Are You Facing Criminal Charges in CT? A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Make a Difference for You

The Connecticut Penal Code sets out various acts which are considered criminal offenses. If you're arrested for violating the Connecticut Penal Code, you could be facing serious criminal charges depending on the circumstances of your case.

When facing criminal charges, you're up against law enforcement agencies and prosecutors' offices with decades of experience with criminal prosecution. They know the CT general statutes and criminal code well, and they're trained to catch any slip-ups or incriminating statements you might make. However, a skilled criminal defense attorney is familiar with all the tactics the prosecution may use to make their case. They know how to fight for your legal rights and ensure you're treated fairly at all times. Having a skilled criminal defense attorney on side to help you fight the charges you are facing can mean the difference between years in prison and no prison time at all.

The police may tell you that things will be better if you answer their questions, but this is rarely true, even if you are innocent. Exercise your right to remain silent until you have an attorney. Your lawyer can prevent you from saying anything that may damage your case.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can also explain the risks of taking your case to trial. If you choose to plead guilty, a criminal defense attorney will vigorously negotiate on your behalf to obtain a favorable plea deal. And if you decide to plead not guilty, a criminal defense attorney will put the state's case to the test and make the state prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Contact the Field Law Office, LLC Now to Talk to a Criminal Justice Attorney About Your Case!

No matter how serious the criminal charges made against you, you always deserve an attorney who will protect your interests and fight to secure you the best possible result. Please call me for a consultation or contact me online now. I'm committed to working hard for you, and I'll look for every opportunity to avoid sticking you with this permanent criminal record.

Your case evaluation is free, confidential, and there is no further obligation.
You will always speak with me, Erin Field, the attorney.

Connecticut Penal Code: Sentencing Guidelines for Criminal Charges in CT

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The Connecticut Penal Code is part of CT's General Statutes. Under the CT Penal Code, crimes can either be felonies, which are the most serious crimes, and felonies, which are less serious offenses but which could still result in significant penalties.
Penalties for Felonies in Connecticut
Felony charges are those that have a minimum jail sentence if found guilty, typically a year or more. There are various classes of felony charges – a Class A felony is the most serious, while a Class D felony in CT is among the least serious.

CAPITAL FELONY Specific types of Murder Life in prison N/A
CLASS A FELONY (MURDER) Murder 25 to 60 years in prison Up to $20,000
CLASS A FELONY Aggravated Sexual Assault under 16, Sexual Assault w/younger victims, Kidnapping 1st degree, Arson 1st degree 10 to 25 years in prison Up to $20,000
CLASS B FELONY Manslaughter 1st degree, Assault 1st degree, Sexual Assault, Larceny 1st degree 1 to 20 years in prison Up to $15,000
CLASS C FELONY Manslaughter 2nd degree, Sexual Assault 2nd degree, Robbery 2nd degree, Arson 3rd degree 1 to 10 years in prison Up to $10,000
CLASS D FELONY Assault 2nd degree, Sexual Assault 3rd degree, Criminal Mischief 1st degree, Stalking 1st degree 1 to 5 years in prison Up to $5,000

Penalties for Misdemeanors in Connecticut
The Connecticut Penal Code states that misdemeanor charges are somewhat less serious than felonies and have a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail. Class A and B misdemeanors in CT are the most significant, while Class C misdemeanors in CT are less serious.

CLASS A MISDEMEANOR Assault 3rd degree, Threatening 2nd degree, Sexual Assault 4th Degree, Criminal Trespass 1st degree, Larceny 4th degree, Violation of a protective order Up to 1 year in jail Up to $2,000
CLASS B MISDEMEANOR Criminal Mischief 3rd degree, Stalking 3rd degree, Breach of Peace Up to 6 months in jail Up to $1,000
CLASS C MISDEMEANOR Criminal Mischief 4th degree, Disorderly Conduct, Larceny 6th degree Up to 3 months in jail Up to $500

Sentencing guidelines are just that: guidelines. Judges have some degree of flexibility when imposing punishment so long as they stay within the guidelines set out in the CT General Statutes.

Penalties for Criminal Violations and Infractions in CT
Violations and Infractions are not crimes, they are civil penalties, so they do not give you a criminal record. A violation is punishable by a maximum fine of $500, and some specific violations have lesser maximum fines.

An infraction has a fine of up to $90, plus additional fees and surcharges that may go as high as $300.

Typical violations and infractions are motor vehicle offenses such as traffic tickets, speeding tickets, possession of alcohol by a minor, and various city ordinances.

You do not need to make a court appearance for either a violation or an infraction. You can choose to pay your fine by mail, but I do not recommend this.

Reference: Connecticut Traffic Infractions FAQ.

Additional Penalties and Collateral Consequences in CT
Many professional licensing boards have standards that prohibit anyone with a criminal record or civil infraction from being admitted or certified.

And now that all criminal convictions in Connecticut are posted online publicly, your criminal record could easily become a scarlet letter that haunts you forever.

  • A felony, including a Class D felony in CT, stays on your record permanently although it may be possible to have it expunged.
  • Misdemeanors, including Class A misdemeanors in CT, are expunged after seven years.

An experienced criminal defense attorney will do everything possible to either have the charges against you dropped or reduced to minimize the long-term impact on your life.

Should I Plead Guilty?

You may be tempted to plead guilty simply to avoid the time and expense of a trial and just move on with your life. But you should first speak with a criminal defense attorney like me. I will review the circumstance of your case, advise you of your rights, and help you decide whether to plead guilty. Ultimately, the decision is yours alone to make. If you decide to plead guilty, I will ensure you understand the process and will work to negotiate a favorable plea agreement with the prosecutor.

Can the police legally search me?

Generally, the police must have a warrant to conduct a search. However, there are numerous exceptions to the warrant requirement, such as:

  • Consent – You or another authorized individual consent to a search of your person, vehicle, or residence.
  • Plain-view – While conducting a lawful activity, like a traffic stop for speeding, the police observe evidence of a crime or contraband in plain view.
  • Protective search – The police may lawfully conduct a pat-down of a person in custody or a quick sweep of a vehicle or building to ensure there is nothing posing a danger to the police or others.
  • Canine sniff – A police canine can indicate the presence of contraband, which may give police probable cause to conduct a search for that contraband.

Will I get a longer sentence if I fight my case?

You have the constitutional right to have your case tried by a jury of your peers. The court cannot impose a longer sentence simply because you chose to take your case to trial. However, trials that end in conviction often lead to longer sentences than those offered in plea agreements. The court may also order you to pay the costs of your prosecution. To avoid the expense of trial, prosecutors tend to offer reduced charges or shorter sentences in plea deals.

Can I have my case dismissed if the police never read me my Miranda rights?

The police may have given you a form that describes your rights. By signing that form, you may have admitted that you read, understand, and waived your Miranda rights. In addition, the police only need to read you your Miranda rights if they intend to interrogate you. If they don't interrogate you, there is no need to read you your rights and anything you say may be deemed a voluntary statement.

Even if you make incriminating statements during questioning before being read your Miranda rights, the suppression of those statements might not lead to the dismissal of your case. The police may have evidence they obtained from other sources that may be sufficient to prove your guilt.

Do you need a criminal defense attorney in CT? I'm ready and waiting to help you – contact me now online.