Stamford Criminal Attorney | Connecticut Drug Crimes Lawyer
Blog

Se Habla Español

Call Today for a Free Consultation

203-348-5846

24 Hoyt Street, Stamford, CT 06905

Recent blog posts

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.

...

Posted on in Real Estate Law

Fairfield County, CT real estate lawyerOne of the most exciting times in a person’s life is when they purchase their first home. But for many, the process of applying for their first mortgage can be stressful, including making sure they have enough for a down payment, gathering all the documentation, and a sufficient credit score that the financial institution they are dealing with requires. If you are applying for your first mortgage, the following is a brief overview of what to expect.

Pre-Approval Process

The first step in the mortgage process is submitting a pre-approval application with the bank or mortgage company. This pre-approval process allows the lender to examine your financial situation to determine if you can afford the mortgage loan you are seeking. There are multiple documents the lender will request to make that determination, including:

  • Most recent pay stubs (typically the last two months’ worth) that also show year-to-date earnings

    ...

CT defense lawyer

This is an update to an article originally posted October 20, 2020.

Connecticut lawmakers have been wrangling with ways to combat increased juvenile crime, especially with the increased rates of repeat motor vehicle theft. Earlier this year, Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act 22-115 which brought changes to procedures and requirements in juvenile arrests, monitoring, and sentencing. That law went into effect on October 1st.

...

Fairfield County criminal defense lawyerIt is no secret the real estate market has been booming for the past couple of years. But along with those millions of real estate transactions comes a higher rate of mortgage fraud. According to national statistics, in the second quarter of 2022, about 1 in 131 mortgage applications contained fraud. The risk of income fraud rose 27.3 percent and property fraud climbed 22.6 percent. Anyone charged with mortgage fraud could be facing either federal or state charges, with the penalties harsh for both.

Residential Housing

One type of mortgage fraud involves residential mortgage applications and home loan borrowers. This type of fraud usually involves an individual or couple, with the goal of obtaining financing for a home. This type of fraud can occur in a number of ways:

  • The applicant doctors W-2s or paystubs to show a fraudulent income

    ...

Stamford, CT DUI lawyerMore than one million people are arrested each year for drunk driving. The majority of DUI arrests occur because the driver submits to, and fails, a breathalyzer test. But statistics show that the machines used to administer these tests are often unreliable. False positives occur frequently and thousands of breathalyzer test results are thrown out each year by judges across the country.

There are a variety of reasons why false positives occur, including faulty equipment and operator error. There is also another cause for false positives that many people are unaware of that has to do with the type of diet the person taking the test eats. In fact, one popular diet – the keto diet – can actually create false positives on breathalyzer tests.

Keto Diet Issues

When a person eats according to a keto diet, their body goes into a state in which the body becomes more efficient at burning fat for energy. This process is referred to as “ketosis,” and occurs when someone eats only low-carbohydrate foods that include berries, nuts, fatty fish, lean meats, and fresh greens. If the individual is following a keto diet, their body produces an elevated level of ketones.

...

Fairfield County real estate lawyerWhen you are purchasing a home, there are so many details to address that it can sometimes feel overwhelming. Not only are you dealing with meeting all the requirements regarding financial information that your financial institution needs for your mortgage, but there are also other things that your bank or mortgage company will require. One of these required is title insurance. At this point, some buyers make the mistake of forgoing having their own real estate attorney and instead allow the title review company to handle everything. This can have serious financial ramifications later on.

What Is Title Insurance?

Every time a property is purchased, sold, or financed, there is a record of that transaction filed in the public archives of the municipality where the property is located. There is also a record of any other liens or other events that may be filed against the property.

When a person is purchasing a property, the mortgage holder requires them to purchase title insurance. The insurance company will hire a title review company to search the public archives to find out if there are any issues that could affect the ownership of the property. Once the title company determines there are no issues, the title insurance company will issue title insurance.

...

Fairfield County DUI defense lawyerMost people agree that it can be dangerous to drink and drive. It is also illegal. If you are caught driving your vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, you face stiff penalties if you are convicted.

But not every person who police arrest for DUI is actually guilty of the crime. In fact, in many cases, the person has a medical condition that mimics being intoxicated, and this can – and does – lead to false drunk driving arrests.

Diabetes

It is not uncommon for a person who has diabetes to have periods where they are dealing with confusion, loss of coordination, and other similar symptoms of intoxication. However, it is not intoxication that is causing these issues but low blood sugar levels.

...

Stamford criminal defense lawyerThe American criminal justice system is based on the principle that every defendant is innocent until proven guilty. This means that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person who has been charged with the crime is guilty of that crime. If the prosecutor cannot prove the required elements, then the jury must find the accused not guilty.

However, there are some cases where the person arrested for the crime is still acquitted even if the prosecutor was successful in proving their case. In these situations, a criminal defense attorney raises what is legally referred to as an “affirmative defense.”

What Is an Affirmative Defense?

An affirmative defense is one where the accused produces evidence with the goal of negating any criminal liability for the crime for which they have been arrested even if they actually committed the act. Instead of the burden of proof being on the prosecutor to prove that the defendant committed the crime, it is the defendant who must prove that they were justified or had some other excuse for committing the act and therefore should not be punished for it. The prosecutor is not required to disprove this type of defense.

...

 

Stamford real estate lawyerThe process to purchase a home can be financially and legally complex. A home may also be one of the largest investments you ever make. This is why it is so critical to have a seasoned Connecticut residential real estate attorney representing you to make sure you are protected in the event of any issues, like the almost financially catastrophic experience that one Connecticut homebuyer recently went through.

Who Is the Real Owner?

According to Newtown, CT police, last year, the buyer discovered an uninhabited home located on Lake Zoar that he thought would be a good investment. He did some research to find the current owner. He was able to obtain the owner’s name through town records but the only contact information on record was a post office box. The man did an online name search and found three people who could potentially be the owner of the property.

...

Stamford criminal defense lawyerThere has been much in the news over the past week or so regarding the Fifth Amendment. According to a statement released from the New York Attorney General’s Office, former President Donald Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment to more than 400 questions during a deposition earlier this month. The AG’s office is conducting a civil investigation into the former president’s business dealings. This has led many people to wonder when a person can invoke the Fifth and what exactly it means to do so.

What Is the Fifth Amendment?

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, added in 1791, creates certain individual rights for both criminal and civil legal proceedings. Under the law, an individual only has to answer for their crimes when “on presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury.” In these situations, the Fifth can be invoked if one or more of the following circumstances exist:

  • If they are being compelled to answer under a subpoena or other legal process

    ...

Stamford CT criminal defense attorneyPlatforms like GoFundMe provide a way for people to raise money for all different causes, including charities, events, and people who are facing challenging circumstances like serious illnesses and financial disasters. But what happens when someone sets up an online fundraiser that is not legitimate? Can they face criminal charges? According to the FBI, not only are scam fundraisers illegal, but if someone perpetrating a scam fundraiser is caught, he or she will be charged with a federal offense, just like a recent case in New Jersey.

Scam GoFundMe Raises $400,000

This case stemmed from a GoFundMe campaign a New Jersey woman and her then-boyfriend set up in 2017. In a story that went viral nationwide, the woman posted on her social media account that she had run out of gas and gotten stuck on a highway in Philadelphia. According to the woman’s claim, a homeless man saw her and gave her his last $20 for gas. Her post even included a photo of herself with the man. She and her boyfriend then set up the campaign, claiming they wanted to pay it forward by raising money for the homeless man.

The campaign made national headlines, with more than 14,000 people contributing to the campaign. After the platform took their fees, the couple ended up with more than $365,000. But instead of giving the money to its intended recipient, the couple spent it on trips, a BMW, and other high-ticket items. They did give the man who allegedly helped the woman out $75,000, but he filed a civil lawsuit against the couple. That’s when the details of the scam were revealed – the story about running out of gas was not true, but instead was a way to get people to feel sympathetic and donate to the illegitimate GoFundMe.

...

connecticut criminal defense lawyer

Originally published: November 8, 2021

Updated: August 4, 2022 

...

Fairfield County Real Estate AttorneyEven after more than a year of the residential real estate market soaring, it is still moving at a booming rate. Recently released spring residential real estate statistics show that properties continue to sell as quickly as they are listed on the market and bidding wars are still taking place. Given this pace – and the legalities that can be involved – it is important that anyone who is in the market to purchase a home should have a skilled Fairfield County real estate attorney representing them.

Spring Housing Numbers

The strong demand for residential homes continues to make it a seller’s market, with the average list-to-sale price ratio at 103.1, despite slowly increasing interest rates. 

According to statewide data, houses are still moving quickly off the market. In some Connecticut towns, fifty percent of the houses that sold in the month of May went under contract within five days of being listed. In some areas, contracts were signed within two days of the listing.

...

Stamford, CT Retail Theft Defense AttorneySome people think of shoplifting as a petty crime, usually committed by teens on a dare from their friends. However, the reality is that shoplifting – also referred to as retail theft – is a serious charge that could result in significant penalties if the person charged is convicted.

If you have been charged with retail theft, you need a skilled Stamford defense attorney advocating for you.

Shoplifting Charges

Under Connecticut law, there are two different ways a person can be charged with shoplifting. They have either taken merchandise from the store without paying for it or they have switched the tags or packaging of one item with the tags or packaging of another item that has a lower price.

...

Stamford, CT Sex Crimes LawyerThe state of Connecticut takes the crimes of rape and sexual assaults very seriously. The penalties for convictions are harsh, often resulting in jail time and the requirement to register with the state’s sex offender registry. The impact on an accused’s future can be dire. If you have been accused of sexual assault, you need an aggressive Stamford defense attorney aggressively fighting for you against these charges.

How Does Connecticut Define Rape?

Under Connecticut law, there are several acts that can result in a charge of sexual assault in the first degree. These acts include:

  • Forces an individual to engage in sexual interforce by using force or the threat of using force against that individual or against a third party. If the victim is under the age of 16, the charge is elevated to a class A felony which can result in sentencing enhancement.

    ...

Fairfield County Criminal Defense LawyerThe recent rise in catalytic converter thefts has hit just about every state in the country, including right here in Connecticut. Examples of just how serious a problem it has become over the past few months include thefts of catalytic converters off of more than a dozen Easter Seal vans in Waterville and 18 school buses in Plainville. In May, a man in Milford needed 300 stitches after a confrontation with a man who was using a Sawzall to cut off a catalytic converter from a parked vehicle.

In response to these and other incidents, lawmakers passed a new law that went into effect July 1, implementing stringent restrictions on who motor vehicle recyclers can purchase these parts from and how those sales must be documented.

Thefts Soar

According to statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the number of catalytic converter thefts skyrocketed from 3,400 in 2019 to 14,400 in 2020, a more than 400 percent increase in one year – those numbers continue to soar.

...