Articles Posted in Juvenile Law

Connecticut lawmakers are finally catching up with teenagers and technology.

Last week, a new Connecticut law went into effect that at long last protects and provides legal relief for Connecticut teenagers experimenting with “sexting” (that’s when teenagers consensually swap naked photos of each other with their cell phones).   The new law finally distinguishes teenage sexting from traditional child pornographers and child predatory crimes.

Under the new law, sexting between certain minors is no longer a felony crime that can be transferred to adult court and carries years of mandatory jail time. Now it’s a Class A misdemeanor for juveniles under 18.

Yes, it’s still a crime, and still serious, but no longer carries the devastating career-killing, life-changing consequences that engaging in this conduct threatened our teenagers with before this new law was enacted.

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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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Getting accused or investigated for rape / sex assault in Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut can wreak havoc on your personal and professional lives. As any of the best Greenwich and Stamford criminal lawyer and attorneys know, Stamford and Greenwich sex crimes detectives work in a specialized unit called the “Special Victims Unit” or “SVU.” And anytime a rape accusation is called into the police, these Stamford and Greenwich SVU detectives launch into investigation protocols that include interrogating the suspect, taking a rape trauma kit from the accuser, and pressuring the suspect to give a DNA sample.

So, how can you protect yourself if you’ve been falsely accused of rape in Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut?

For starters, here are 3 things you should know right now…

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This has probably happened to me 3 times in my 18-year career. A Connecticut teenager or college student client of mine is arrested in Darien, Wilton, or Greenwich Connecticut for either a drug, alcohol or sexual assault-related crime. As part of their case, I meet with the prosecutor and argue emphatically that these are good kids—hard-working students—who don’t get into trouble and hang around in a good crowd.

And then the prosecutor reaches into her file and pulls out a printout of my clients’ Facebook or Instagram pages and shows me outrageous photos. All from dates AFTER their arrests. The photos speak for themselves: kids crushing beer cans on their heads, someone guzzling beer through a funnel (doing a handstand no less!), and another kid looking very drunk with two girls around his arms.

Are the photos illegal? No. But they make terrible impressions and completely undermine the work of the criminal defense attorney trying to get your child’s arrest dismissed.

So here are 3 things parents need to know right now if your high school or college student has been arrested in New Canaan, Darien, Greenwich or Wilton Connecticut.

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Connecticut police are going to even greater lengths these days to bust underage drinking parties and arrest teenagers and their parents for distributing and possessing alcohol.

Many of the top criminal lawyers / attorneys in Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and Greenwich Connecticut—the smaller Connecticut towns where underage drinking parties continue to take place—are seeing more arrests, and worse, the public shaming of these teenagers and parents on the internet.   Police routinely release their names and mug shots to daily news websites, triggering an avalanche of bad press and reputation smearing.

The irony?   In spite of law enforcement’s anti-underage drinking campaigns to deter underage drinking, Connecticut police still can’t get it right…

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Any of the top Darien, New Canaan or Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys will tell you that underage drinking arrests and infraction summonses are on the rise.

Especially in small Connecticut towns like Darien, New Canaan, Wilton and Greenwich Connecticut where underage drinking parties continue to be a thorn in the sides of police and prosecutors. And in spite of their enforcement campaigns to deter underage drinking, Connecticut police still can’t get it right…

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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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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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It’s one of the best kept secrets among Connecticut police precincts and prosecutor’s offices. For years, top Connecticut Fake ID and Forgery criminal lawyers have seen Greenwich, New Canaan, Stamford, Westport and Darien Connecticut teenagers and college students arrested for felony Forgery in the Second Degree, merely for possessing a Fake ID in their wallet.

But recently, top Connecticut criminal defense lawyers and attorneys have seen a trend where police and prosecutors are cutting teenagers and college students a break in prosecuting Connecticut Fake ID arrests. In many cases, they are coming off the felony charge and reducing the Connecticut Fake ID arrest to a misdemeanor, giving young Fake ID offenders a chance at a clean criminal record…

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