Being accused of any criminal offense can be a life-altering experience, whether you have an existing criminal record or have never been inside a courtroom before. The quality of legal counsel you retain can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case. Although public defenders are often hardworking, they generally cannot dedicate significant time to getting the best possible result for any one defendant.
A Waterbury criminal lawyer at Ruane Attorneys can devote the time and resources required to secure a positive result in your case. No matter what type of charge you face or what your criminal background looks like, our lawyers will tailor a defense to your situation and protect your rights.
Categories of Criminal Offenses Under State Law
Like many other states, Connecticut defines most criminal offenses as either misdemeanors or felonies, with felonies being more serious than misdemeanors. Each category is then divided into four subcategories—or “classes”—to further differentiate between different levels of severity. Felonies have two additional designations: “capital felony” for murder with specific aggravating conditions and “unclassified felony” for felonies with unique sentencing structures.
The classification of a criminal offense determines the maximum criminal sanctions a court could impose upon a convicted person. For example, a Class A misdemeanor offense carries a maximum jail term of one year and a maximum fine of $2,000, whereas Class B misdemeanors can be punished by a maximum of six months and $1,000 in fines. Felonies of Class C and above also have mandatory minimum prison terms attached to them—specifically, one year for Class C and Class B felony offenses, 10 or 25 years for different Class A felonies, and life imprisonment without parole for capital felonies.
However, courts have significant leeway outside of mandatory minimum penalties in determining the sentencing for particular cases. Representation from a Waterbury criminal attorney can be vital to minimizing the potential penalties and protecting a defendant’s rights.
Contesting a Criminal Charge in Waterbury
Negotiating for less severe sentencing after a conviction is far from the only service a defense lawyer at our firm could provide. From the very beginning of a law enforcement investigation into an alleged offense, private legal counsel can speak with investigators on an investigated person’s behalf, offer guidance about interacting with law enforcement authorities, and enforce their rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and other violations of state or federal law.
Beyond that, legal representation can also play a central role in building a strong defense against criminal charges. This can be especially important when dealing with felony allegations, but even misdemeanor charges are worth contesting to avoid penalties and a criminal record.
Speak with a Waterbury Criminal Attorney Today
Dealing with criminal charges is never a simple process and requires a strategy tailored to the situation. You need legal support from someone who has successfully handled similar cases.
A Waterbury criminal lawyer could explain your rights and options in detail during a confidential consultation. There are often many available defense strategies to defeat or mitigate criminal charges. Call Ruane Attorneys today to discuss your situation and learn how we can work to protect your future.