Compared to felony offenses punishable by years of incarceration, misdemeanor offenses may not seem like a big deal. However, even a single misdemeanor conviction can significantly impact your personal and professional life, and repeat offenses can sometimes even be prosecuted as felonies.
Put simply, you should never assume that a misdemeanor allegation is something you can handle alone. Seeking help from a New Britain misdemeanor lawyer should be a top priority when facing any charge. The legal team at Ruane Attorneys could enforce your rights, build a strong defense, and protect your future prospects throughout the legal process.
Do Misdemeanor Charges Always Lead to Jail Time?
Every “class” of misdemeanor offense defined in the Connecticut Penal Code carries some amount of jail time as a possible consequence of a conviction. Unlike higher-degree felony offenses, though, there are no mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment for any type of misdemeanor offense. This means courts generally have leeway when deciding whether a convicted person will serve time in jail.
Depending on the circumstances, a New Britain misdemeanor attorney may be able to negotiate with the court for more lenient sentencing terms. Instead of incarceration, legal counsel could argue for a term of probation, participation in a diversionary program, or payment of restitution. Courts are generally more willing to discuss alternative sentencing options for first-time offenders. However, that does not necessarily mean that repeat offenders are guaranteed to face jail time upon conviction.
Maximum Misdemeanor Sentences Defined by State Law
Connecticut General Statute §53a-26 sets out four “classes” of misdemeanor charges based on the severity of the offense. C.G.S. §53a-36 and 53a-42 establish the following maximum jail terms and fines that a convicted person may face:
- Class A misdemeanor – one year in jail and a $2,000 fine
- Class B misdemeanor – six months in jail and a $1,000 fine
- Class C misdemeanor – three months in jail and a $500 fine
- Class D misdemeanor – 30 days in jail and a $250 fine
Additionally, C.G.S. §53a-40 allows courts to impose enhanced sanctions on individuals convicted multiple times of similar misdemeanors by upgrading the class for repeat offenses. As our lawyers in New Britain could explain, this is one way that misdemeanors can sometimes be prosecuted as felonies. For instance, a repeat offender charged with a Class A misdemeanor may have that charge upgraded to a Class D felony.
Regardless of a person’s prior criminal history, representation from a local attorney will be key to minimizing the misdemeanor allegations and potential penalties. A strong defense could lead to reduced charges or even avoid a conviction altogether.
Work with a New Britain Misdemeanor Attorney on Your Defense
Misdemeanor charges can have resoundingly negative impacts on every aspect of your life, even if you have no criminal history. No matter the circumstances that led to your arrest and charges, guidance from legal counsel will be crucial to securing a favorable resolution to your case.
A New Britain misdemeanor lawyer at Ruane Attorneys could be the ally you need to effectively protect your rights and future. Call our firm today to learn more.