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Know the laws regarding laser pointers

Many of our readers have heard about the numerous incidents of laser pointers being directed at pilots. Earlier this year, a dozen commercial airliners over New Jersey were reportedly the targets of lasers being directed at them. Obviously, many Connecticut residents fly in and out of airports in the New York area near where the lasers were reported. The potential danger is so serious that in 2012, President Obama signed a law that made aiming a laser at an aircraft a federal crime.

Connecticut has its own laws regarding the sale and use of laser pointers. For example, it's illegal to "sell, offer to sell, lease, give or otherwise provide a laser pointer" to anyone who is under 18 years old, with specific exceptions. A laser pointer may be transferred temporarily to someone under 18 if it's for an "educational or other lawful purpose." However, the youth must be directly supervised by a responsible adult, such as a parent, employer or teacher.

Further, laser pointers cannot be used by anyone under 18 in a public place or on school grounds unless it's for the purposes just noted and the user is being supervised. Regardless of the user's age, it's illegal to point, shine or focus a laser pointer at someone "in a manner that can reasonably be expected to cause harassment, annoyance or fear of injury to such other person."

While many people may not intend to cause harm to others, the fact is that laser pointers can, indeed, cause injuries and even serious accidents. If you or a loved one have been arrested for a crime involving a laser pointer, it should not be taken lightly. The consequences of a conviction can be significant. An experienced Connecticut criminal defense attorney can advise you and help present your case.

Source: LaserPointerSafety.com, "Connecticut: Limitation on sale and use of laser pointers," accessed Jan. 06, 2016

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