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On July 1, 2017 the Legislature passed Public Act 17-31 (effective October 1, 2017) which had some significant changes for domestic violence laws in Connecticut.  The most interesting was the modification to the stalking statute to significantly relax the threshold for a criminal prosecution and at the same time expand the means by which stalking crimes could occur to include stalking by electronic communication and social media such as facebook, instagram, etc.

The old Stalking Statute – Under the old Connecticut stalking statutes in order to be found guilty of stalking you must have taken some overt conduct consisting or two or more acts, by which the actor either directly or through a 3rd person, “follows, lies in wait for, monitors, observes, surviels. threatens, harasses, communicates with or sends unwanted gifts to” the victim.   Also the the actor must have knowingly engaged in such conduct directed at the victim that would “cause a reasonable person to fear for such person’s physical safety.’

The new Stalking Statute 

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According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention there are about 25 incidents of domestic violence every minute in the United States.  While nationwide trends have shown that the rates of domestic violence have dropped significantly since their peak levels in the early 1980’s after many States including Connecticut began implementation of radical changes of how domestic violence Police investigations were handled and how the cases were prosecuted in Court.

In the early 1980’s Police often responded to domestic violence 911 calls in a “peace keeping” capacity.  They would come out to the home, calm everyone down and then leave without arresting anyone.  After the watershed 1983 case of Tracey Thurman in which she sued the Torrington Police Department alleging that they failed to protect her because she was a woman and a domestic violence victim. As a result of this break though litigation, the Connecticut Legislature responded with a sweeping series of radical changes to Connecticut law to protect domestic violence victims. These reforms included the requirement that Police make arrests when they respond to 911 calls if they find probable cause that a crime has occurred; the definition of family violence crimes as separate offenses; establishing a separate domestic violence docket and unit at each Court House to handle domestic violence matters and requiring that all domestic violence offenders be brought before the Court within 24 hours for an arraignment so the Court can issue orders of protection as needed to safeguard the victim.

1. MANDATORY ARREST LAW 

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Stamford-Police-Station-300x225A recent article in the New York Post described the story of a top executive at a billion dollar investment bank, Jordan Lupu, 42, co-head of global prime brokerage at BMO (Bank of Montreal) Capital Markets who was arrested for shoplifting $210 of  grocery items from a Whole Foods store in Manhattan.  I guess this story made headlines in New York tabloid media because so many people were shocked that multi millionaire with a $3,000,000 home in Manhattan and a $1,400,000 home in Westchester (a wealthy suburb of New York City) would risk everything to try and steal $210 worth of merchandise which he could clearly afford to pay for.

The alleged facts (according to the reporting of the New York Post)

Lupu was pushing a double stroller through the Whole Foods with his two minor children, while shopping he placed a total of 31 items valued at $210 underneath the stroller and then according to security officers at Whole Foods he then attempted to leave the store without paying for the items.

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Picking up today’s local newspaper I saw another high profile arrest of a New Canaan family who had hosted a High School graduation party in which an under aged teen guest had fallen backwards after drinking and sustained a head injury.  In this case the incident involved Jim Vos the CEO of a huge hedge fund advisory fund firm Aksia.  Vos was arrested after a party celebrating his daughter’s graduation from the ulta posh private school St. George’s in Newport Rhode Island where yearly tuition runs over $65,000.  Police responding to the injury report found extensive evidence of the consumption of alcohol by minors including empty beer and liquor bottles and “multiple areas on the patio and the lawn covered in vomit.”   One thing that Vos did properly in this incident was when the New Canaan police arrived to investigate he “remained uncooperative” telling the investigating police officers that he was going to refuse to answer any questions. This is always my advice for anyone under Police investigation.  Remain silent unless your lawyer is present.

This is the second case in which a teen was injured at an under aged drinking party in a New Canaan home this summer.  In both cases, the parents were arrested along with the children who had hosted the party.  What lessons can we learn from these  incidents and how can you protect yourself from being arrested or facing a civil lawsuit from a teen gathering at your home?

The Dilemma Facing Today’s Parents 

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Lately, I have had a lot of really upset clients walking into my office who got caught up in relatively minor domestic violence matters in which no violence or physical injuries were reported, yet the clients were ordered by the Court to engage in fairly invasive “AIC” treatment for both anger management and substance abuse treatment.    These clients are really enraged that these “AIC” programs are interfering with their work, take place during the middle of the day and seem totally unnecessary.   It is a very common situation.  These last few weeks I have been drafting a lot of motions to terminate “AIC.”

It seems that the majority of domestic violence cases are now being referred for treatment during the pendency of the cases for therapy through “AIC.”  The purpose of this article is to examine what is the reason for these referrals to “AIC”; how they can actually help your case in some situations; and finally how your Stamford / Norwalk domestic violence crimes defense attorney can make a motion to modify the conditions of your release to get you out of “AIC” totally or perhaps  into a more accommodating program with a private therapist.

1. What is “AIC?” 

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I wanted  to have a discussion about the dangers of “date rape” allegations and how they can totally destroy your life.  This recent incident in which a live TV set was the scene of a “date rape” allegation shows us just how difficult it can be to draw the line between a mutually agreed upon sexual encounter on the one hand and a “date rape” in which one party was “too intoxicated” to be able to consent to sexual activity on the other hand.  It is important to realize just how fine that line is, how hard it can be to prove whether someone was overly intoxicated or not and finally realize how serious the consequences for a conviction of a “date rape” crime can be.

A. THE SHOW

I. The Facts  During a recent taping of the 4th season of the very popular scripted virtual reality show “Bachelor in Paradise” being taped in Mexico two of the participants in the show Corrine Olympios and Demario Jackson  got involved in some very heavy PDA and began to engage in a  make out session in a Jacuzzi.

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court-1-300x225The purpose of this article is to examine the circumstances of the recent Tiger Woods’s DWI arrest and see what lessons it can teach us about how to react when pulled over for a DUI/DWI stop in Connecticut.

I am sure that by now almost everyone has seen the Police dash cam footage of the world famous golfer Tiger Woods fumbling around trying to recite the alphabet      This was a huge embarrassment for Tiger Woods but it can really teach us a lot of things about how to react if you are pulled over for a DUI/DWI by Connecticut Police.    Certainly, if Tiger Woods had known his Constitutional Rights better he would have not only saved himself a lot of humiliation but he may have also been able to beat the charge of DWI as well.

Lesson Number 1 – You have the Right to Remain Silent! 

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Attorney Allan F. Friedman
The purpose of this Guide is to explain how ICE  detainers work and how they impact the rights and cases of those charged with criminal cases in Connecticut.

WHAT IS AN ICE DETAINER?

ICE detainers are issued every day in Connecticut yet many lawyers and even Police officers do not understand exactly how they are supposed to function and how they work.   This leads to a lot of confusion.   An ICE detainer is a legal document issued by INS or DHS officer and served upon a jail or police station to request that the jail or police detain and hold the individual who are in law enforcement custody or jail who they feel may be possibly subject to deportation.   It is a REQUEST to hold that person.  The Police Department or Jail does not have to honor the request, but in Connecticut they do.