Greenwich Social Hosting Lawyer
Top Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys are seeing local prosecutors and police officers turning up the heat on Greenwich Connecticut residents who violate Connecticut’s social hosting laws. These laws are aimed at parents and their teenage children who play host to underage parties and allow teenagers to consume alcohol in their homes, particularly in suburban towns like Darien and Greenwich Connecticut. While this type of situation is much more common in Connecticut suburban towns than in cities, Connecticut politicians and prosecutors have taken an interest in prosecuting offenders statewide. Greenwich police believe that teenagers attending these underage drinking parties are not only over-indulging in alcohol, but are using marijuana and other drugs under the supposed watch and blessing of Greenwich Connecticut parents. These intoxicated teens then leave these homes and may proceed to drunk drive, fight, or otherwise pose a risk to the community. And it’s happening on Connecticut campuses as well. Campus police at Yale, UConn, Quinnipiac, and Fairfield University are following this lead in enforcing CGS 30-86 and 30-89a social hosting laws. College students are particularly at risk of these arrests for serving alcohol to fellow students who are under 21 (click here to learn more about fighting arrests for CGS 30-89a Social Hosting on college campuses).
But no matter the time and place of your arrest, a social hosting arrest can result in a felony or a misdemeanor charge hanging over your head, both of which can deal a crippling blow to your career and local reputation. So if you have been arrested in Greenwich Connecticut for social hosting or providing alcohol to minors, then you need to know your rights. Contact a top Greenwich Connecticut criminal attorney lawyer to learn how to quickly get your Social Hosting arrest dismissed, and your record cleared as quickly and cheaply as possible.
What Exactly Is Illegal About Owning a Home in Greenwich Connecticut Where an Underage Drinking Party Takes Place?
As the best Greenwich Connecticut criminal defense lawyers and attorneys see all too often, Connecticut legislators love to take advantage of a quick way to gain public favor. One of those ways is to make Connecticut’s social hosting laws as hard-hitting possible. Top Greenwich criminal lawyers know that there are two types of social hosting laws that you can be charged with in Greenwich Connecticut (or any other Connecticut suburb): the felony arrest for providing alcohol to minors, and the misdemeanor crime for hosting a party where minors are drinking.
The best Greenwich Connecticut criminal attorneys and lawyers will first point you to C.G.S. 30-86—Providing Alcohol to Minors—a felony arrest which outlaws anyone from knowingly and intentionally providing alcohol to a minor. This includes purchasing, pouring, or personally serving an alcoholic beverage to anyone under 21 years old. Click here to learn more about fighting Connecticut social hosting arrests under C.G.S 30-86.
The misdemeanor crime for social hosting in Connecticut is an arrest in Greenwich Connecticut for CGS 30-89a. Under this law, a homeowner cannot knowingly or recklessly (legal speak for “should have known”) allow underage children to consume or possess alcohol in their Greenwich Connecticut home. Another way the Greenwich police can arrest you for Social Hosting in Greenwich Connecticut is if you knew that minors were using your house for a party and you did not make reasonable efforts to stop the party. The top Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers are livid that you can get arrested for not knowing about something. The statute is overly and illegally broad and could easily snare unsuspecting parents and homeowners. This law essentially gives the Greenwich Police wide latitude to arrest you for what they determine (in their sole and sometimes unreasonable discretion) what you should have known or should have done to stop teenagers from drinking. This gives the police the option to play Monday morning quarterback and second-guess your decisions as a parent. Thankfully, much can be done by the best Connecticut criminal lawyers to fight a Greenwich Connecticut Social Hosting arrest under CGS 30-89a. So if you find yourself arrested for 30-89a Social Hosting or CGS 30-86 Providing Alcohol to Minors / Social Hosting in Greenwich Connecticut, it is vital that you contact a top Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyer to make sure don’t fall victim to overzealous Greenwich Police officers trying to send a message to the community using you and your family as examples.
How Much Trouble Can I Get Into for a Greenwich Connecticut Social Hosting Arrest?
Social hosting arrests in Greenwich Connecticut under CGS 30-86 and 30-89a carry very serious consequences in Connecticut. Arrests for both the felony CGS 30-86 Providing Alcohol to Minors and the misdemeanor 30-89a Social Hosting crime carry the possibility of jail, probation and substantial fines. The felony arrest in Greenwich Connecticut for Providing Alcohol to Minors under CGS 30-86 is a Class E felony that allows for a maximum 18-month jail sentence. Social hosting arrests in Greenwich under CGS 30-89a is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a jail sentence of up to one year in jail. In either scenario, you must appear in Stamford Superior Court to defend yourself and attempt to get the charges dismissed. You should therefore work with any of the top Stamford and Greenwich Connecticut criminal attorneys to have your charges dismissed as quickly as possible, and try at all costs to avoid entering into a plea bargain. You should be aware that if there was a child under the age of 16 present for an underage party in your home, you could also be arrested in Greenwich Connecticut for Risk of Injury to a Minor / Child Endangerment under CGS 53-21. This is a Class C felony with exposure of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Click here to educate yourself about fighting Risk of Injury arrests in Greenwich, Connecticut.
How Do I Fight My Providing Alcohol to Minors / Social Hosting Arrest in Greenwich Connecticut?
Top Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys who routinely fight arrests for Social Hosting in the Stamford and Norwalk Connecticut criminal courts understand how to get you the best results out of a bad situation. When Greenwich Connecticut police allege that a parent had knowledge of an underage party at their property, or accuse a parent of directly serving alcohol to a minor, prosecutors have the responsibility to prove the case. In order to do this, they must have evidence. Rumors and small town gossip are not enough to make a case against you in court; nevertheless, the top Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers have seen police arrest Greenwich Connecticut homeowners for social hosting under the assumption that the parents knew about the party and either condoned it or turned a blind eye to it. These officers often receive information from a jealous parent or teenager who were not invited to the party or see an opportunity to gain some payback for a past social snub. Top Greenwich Connecticut criminal attorneys and lawyers will use the tools available to them to file motions that will allow them to directly examine the evidence the police have gathered against you, including police reports, 911 recordings, and witness statements from those jealous neighbors. Your top Connecticut criminal attorney will also look for errors, omissions, and constitutional defects in your police reports. Your attorney will also preserve any relevant social media postings and photos of your accusers or witnesses, which will undermine their credibility and come in handy at their trial. Put most simply, you need to hire a Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyer who will take action quickly before any digital or electronic evidence disappears.
What Do I Do When Greenwich Connecticut Police Come Knocking to Break Up a Suspected Underage Drinking Party?
One of the most common questions that the best Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers often get from parents of Greenwich high school students is what to do when the police officers come to their front door with questions and suspicions about an underage drinking party going on within the home. Do you have to answer the door? Do you even have to speak with the Greenwich Police? Do Greenwich Police even have the right to come on my property? While we discuss this issue at length in one of our blog postings, know that above all else, you cannot lie to the police. That is a separate crime in and of itself that can only serve to further exacerbate an already sticky situation.
Put simply, you never have to allow a Greenwich Connecticut police officer into your home if they ask to enter your home unless they have a search warrant, or unless they tell you they are coming into your home despite your protests. Always ask the officer if he or she has a warrant. (But also know there are exceptions to this warrant requirement, such as when police have probable cause to believe that someone is in immediate danger inside your home, in which case Greenwich police may enter without a warrant and without your permission).
It can be an awkward experience when the police are on your doorstep asking to come inside. But if they are asking for permission, that means they do NOT have any other legal authority or justification to come in. So hold your ground and let the police know that may NOT enter your home without a warrant and that they can call your top Greenwich Connecticut criminal attorney if they have any questions. Understand the police do not like this and you can expect them to become aggressive, make threats, and may even engage in intimidation tactics. Do not give in! Hold firm, don’t lie, don’t answer any questions, close the door, and then immediately contact a top Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyer for advice on how to best proceed and protect yourself.
Removing News Reports of Your Greenwich Connecticut Social Hosting Arrest from the Internet
A collateral concern that flows from a Connecticut Social Hosting arrest in Greenwich Connecticut is the negative consequences the arrest may have on your online reputation. As the top Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers know quite well, arrests in Greenwich Connecticut are followed closely by local online newspapers such as The Greenwich Time, the Greenwich Patch, and the Greenwich Daily Voice. Client arrests are routinely published in the police blotter and arrest reports of these online publications. To make matters worse, mug shots often accompany these articles which are riddled with biased and utterly inaccurate descriptions of the arrests. It takes a lot of work to remove online reports of your Greenwich arrest. On your own, your chances are not great, but your chances of removal typically increase when you obtain the help of a law firm who has experience in this area of law. The team of criminal expungement / internet scrubbing lawyers at Mark Sherman Law are leaders in the State of Connecticut when it comes to protecting the online (and offline) reputations of their clients. Click here to read more about how the Mark Sherman Law Firm is making progress in its internet scrubbing lawsuit against some of the country’s biggest publishing companies, and how they have taken their fight to the United States Supreme Court.
Contact an Experienced Greenwich Connecticut Social Hosting Attorney Today
While Greenwich Connecticut police may have good intentions when they try to stop teenagers from abusing alcohol and other types of drugs, their choice to arrest parents in Greenwich, Connecticut for violating social hosting laws and providing alcohol to minors only makes a bad situation worse. Instead, police are damaging professional careers and reputations in their misdirected efforts. Don’t be a casualty of a politician’s soapbox agenda. If you are arrested for Social Hosting or Providing Alcohol to Minors in Greenwich Connecticut, or anywhere else in Connecticut, contact an experienced Connecticut criminal lawyer at Mark Sherman Law today. We will do our best to get your Connecticut social hosting arrest dismissed and to remove references of your arrest from the internet. So call us today at (203) 358-4700 for a consultation.