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stamford real estate lawyer “Subject-To” real estate transactions can be beneficial for both the buyer and the seller as long as the right protections are put in place. The following is a brief overview of these types of purchases. If this is something you are considering – either as a buyer or seller – contact our Stamford real estate law firm for more detailed information.

What Is a “Subject-To” Transaction?

A Subject-To real estate transaction is when a buyer purchases a property but the mortgage stays in the seller/current owner’s name. A deed is drafted that turns the property over to the buyer, but the mortgage – and legal obligation to pay it – is still on the seller. The financial institution that holds the mortgage is not notified of the transaction. Instead, the buyer now takes over the mortgage payments. These transactions typically involve little or no cash and no credit.

Subject-To transactions are often used in situations where the current seller has fallen behind in their mortgage payments and is facing foreclosure. The benefit for the seller is that the foreclosure does not take place and with the buyer now taking over payments, the seller’s credit will begin recovering.


stamford defense lawyerConnecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that will prohibit law enforcement from deliberately lying to minors while interrogating them. If the bill becomes law, it would make any kind of statement, admission, or confession made by a defendant under the age of 18 inadmissible if it was obtained due to deceptive interrogation tactics by police.

According to statistics collected by the ACLU of Connecticut, almost 30 percent of wrongful convictions in Connecticut involved cases where police lied or coerced defendants into making false confessions, including children. The bill would require police to prove “by clear and convincing evidence” that the statement was obtained without using these tactics.

Proposed New Law

Earlier this week, public hearings were held that gave the opportunity for people to speak out their support or opposition to the proposed legislation. Some of the proponents of the bill that testified were people who had been convicted as minors following false confessions that were obtained during police interrogations where the officers used deceptive tactics to elicit the confessions. There were also attorneys who had worked with multiple clients who were minors that had confessed to crimes they did not actually commit following police interrogations.


stamford dui defense lawyerIf you are driving along and suddenly see the blue lights flashing behind you, signaling you to pull over, it can be intimidating even if you have done nothing wrong. It is critical to understand that if an officer pulls you over, anything you say to that officer can be used against you should there be subsequent criminal charges. Unfortunately, many drivers who are stopped by police forget that and they often become “chatty,” especially if the officer begins to ask them questions about whether they have had any alcoholic beverages leading up to the traffic stop.

If you have been stopped, the following statements are ones you want to avoid. If you get arrested, make sure you contact a skilled Connecticut criminal law attorney to defend you.

Admitting You Are Impaired

Admitting you are drunk or otherwise impaired is one of the worst things you can say to police if you are pulled over. That statement will not only result in the officer arresting you for drunk driving, but it will also likely be used by the prosecutor as an admission of guilt during the subsequent DUI case. It is basically a confession and could even be used to establish your guilt regardless of any chemical test results you may have submitted to.


What Are Wobbler Crimes?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Fairfield County Criminal Law AttorneyEvery state has its own criminal law statutes, however, there are usually some similarities. In Connecticut, as in all states, crimes are classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the crime and other factors associated with the offense. Felony charges and the penalties associated with convictions are more severe than misdemeanor charges and penalties. However, there are some crimes that can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. These are referred to as “wobbler crimes.”

How Are Charges Determined?

In the majority of criminal cases, the prosecutor will look at the evidence the police have gathered against a suspect and decide what charges that individual should be charged with. In many cases, it is within the prosecutor’s discretion whether the charge will be a misdemeanor or a felony. Examples of crimes this discretion can be applied include:

  • Assault with a deadly weapon


Fairfield County Real Estate LawyerIf you are a first-time home buyer, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed with collecting all of the documents needed, submitting records, and other steps that are required in the process. With all the legalese and financial information being thrown at you, it can sometimes feel intimidating. This is especially true when it comes time for the closing. Understanding what happens at the closing can help put your mind at ease. Having a dedicated real estate lawyer representing you can make all the difference in how comfortable you are with the process and how much smoother it can go.

What Is a Closing?

The closing is the last step when buying a home. It is where the transfer of funds between the party selling the home and the party purchasing it. There is also a myriad of documents that will be signed at the closing that address the transfer of the property deed.

The bulk of the “work” at the closing is on the buyer. This is where they will have the funds for the downpayment of the home, as well as sign all the documentation in the mortgage agreement between the buyer and the lender. The buyer is also liable for all fees and taxes associated with the purchase. These expenses are usually included in the “closing costs” which are rolled over into the final amount borrowed from the mortgage lender.


Do I Have to Speak to the Police?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

stamford criminal defense lawyerAt one time or another, most people find themselves having some kind of interaction with the police. They may have been involved in a car accident, witnessed a crime, or even gotten pulled over because of a suspected traffic violation. Whatever the reason you may find yourself speaking with a police officer, there are important things you should keep in mind.

But I Did Not Do Anything Wrong

Most people think that if they did nothing wrong, then they have nothing to worry about by speaking with the police and answering their questions. Unfortunately, there have been far too many people who have been arrested and convicted of crimes, and spent years in prison, until their convictions are finally overturned. Even if you are innocent of the crime police suspect you of being involved in, you should understand what your constitutional rights are and what could happen if you do not have an attorney present during the questioning. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you in court.

The Police Are Not Always Your Friend

When we are children, we are taught the police are our friends. That may be true when we are children, but when we are adults and the police think we have been involved in criminal activity, they are definitely not our friends.


Stamford criminal defense attorneyFacing criminal charges can happen to anyone. When this happens, it is understandable to feel overwhelmed and stressed about how a conviction could impact your future, especially when it comes to finances. If you are a veteran who is receiving VA benefits, you may be worried that you could lose your benefits over the whole situation.

In the best-case scenario, the charges against you will be dismissed or you will be found not guilty. But it is important to understand the impact if the outcome of your case ends up with a conviction.

Do You Lose Your Benefits If You Go to Jail?

If you are found guilty of the charges and the court sentences you to jail time, you will not lose your VA benefits, however, there could be a reduction in the amount you receive. Two factors that affect the amount you receive are if you are convicted and you are sentenced to jail or prison for 61 days or longer.


Stamford, CT DUI lawyerEach year, there are approximately 12,000 people killed in drunk driving accidents. Hundreds of thousands more are left with serious injuries. According to national statistics, one in three fatal car accidents involves a drunk driver. This has led the National Transportation Safety Board  (NTSB) to recommend that all new vehicles be required to have an alcohol impairment detection system.

NTSB Recommendations

In its announcement, the NTSB listed several measures that would work to prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel of their vehicles. They recommend that all passenger vehicles should have vehicle-integrated alcohol impairment detection systems, advanced driver monitoring systems, or a combination of both of these systems that would be able to prevent a driver from operating the vehicle if the system detects the driver is under the influence of alcohol.

Part of their recommendation was having the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  (NHTSA) require all new vehicles to be equipped with these systems. It is likely that under the NHTSA’s recommendation that this will eventually become law within the next 10 years or so.  


Stamford, CT real estate lawyerPurchasing your first home is an exciting time. It can also be somewhat confusing and overwhelming, given all the components of the purchase process. The following is a brief overview of some of those key components and what they involve. For more detailed information if you are purchasing a home, contact a Stamford, CT real estate attorney.

The Binder

A binder is an offer to purchase. It is a formal written agreement between the buyer and the seller that holds the property until a formal offer to buy contract is drafted and signed by the parties. There is also a binder deposit – typically one percent of the purchase price – that the buyer will include with the binder.

Formal Contract

The next step in the process is for the formal contract of sale to be signed. Usually, it is the seller’s attorney who will draft this contract and then send it to the buyer’s contact for review. This contract will stipulate all the terms of the sale. When the contract is signed, the buyer will then pay a deposit with it, typically 10 percent of the purchase price.


Originally published: July 28, 2021 -- Updated: January 12, 2023

Update: It is almost inevitable that a driver will be stopped by a police officer at some point in their driving lifetime for some type of traffic infraction. Unfortunately, if a driver has a history of receiving traffic violations, they may begin to accumulate points on their driving record and these points can eventually lead to the suspension of driving privileges, as explained below.

There have been changes to two of the items listed below – failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians and seat belt use – that recently went into effect in Connecticut that every driver should be aware of.


Stamford, CT DUI attorneyOne of the important aspects of a drunk driving charge is the results of a breathalyzer test. These breath testing devices are small, hand-held devices that law enforcement uses to measure the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of the person taking the test. The BAC is the percentage of ethanol or ethyl alcohol in the person’s blood. For example, if a person has a BAC of 0.08 percent, that means that for every 800 parts of blood, there is one part of alcohol. Under Connecticut law, a person is considered legally intoxicated if their BAC measures 0.08 percent or above.

Although law enforcement deems these devices critical to their case against someone with a DUI charge, many people do not realize just how unreliable these tests actually are and how easy it is for test results to be thrown off if certain factors exist.

Types of Breath Tests

There are three major types of breath tests that a police officer may use during a DUI stop. All three measure the BAC present in the individual’s lungs; however, each device does it in a different manner:


Stamford, CT criminal defense lawyerAlong with several other laws that will go into effect January 1, 2023, is the requirement of the Hate Crimes Investigative Unit within the Connecticut State Police. The unit was established in October 2021; however, Public Act 22-9 codifies the requirement of the unit into law. The Hate Crimes Investigative Unit investigates crimes involving race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity or expression, sex, sexual orientation, and disability.

Hate Crimes in Connecticut

There is no doubt that incidents of hate crimes have increased in the United States and that rate continues to rise. According to FBI statistics, in 2020 (the most recent year of data released), there were more than 8,000 hate crime incidents committed against 11,000 individuals. This was an increase of just under 1,000 incidents from the year before.

Here in Connecticut, there were 102 hate crimes reported to law enforcement, according to the FBI’s data. The motivation behind the crimes was broken down to the following:


Stamford, CT criminal defense attorneyMany people are under the impression – largely due to television shows and movies – that when a person is charged with a crime, the resolution of the case involves a trial and jury verdict. The reality, however, is that the majority of criminal cases in the United States do not end in trial. According to national statistics, less than 5 percent of criminal cases actually make it to trial. The majority of case resolutions involve plea bargains.

What Is a Plea Bargain?

A plea bargain is an agreement between the prosecutor and the defendant in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty to the crime they are charged with in exchange for lesser charges and/or a shorter sentence. The two sides negotiate to come to this agreement.

Why Do People Enter into Pleas Bargains?

There are a number of reasons why plea bargains occur. Oftentimes, both sides are aware of the strengths and weaknesses in the cases and the defense attorney realizes that given the evidence, a plea bargain is in the defendant’s best interest.


Stamford, CT real estate attorneyWhen a person purchases a condominium or townhouse, there is usually an association that is responsible for the maintenance of the common areas of the condo or townhouse development. Along with the condo owner’s personal financial obligations for the unit, there are also financial obligations for the expenses that come with the upkeep and maintenance of these common areas. All owners are responsible for contributing condo fees that go towards paying these expenses.

Each association also creates its own bylaws – rules and regulations about what is required, what is allowed, and what is not allowed. These rules apply to all condo owners. Included in the bylaws is how much fines will be for any violations of these rules.

If a condo owner fails to pay their fees, fines, or any assessments, can the association take steps to have the owner evicted from the property? The answer to that question in Connecticut is yes.


Stamford, CT criminal defense lawyerIn less than four weeks, approximately 44,000 people convicted in Connecticut of cannabis possession will have their criminal records either fully or partially cleared automatically, according to an announcement by Governor Ned Lamont. This new state policy is part of the 2021 law the state passed that regulated the adult use of cannabis. In his announcement, the governor stressed that this new policy is being implemented to ensure that these low-level cannabis convictions will no longer hamper a person’s ability to find employment, pursue an education, and find housing.  

Automatic Erasure

On January 1, 2023, anyone who was convicted for possession of under four ounces of cannabis between January 1, 2000, and September 30, 2015, will automatically have those convictions erased from their records.

If a person was convicted for possession of under four ounces of cannabis prior to January 1, 2000, or between October 1, 2015, and June 30, 2021, they will need to file a petition with the court in order to have the conviction erased.


Stamford, CT real estate lawyerJust a few months ago, many pundits in the real estate industry forecasted that the real estate market showed no signs of slowing down. While the past few years have been extremely beneficial for sellers, it has been particularly difficult for homebuyers. In many cases, a home would be under contract within days of it going on the market, often after an intense bidding war and a final sale price far exceeding the original asking price.

But new reports seem to indicate that homebuyers may finally be seeing a slight light at the end of the tunnel. Results recently released by the Census Bureau’s Housing Vacancies and Homeownership survey reveal that the number of vacant homes is increasing, especially here in Connecticut.

Vacant Houses

When a house on the market has been sitting vacant for a few months, that is a good sign for a potential homebuyer that the seller may be open to negotiation. The current real estate boom that started around the time of the COVID pandemic has left little opportunity for any type of bargaining with sellers. The national homeowner vacancy rate was at .08 percent for the first half of the year. This is the lowest that rate has been in the 66 years the Census Bureau began collecting this information.


 Stamford, CT juvenile criminal defense lawyerAlong with the ever-increasing incidents of school shootings in this country, there is also the alarming increase in the number of swatting incidents that occur. Swatting is the term used to describe incidents where someone makes a false report to emergency services in an effort to send a large number of law enforcement to a certain location.

Almost every week since the beginning of the school year, law enforcement has rushed to at least one school somewhere in the U.S. because of false reports of an armed person on school grounds or other threats of violence. Federal law enforcement is actively working to determine if these incidents are being coordinated by the same party or parties or all separate incidents.

Swatting in Connecticut

According to the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), there have been dozens of swatting incidents in more than 30 states since the school year began. Several of these incidents have taken place right here in Connecticut. On Friday, October 21, there were false reports sent to authorities for multiple school locations.


Stamford, CT DUI defense lawyerNovember’s arrival means that the winter holidays are just around the corner. Holidays usually mean get-togethers with family and friends, holiday parties, and socializing. It also means that police departments across the state will be out in full force, cracking down on drunk drivers.

One tool available to law enforcement is the sobriety checkpoint. This is where police put up a barricade in the road so that drivers will have to stop and engage with officers for a few minutes. If an officer suspects a driver has been drinking, he or she can request the driver submit to a breathalyzer test, field sobriety tests, or other testing to determine if their blood alcohol concentration is over 0.08 percent, the legal limit in Connecticut.

Are Sobriety Checkpoints Legal?

Some drivers question whether or not police have the legal right to conduct sobriety checkpoints. This question was answered in 1990 by the U.S. Supreme Court in Michigan v. Sitz where the court ruled that sobriety checkpoints did not violate the Fourth Amendment against illegal search and seizures. In 1996, the Connecticut Appellate Court ruled these checkpoints are permissible under the law.


Stamford, CT moving violation lawyerWhile most people associate a suspended or revoked driver’s license with a drunk driving conviction, there are many reasons why the state of Connecticut could take away your driving privileges. While a DUI is the most common reason for loss of license, you can also have your license suspended or revoked for not paying court fines or not paying child support. You can also lose your license if you accumulate too many points on your driving record. Any moving violation that you are convicted of will add points to your driving record. This is why you should always contact a Stamford traffic attorney when you receive a traffic citation.

Connecticut Points System

Connecticut has put in place a points system that applies to all drivers. There are a certain number of points assigned to different driving violations. Typically, the more serious the violation, the higher the number of points the violation carries. 

The violations that will result in one point added to your driving record include: 


Stamford, CT DUI defense lawyerAnyone who has ever been stopped by law enforcement on suspicion of driving under the influence can likely attest to how intimidating it is, even if you have not had anything to drink. Knowing what your rights are in the event this ever happens to you can go a long way in the actual outcome of your case if you are charged with drunk driving.

Field Sobriety Tests

Under Connecticut’s implied consent law, when a person accepts a driver’s license issued by the state, they are essentially agreeing to submit to a chemical test to determine what their blood alcohol concentration is if they are stopped by police. If you refuse that test, then your driver’s license will be suspended by the state, regardless of what the final outcome of any criminal DUI charges is. If it is your first offense, your license will be suspended for one year. A second offense results in a two-year suspension, and a third or subsequent offense means a loss of license for three years.

Police also use field sobriety tests to determine if a driver is under the influence, but these tests do not fall under the state’s implied consent law and drivers do have the right to refuse to submit to them. In fact, because these tests are so subjective, based on the officer’s personal opinion, it is recommended that a driver politely refuse any suggestion by police to submit to the tests.