Connecticut Misdemeanor Crimes
Assisting individuals facing misdemeanor charges in Ct
There are two major categories of criminal charges under Connecticut law: felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by a jail term no longer than one year, while felonies are crimes punishable by a jail term of more than one year. Because misdemeanors are the less serious of the two categories, you may not take this type of charge very seriously.
Misdemeanor offenses are further broken down into Class A, Class B, Class C, and Class D misdemeanors. Of these groups, Class A misdemeanors are the most serious, while Class D misdemeanors the least serious. It is important to remember, however, that any criminal conviction is a consequential matter that should be handled by an experienced attorney.
If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you may be tempted to handle your cases on your own because you believe there is no chance of serious penalties being imposed. However, misdemeanor convictions can result in serious penalties, including costly fines, supervised probation, or a jail sentence. For this reason, you should always take any misdemeanor allegations extremely seriously and contact an experienced Connecticut criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest or summons.
The attorneys at Duffy Law are skilled criminal defense lawyers committed to helping individuals fight against misdemeanor charges in Connecticut criminal court. If you would like to discuss your case, call Duffy Law, LLC today at 203-946-2000.
Types of Misdemeanor Crimes by Class
The penalties you face will depend upon the “class” of the misdemeanor charge against you. Some of the maximum sentences for misdemeanor convictions in Connecticut are as follows:
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Misdemeanor charges can result from many different alleged acts and the following are some examples of misdemeanors Duffy Law commonly handles:
- Assault in the third degree
- Petty theft
- Stalking in the second or third degree
- Sexual assault in the fourth degree
- Criminal mischief
- Breach of peace
- Reckless driving
Often, an experienced misdemeanor defense attorney can help you avoid jail time even if you are convicted. A lawyer who understands the criminal justice system can negotiate with the prosecutor and judge to obtain a sentence of probation or participation in a diversionary program. These programs can allow you to participate in substance abuse education classes, rehabilitation, or community service and to have your charge dropped after successful completion of the program.
There are situations, of course, in which individuals are wrongfully accused and were not involved in the alleged misdemeanor offense. Our experienced attorneys will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest and allegations to identify ways to challenge the prosecution’s case and prove you are not guilty. Our Connecticut attorneys understand how authorities gather evidence to prove a case and, therefore, have the ability to build an effective defense against charges to avoid conviction.
Class A Misdemeanors
If you’re facing allegations of a Class A misdemeanor in Connecticut, the highly experienced criminal defense legal team at Duffy Law is here to help. While a misdemeanor may not seem as serious as a felony charge, Class A misdemeanor convictions can have serious and lasting consequences. The attorneys at Duffy Law understand how to effectively defend against any type of Class A misdemeanor offense, and may be able to help you avoid some of the most severe penalties associated with a specific offense. Additionally, our attorneys can investigate whether any of the evidence against you was obtained by law enforcement illegally. If it was, our criminal defense lawyers know how to suppress illegally-obtained evidence—meaning that the prosecution will be prevented from using it against you. This suppression of evidence can significantly weaken a prosecutor’s case. Please contact our office as soon as possible after an arrest to find out how our criminal defense attorneys can help you.
Connecticut law divides criminal offenses into different categories based on the nature and severity of the crime. First, crimes are either felonies—which are more serious and carry harsher penalties—or misdemeanors. Although the potential penalties for misdemeanors are less severe than those for felonies, a misdemeanor charge should not be taken lightly, as any criminal charge is a serious matter.
Misdemeanors are divided into four categories. Class A misdemeanors, existing just one step below a felony, are the most serious of the misdemeanor charges. A wide variety of offenses can be charged as Class A misdemeanors, including the following:
- Delivery of drug paraphernalia
- Possession of an assault weapon
- Assault in the third degree
- Reckless endangerment in the first degree
- Criminally negligent homicide
- Sexual assault in the fourth degree
- Criminal trespass in the first degree
- Credit card theft
- Larceny in the fourth degree
- Escape from custody
The above list is far from exhaustive; many other crimes may be charged as Class A misdemeanors in CT. Each case will have different legal questions depending on the type of offense. It is important to know that Duffy Law has the knowledge and experience to handle any type of case – no matter what type of charge you face.
What are the penalties of a Class A Misdemeanor conviction?
It is truly important to be represented by a qualified criminal defense law firm because of the possible penalties associated with a Class A misdemeanor conviction. While penalties can vary from case to case, the maximum penalties allowed by law in Connecticut for this class of crime are as follows:
One year in jail
$2,000 fine plus court costs
Such penalties could significantly disrupt your life—both in terms of your finances and your freedom. If you have to go to jail for any amount of time—even if it is only for a few months—you could lose your job and experience tension in your personal relationships.
In addition to the penalties ordered by the state criminal court, Class A misdemeanor convictions also carry collateral consequences. For instance, prospective employers may refuse to hire people with a criminal conviction. If you have a professional license or intend to get one in the future, a licensing board may consider your record when deciding whether you are fit to hold the license. In addition, landlords may conduct a background check and refuse to rent housing to you.
Non-citizens can experience some of the harshest consequences, as a Class A misdemeanor conviction could trigger deportation proceedings. If convicted, ICE may take you into custody and you may have to fight your removal from the U.S. and separation from your family and job. At Duffy Law, we understand the implications of a criminal case for immigrants and ensure our clients are fully advised of what may happen in their case.
It is essential to learn all of the potential consequences of a Class A misdemeanor conviction so you will understand the importance of having the right attorney on your side. With years of experience on both sides of the criminal process, the team at Duffy Law is uniquely qualified to protect your rights and defend against misdemeanor charges. Please contact our office today so we can begin working on your case.
Duffy Law helps our Class A misdemeanor clients in a number of ways, which can vary depending on the nature of the case. Some of the ways we may be able to help include:
- Representing you in police interrogations after an arrest
- Working to reduce or eliminate your bail
- Representing you in all court appearances
- Investigating and possibly challenging the circumstances of your arrest
- Collecting evidence for your defense
- Presenting any available legal defenses
- Identifying any violations of your constitutional rights
- Advising you of your right to a trial
- Negotiating with the prosecutor for a favorable plea bargain
- Advising you of the implications of a guilty plea
- Representing you at trial
- Appealing a wrongful conviction, if necessary
If you already have a Class A misdemeanor conviction on your record, don’t hesitate to call us to discuss your options for having your record expunged. After a certain waiting period, we can assist you through the pardon application process so you can have the best chance of clearing your name.
Class C Misdemeanors
If you have been arrested on suspicion of having committed a Class C misdemeanor in Connecticut, it is imperative that you contact an attorney as soon as you can. While Class C misdemeanors are not as serious as many other criminal offenses, they can still result in serious legal consequences, including fines, probation, and even imprisonment. In addition, a conviction for any crime can result in a criminal record that can make it difficult to get a job, rent an apartment, or attend a college or university.
Under Connecticut Law, crimes are divided into various categories that are based on the severity of the offense. The most serious crimes are felonies, which can be punished by imprisonment for over one year and fines. Less serious offenses are categorized as misdemeanors, which are punishable by one year or less in prison and fines.
Some examples of offenses that are considered Class C misdemeanors under Connecticut state law include the following:
- Criminal trespass in the third degree
- Criminal mischief in the fourth degree
- Larceny in the sixth degree
- Fraudulent use of an ATM
- Issuing a bad check
- Disorderly conduct
- Drinking while operating a motor vehicle
- Criminal lockout
- Loitering in or about school grounds
- Obstructing free passage
The above is not a complete list of Class C misdemeanors. Additionally, the legislature often creates new offenses or reclassifies existing offenses. Prosecutors also have discretion when making a decision as to how to bring a case, and similar conduct may fit into various criminal classifications. Regardless of how your case has been classified, the Connecticut criminal defense lawyers at Duffy Law have the qualifications necessary to ensure that it is resolved as favorably as possible.
The Consequences of a Class C Misdemeanor Conviction
While Class C misdemeanors are not the most serious of crimes in the state, they can still result in severe criminal penalties. As a result, it is critical for you to retain an attorney to protect your rights. The maximum sentence a court can impose after a conviction of a Class C misdemeanor includes the following:
Three months in jail
These penalties can result in secondary consequences that can be just as severe, and potentially worse, than anything imposed by the court. For example, the actual financial cost of a Class C misdemeanor conviction can be much than $500, as many people who go to jail for three months also lose their jobs. In addition, a criminal conviction on your record can make it difficult to get another job, as many employers ask applicants whether they have ever been convicted of a crime. Similarly, many landlords make a background check a standard part of their rental application, and may be hesitant to rent to someone who has a criminal record.
If you are a foreign national, you may even be facing deportation for a Class C misdemeanor conviction. If you plead guilty or are convicted, ICE may take you into custody and initiate deportation proceedings, potentially separating you from your employment, friends, and family. For this reason, it is critical for anyone who is not a United States citizen and is facing a criminal case to speak to an attorney familiar with the immigration implications of a conviction. At Duffy Law, we are well-aware of the intersection of criminal and immigration law and take special care to ensure that our clients are fully advised of the potential consequences of taking a plea deal or being convicted.
Class D Misdemeanors
Protecting the Legal Rights of People Who Have Been Accused of Class D Misdemeanors in Connecticut
If you have been accused of a crime in Connecticut, you should retain a criminal defense lawyer immediately. This is true regardless of whether you are facing allegations of a violent felony or a Class D misdemeanor, which is the least serious classification of crime in the state. Any criminal conviction has the potential to result in serious penalties, including substantial fines and even jail time. Fortunately, in many cases, having a lawyer can help you avoid the most serious penalties associated with a particular offense. In some instances, a lawyer may even be able to have the case against you dropped by the prosecution or dismissed by the court.
What Are the Penalties Associated with a Class D Misdemeanor Conviction?
While a Class D misdemeanor is the least serious classification of crime in the state, if you are convicted of one, you will still be facing consequences that you would likely prefer to avoid. Connecticut law authorizes courts to impose the following penalties on individuals who are adjudicated guilty of Class D misdemeanors:
Up to 30 days in jail
A fine of up to $250
Importantly, these are not the only consequences that the court can impose. Many people convicted of Class D misdemeanors are placed on probation and are required to submit to random drug testing, attend counseling, perform community service, and comply with certain other conditions to avoid jail time.
Additionally, while these court-imposed penalties are bad enough on their own, there are often significant collateral consequences associated with a criminal conviction, regardless of the severity of the offense. For example, if you are sentenced to the full 30 days in jail, it is possible that you will be unable to keep your job. In addition, the presence of a conviction on your record will probably make it more difficult to obtain employment in the future.
A Class D misdemeanor can have an impact on your future even if you are not yet working. Colleges and universities often look at their applicants’ criminal records, and a conviction could prevent you from gaining admission to the program of your choice. Furthermore, if your conviction is drug-related, it could potentially exclude you from participation in the federal student loan program.
Your education and employment are not the only things that could potentially be affected by a Class D misdemeanor conviction. Many landlords run criminal background checks on their applicants before renting out apartments, and a conviction may make it difficult for you to secure housing.
Finally, if you are a foreign national living in the United States, a criminal conviction could potentially result in your deportation. This is true even if you accept a plea bargain that avoids other serious consequences, so it is extremely important for non-citizens who are considering accepting a plea bargain to discuss the potential consequences with an attorney familiar with the intersection of criminal law and immigration.
How Can a Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer in Ct Help You?
If you’re facing a criminal case, it can feel like the deck is stacked against you. Police and prosecutors often threaten defendants with the worst-case scenario to influence them to accept a plea agreement, even if the case against them is not particularly strong. If your legal rights were violated, the court will only protect your rights if you bring the matter to the court’s attention in the appropriate manner. For these reasons, it is important for anyone accused of a crime to retain a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Here are some of the ways that a lawyer can help you and ensure that your case is resolved as favorably as possible:
Represent you during any police questioning and ensure that your rights are protected.
Review the circumstances of your arrest and determine whether your constitutional rights were violated when the police investigated your alleged offense. If they were, it is possible that your attorney will be able to have any evidence that was gathered suppressed, which can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case. In fact, in some cases, a successful motion to suppress evidence can result in a case being dropped or dismissed.
Negotiate a favorable plea agreement that avoids the most serious consequences of your offense. In some cases, a plea agreement may even result in the case against you being dropped once your probation in successfully completed.
Represent you in trial.
If necessary, pursue post-conviction relief, such as an appeal or an expungement of your criminal record (a pardon, in Connecticut).
While it is best to retain an attorney as early as possible, it is never too late to retain legal representation. The moment an attorney gets involved, you can rest assured that your rights will be protected and that your case will be resolved as favorably as possible.
Contact a Connecticut Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer Today
Don’t make the mistake of underestimating your charge simply because it’s a misdemeanor. The repercussions of a Class A misdemeanor conviction can affect your life for years to come.
For your best chance at limiting the consequences you face, your first call should be to Duffy Law. Our Connecticut criminal defense attorneys have the experience to confidently and aggressively defend against any type of criminal charge in CT state court. Call us today at 203-946-2000 for more information.