Crimes fall into two categories—felonies and misdemeanors. Although misdemeanor crimes are the less serious of the two, these charges can still significantly impact your life. Anyone facing a misdemeanor charge should seek representation from a criminal attorney.
A Shelton misdemeanor lawyer at Ruane Attorneys can take the lead in your case, regardless of the specific allegations you face. We are dedicated to resolving your charges without creating a criminal record whenever possible.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Convictions
The Connecticut Penal Code classifies misdemeanors into four categories. The severity of the charge and its consequences depends on the category. A Shelton attorney could explain the potential sentence someone might receive when facing a specific misdemeanor charge. According to Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-26 and §53a-36, the maximum penalty for various classes of misdemeanor are:
- Class D, 30 days in jail and a $250 fine
- Class C, 90 days in jail and a $500 fine
- Class B, six months in jail and a $1000 fine
- Class A, one year in jail and a $2000 fine
Other potential consequences include probation, community service obligations, regular drug testing, participation in a diversion program, and other impositions on the defendant’s time and freedom.
Additionally, a person with a misdemeanor conviction has a criminal record that could limit their opportunities in many aspects of life. If they face charges again in the future, the previous misdemeanor conviction could lead to enhanced charges and penalties. Non-citizens could face consequences for their immigration status, and undocumented people might be subject to removal by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Responding to Misdemeanor Charges in Shelton
The misdemeanor lawyers at our firm can tailor a defense strategy to the specific charge and the facts of the case. The goal is to resolve the matter without creating a criminal record whenever possible.
When the prosecution’s evidence is weak or unreliable, convincing them to dismiss a misdemeanor charge might be possible. Prosecutors have heavy workloads and prefer to direct their resources toward winnable cases. Even if the prosecutor feels confident of their evidence, they may reduce a charge to a non-criminal infraction if the accused has no prior record and the circumstances justify leniency.
Many misdemeanor charges result from substance misuse, mental health challenges, impulse control issues, poverty, and homelessness. In these situations, punitive measures are usually not the most effective response. Multiple programs are available to help defendants resolve the underlying issues that led to an arrest without a criminal record. Our Shelton attorneys can review a defendant’s options for resolving their misdemeanor charge during a consultation.
Defending a Misdemeanor Charge
If the prosecution will not drop the charge or allow alternative sentencing, our Shelton misdemeanor attorneys can present a vigorous defense. This often begins with scrutinizing the police work that resulted in the arrest.
The Constitution provides everyone protections against law enforcement overreach. For example, police may not make a traffic stop or conduct a search unless they have a reasonable suspicion of a crime. They must have search warrants to enter someone’s home or business or monitor their computer activity. If law enforcement did not follow proper procedures, a local misdemeanor attorney could seek to dismiss charges or suppress evidence the police obtained illegally.
Each crime contains several elements a prosecutor must prove to obtain a conviction. The prosecutor must reveal their evidence before a trial; a defense lawyer could pinpoint weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. By exploiting those weaknesses, Ruane Attorneys could prevent a prosecutor from proving their case and obtaining a misdemeanor conviction.
Contact a Shelton Attorney if You Face Misdemeanor Charges
Although a misdemeanor charge is less serious than a felony, a conviction can still have severe consequences. You should not try to handle a misdemeanor charge without an attorney’s assistance.
A Shelton misdemeanor lawyer can provide the legal counsel and representation you need to resolve your case. Call Ruane Attorneys today to get started.