 53-21 Risk of Injury to a Minor / Child Endangerment in domestic violence cases?   The answer is not so simple…

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You have to give the owners of the Minnesota Vikings a little bit of credit.  On the heels of the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal—and amidst all the public pressure on the NFL to enforce a zero tolerance policy on alleged criminal conduct—the owners took a firm stand behind the presumption of innocence and declared they would not rush to judgment on Adrian Peterson’s corporal punishment / child abuse case.   So as Connecticut police, prosecutors, and parents follow this case closely—several questions jump out and hit home…the first and most important question being whether corporal punishment—that is, inflicting pain as punishment—actually is legal in Greenwich and Stamford?

The answer is yes.  Corporal punishment is not against the law in certain scenarios.  Surprised?  Keep reading…

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