Crimes fall into two broad categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Felonies are more severe charges that could lead to a term in state prison upon conviction. If you face felony charges, do not try to handle the matter alone. Even if you believe you can provide an innocent explanation, speaking with the police usually creates more problems than it solves. Wait to offer your account until a criminal attorney is present.
An East Windsor felony lawyer can provide the counsel and representation you need to secure a positive outcome in your case. Reach out to Ruane Attorneys immediately after you are arrested.
Understanding Felony Classifications
There are six classifications within the category of felony crimes. Felonies are classified as A through E, with an additional classification for Capital felonies. A Capital felony is the most serious, followed by Class A.
Capital felonies are no longer punishable by the death penalty in Connecticut. Now, someone convicted of a capital felony faces life in prison without the possibility of parole. Murder with special circumstances is the only capital felony in the Connecticut Penal Code.
Class A felonies include but are not limited to murder, felony murder, kidnapping, sexual assault of a child under 12, and first-degree sexual assault. Class A felonies carry mandatory minimum prison sentences. The prison sentences for murder range from 25 to 60 years. 25-50 years is the sentencing range for aggravated sexual assault of a minor, and for other Class A felonies, sentences could range from 10 to 25 years.
First-degree manslaughter with a firearm under Connecticut General Statute §53a-55a is the most serious Class B felony. The mandatory minimum sentence is five years, with a maximum of 40 years.
Other Class B felonies include assault of a corrections officer, burglary, commercial sexual exploitation of a minor aged 15 to 17, first-degree computer crime, second-degree kidnapping, and possessing child pornography. Prison sentences for most Class B felonies range from one to 20 years. Many Class B felonies carry mandatory minimum prison sentences. An East Windsor felony attorney could explain whether a mandatory minimum applies in a specific case.
Second-degree manslaughter, first-degree strangulation or suffocation, second-degree burglary, bribery, criminal possession of a firearm, some criminal violations of protective and restraining orders, and first-degree abuse of a vulnerable person are examples of Class C felonies. Prison sentences for Class C felonies range from one to 10 years. Several Class C felonies have mandatory minimum prison sentences.
Class D felonies carry a sentence of up to five years in prison. Most second-degree assault charges are Class D felonies. Other crimes in the classification include first-degree custodial interference, first-degree criminal mischief, impersonating a police officer, perjury, commercial bribery, possession of a weapon on school grounds, and bid rigging.
Some hate crimes and computer extortion using ransomware are Class E felonies. The sentence for these crimes is up to three years in prison.
Regardless of the type of felony a person faces, representation from a lawyer in East Windsor is crucial to defending against the charges.
What Happens After a Felony Arrest?
Someone arrested on felony charges is usually brought to the county jail to await arraignment, which would happen on the next business day. If an arrested person contacts a local felony attorney before the arraignment, legal counsel could represent them at the arraignment.
The judge will inform the accused of the charges against them and ask them to enter a plea. If the plea is not guilty, the clerk will schedule the case for a pre-trial conference, and the judge decides the conditions of release. Sometimes, the court allows defendants to go home on their promise to return for their court hearings, but the judge often sets bail for felony charges. The defendant must post bail to guarantee their return to face the charges.
The prosecution and defense often begin negotiations after the arraignment. A plea agreement could be beneficial if the evidence against the accused is substantial. Diversion programs are available in some cases, allowing defendants to avoid prison by seeking treatment and counseling. The two sides formalize any agreements at the pre-trial conference, but the matter is set for trial if there is no agreement.
Defenses to Felony Charges
The legal definitions of crimes contain elements a prosecutor must prove to obtain a conviction. An East Windsor felony lawyer at our firm could attack the sufficiency of the prosecutor’s evidence of one or more elements to persuade a jury to acquit. If the prosecutor’s evidence is weak, convincing them not to proceed with a case could be possible.
The behavior of law enforcement officers often provides grounds for a defense. If the officers violated the accused’s rights, a judge might suppress the evidence they obtained through improper procedures.
Other possible defenses depend on the charges the defendant faces. Consent could be a defense to some sex crimes, while self-defense could be a valid argument for assault charges. In other cases, Alibi, false witness, and mistaken identity could be effective defenses.
Contact an East Windsor Attorney if You Face Felony Charges
Felony convictions have dire consequences. Do not try to respond to a criminal allegation without assistance from an East Windsor felony lawyer.
At Ruane Attorneys, our legal team is here to discuss your case and tailor a strategy to the situation. Call as soon as possible to learn more about your legal options and get started on your defense.