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Recent Blog Posts

Do I Have to Submit to a Field Sobriety Test?

 Posted on October 28,2022 in Driving Under the Influence

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.

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Applying for Your First Mortgage

 Posted on October 24,2022 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

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Mortgage Fraud Conviction Could Lead to Long Prison Sentence

 Posted on October 07,2022 in Criminal Defense

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

  • The applicant doctors bank account statements to show a fraudulent level of assets

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Can the Keto Diet Cause a False Positive Breathalyzer Test?

 Posted on September 30,2022 in Driving Under the Influence

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.

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Why Home Buyers Need Their Own Attorneys Even When Working with a Title Company

 Posted on September 22,2022 in Real Estate Law

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.

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Was Your DUI Arrest Caused by a Medical Condition?

 Posted on September 17,2022 in Driving Under the Influence

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.

If the diabetes has progressed to where the person needs insulin, even just the delay of a meal can cause a bad reaction, leaving the person with impaired coordination, slurred speech, confusion, and even loss of consciousness – all the same things police look for when they have stopped a driver for suspicion of drunk driving.

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Using the Affirmative Defense in Connecticut Criminal Cases

 Posted on September 06,2022 in Criminal Defense

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.

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Man Buys Home From Fraudulent “Owner”

 Posted on August 26,2022 in Real Estate Law

 

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.

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What Is the Fifth Amendment and When Does It Apply?

 Posted on August 18,2022 in Criminal Defense

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:

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Committing Charity Fraud Can Result in Serious Federal Penalties

 Posted on August 15,2022 in Criminal Defense

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.

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