Westport General Information
The Town of Westport, Connecticut is located in Fairfield County, along Connecticut’s “Gold Coast” of beautiful beachfront coastal towns. The Town has a population of approximately 26,000 residents.In 2008, Forbes ranked Westport #10 on its list of the Top 20 Most Affluent United States Neighborhoods. That same year, CNN Money Magazine selected Westport as #5 on its list of top-earning U.S. cities. The Town’s convenience for commuting to New York City, coupled with its beachfront properties and outstanding school system, make Westport a safe and attractive option for young, hard-working couples to raise a family. As a result of being such a suburban and insular town, the best Westport Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys regularly see typical suburban crimes in Westport – such as arrests for Westport DUIs / DWIs, Westport domestic violence arrests, Westport arrests for marijuana and criminal mischief, and Westport arrests for Distributing or Possessing Alcohol, especially by Minors under CGS 30-86 and CGS 30-89.
The top Westport Connecticut criminal lawyers know that most Westport arrests will be referred to Norwalk Superior Court and Bridgeport or Stamford Juvenile Court, depending on the age of the accused. So if you are arrested in Westport Connecticut, you should consult a top Westport criminal attorney who is familiar with the criminal courts in the area and can work with you and your family with one goal in mind: to get your Westport Connecticut arrest dismissed as quickly as possible.
Westport Connecticut Arrests Report to Norwalk and Stamford Superior Courts
Westport does not have its own criminal court system. It is part of Geographical Area 20 and the Judicial District of Stamford. The Norwalk Superior Court at 17 Belden Avenue in Norwalk, Connecticut, is the location for Geographical Area Number 20. This means if you are arrested in Westport Connecticut for Disorderly Conduct, DWI / DUI, domestic violence, or any misdemeanor or felony, then you will first have to appear at the Norwalk Superior Court to fight your charges. However, if you are arrested in Westport Connecticut for Child Pornography, Larceny, Assault, Manslaughter, or any other serious felony, then your case will likely be transferred to the Judicial District of Stamford, located at 123 Hoyt Street in Stamford, Connecticut.
Westport Connecticut juvenile arrests of teenagers under 18 years are required to report to the Juvenile Court in Bridgeport Connecticut. A parent or guardian must accompany their child to their first court date for their Westport Connecticut juvenile arrest.
Westport’s Ideal Geographical Location
Westport is bordered by the Long Island Sound on the South, as well as Norwalk, Wilton, Weston and Fairfield. In fact, just about 40% of Westport’s total area is made up of water. The residents have a number of neighborhoods to choose from when selecting the best home for them in Westport. Some of the neighborhoods in Westport include Greens Farms, Cockenoe Island, Mill Cove Historic District, Coleytown, Owenoke, Old Hill, and Saugatuck, which is located by the Westport train station. Compo is another neighborhood in Westport located right around the main beach, making it a very desirable neighborhood in which to purchase a home. Compo Beach is one of three public beaches; the other two are, Burying Hill and Old Mill Beaches. While these beaches are family-oriented, occasionally partygoers overdo it and are arrested at the Westport Connecticut beaches for alcohol, marijuana or narcotics crimes.
Westport Connecticut Domestic Violence Arrests
If you are arrested in Westport Connecticut for a domestic violence crime such as Disorderly Conduct, Assault, Strangulation or Risk of Injury to a Minor, then you will be required to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on the next business morning. As any of the top Westport Connecticut domestic violence criminal lawyers routinely observe, this first court date for your Westport Connecticut domestic violence arrest is critical, primarily because a protective / restraining order hearing will take place at your arraignment. The protective order issued by the Norwalk domestic violence court will come in 1 of 3 forms: a Full-No Contact order, a Residential Stay-Away Order (prohibiting you from returning to the home of the protected person), or a Partial Protective Order (the least restrictive). In every scenario, the Westport Connecticut restraining order may remain in place for weeks—or even months—if your Westport Connecticut domestic violence case is not handled and defended properly. So contact a top Westport Connecticut criminal attorney to discuss your options and to try and avoid a lengthy protective or restraining order that keeps you out of your house for months.
Victims of Westport Connecticut Domestic Violence Arrests
Westport is one of five Fairfield County municipalities that have set up its own Domestic Violence task force to help Westport Connecticut victims of a domestic violence arrest. With the assistance of the Domestic Violence Crisis Center, the task force provides a host of resources for victims of domestic violence that include counseling, safe houses and advocacy in Westport domestic violence arrest cases. If you are a victim of a Westport Connecticut domestic violence case and need a lawyer to assist you in the criminal court case, or to apply for a Westport civil restraining order, then you should contact a top Westport Connecticut domestic violence victim lawyer to discuss your options and choose the best path for safety and security for you and your family.
The Westport Police Department
The Westport Police Department is located at 50 Jessup Avenue in Westport, Connecticut, right in the heart of downtown Westport. As the very best Westport Connecticut criminal lawyers have observed, it is a relatively small department, consisting of only 64 full-time sworn police officers. The Department is divided into three divisions: (1) the Operations Division that mainly carries out the law enforcement functions of the Department, (2) the Staff which provides departmental administrative support, and (3) the Professional Standards division that conducts training and investigations and manages public and internal affairs. The Operations Division, also known as the Patrol Division, is the arm of the department that responds to 911 and routine calls from Westport residents seeking police assistance.
The Professional Standards Division encompasses the Detective Bureau which has 6 Detectives, one of whom is exclusively assigned to Youth Crimes. The Detectives are responsible for all aspects of investigations including evidence collection and witness questioning. Top Westport criminal lawyers are regularly asked by their clients to respond on their behalf to phone calls and unannounced in-person visits by Westport detectives who are investigating cases.
The Westport Town Police Department also has a number of specialized units. The K-9 Unit, one of the specialized units, was reinstated in 1991. The K-9 Unit currently has one police service dog on the force, that among other tasks, handles narcotics searches. Another of the specialized units is the Marine Division. This Division has a fleet of two boats and a jet ski. During the Summer months, it is staffed with two full-time officers that enforce maritime laws and monitor water safety along those sections of the Long Island Sound and Saugatuck River that are located on the border or within the Town of Westport. Top Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI criminal attorneys see this Division aggressively enforce Westport BUI / BWI, or Westport Connecticut Boating While Intoxicated laws during the Summer. Some of the other specialized units that make up the Westport Police Department are the Crisis intervention Team, the Crash Investigation Unit and the Traffic Unit.
The Westport Police Department’s force may be small, but it is strong and the officers on it are highly skilled to perform a variety of specialized tasks. Therefore, if you are arrested in Westport Connecticut for DWI / DUI, Disorderly Conduct or a Westport domestic violence crime, or any kind of alcohol or marijuana crime, then you will want to consult with a top Westport Connecticut criminal lawyer to discuss the implications of your arrest, the court process that will follow, and the possibility of any further investigation by the Westport Police Department’s Detective Bureau.
Arrests for Westport Connecticut DUIs / DWIs
The waterfront and beachfront restaurants in Westport attract big crowds on weekends, especially during summer months. It can be difficult and quite inconvenient to get a cab in Westport, so it is not at all unusual for most people to drive to restaurants with the intention of not drinking. As a result, top Westport criminal lawyers frequently see Westport Connecticut arrests for DWIs / DUIs. Unfortunately, this problem is not limited to adult drivers—many 16 to 20 year olds are arrested in Westport for Underage DUIs, where the illegal blood alcohol content level is a mere .02—essentially a zero tolerance crime. To help educate Westport students and curb the problem of Westport DUI / DWI arrests, the Westport Police Department and Staples High School has begun hosting a one-day simulated drunk driving program in order to teach students how drinking can impair coordination, judgment and perception to a point that puts your life at risk.
So if you are under the age of 21 and have been arrested in Westport Connecticut for DWI / DUI under C.G.S. 14-227g, the you should contact a top Westport DWI / DUI attorney or a top Westport Under 21 DUI / DWI lawyer to counsel you on what you need to do to minimize the chances of facing some or all of these penalties. You run the risk of a permanent criminal record, probation, driver’s license suspension, increased auto insurance premiums, and even jail.
Staples – The Only Public High School in Westport, Connecticut
Staples High School is the only public high school serving Westport, Connecticut. The high school is located at 70 North Avenue in Westport, Connecticut, and has an enrollment of approximately 1800 students. In 2014, Staples was ranked the 9th best high school in Connecticut. The school publishes an award-winning student newspaper called Inklings. The Columbia Scholastic Press Association has selected Inklings as the gold medal recipient nearly every year since 2000. For over 50 years, Staples has also had an award winning theatrical production group in place, called the Staples Players that puts on musicals and plays in many different genres.
As with any secondary school, high school pranks and fooling around on social media websites can lead to problems for Westport Connecticut High School students. For example, Staples administrators continue to warn against high school pranks such as Staples’ annual “AP Assassination” Nerf-gun “gotcha” game. Staples also is vigilant about educating its students about bullying and cyber-bullying. Top Westport criminal lawyers who specialize in juvenile law have seen Westport high school students investigated and even prosecuted for posting inappropriate or sexual content on Instagram, Facebook and other social media websites. And unfortunately, serious school discipline such as suspension and expulsion can come hand-in-hand with a Westport Connecticut juvenile arrest, so be sure to consult a top Westport Connecticut school discipline lawyer to learn how to protect your child as much as possible from permanent marks on your Westport high schools student’s academic record.
Toquet Hall – Westport Connecticut’s Community Youth Center
Westport Connecticut takes a lot of pride in developing and nurturing its children. The Town has sponsored its own annual Youth Film Festival. Besides Staples High School, the social hub for Westport’s youth is the Toquet Hall Teen Center. Located at 58 Post Road East in Westport, Connecticut, Toquet Hall was established in 1998 as a supervised, substance-free environment where students could get together socially and safely. Toquet Hall is governed by students and offers a place where both middle school and high school students can go to study, relax, snack and socialize. The calendar of events includes a number of live performances, benefits, and the occasional yoga class.
Toquet Hall’s substance free policy is in line with the Westport Police Department’s Zero Tolerance Policy. As a result, the Westport Police Department aggressively enforces this policy, which involves investigating minors for possessing alcohol under CGS 30-89, or making arrests in Westport for providing / distributing alcohol to minors (i.e. hosting an underage drinking party in Westport Connecticut) under CGS 30-86—a felony charge. The penalties for a Westport alcohol possession or distribution charge can include fines and driver’s license-related penalties, or even a permanent criminal record and probation, depending on the circumstances. This crime can also expose parents—the Westport Police Department will not hesitate to arrest parents in Westport for hosting, permitting, or throwing an underage drinking party under CGS 30-86, a Class E felony charge.
The Westport Criminal Lawyers at the Mark Sherman Law Firm
So if you have been arrested in Westport Connecticut for a domestic violence crime such as Disorderly Conduct or Assault, a Westport Connecticut DUI / DWI, or a more serious crime such as Child Pornography, Sexual Assault, Shoplifting or Larceny, then call one of the experienced Westport Connecticut criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman Law today. We are well-versed in fighting these charges. Additionally, our Victim Representation and School Discipline / Juvenile practice groups offer Westport residents a full array of services and experience to help them and their families through tense and difficult times. We will work closely with you to craft the most cost-effective defense to your Westport Connecticut arrest. Call us today for a consultation at (203) 358-4700.