If you're accused of a crime in Connecticut, you need to get the best Connecticut criminal defense lawyer available to ensure you keep what's most important to you – your liberty. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will help you understand possible sentences you face if convicted, may be the best investment you ever make.
When a person is convicted of an offense, the court is empowered to impose any of the following punishments:
- Term of imprisonment
- Authorized sentence by section CGS 18-65a or CGS 18-73
- Term of imprisonment and fine
- Term of imprisonment with period of probation or conditional discharge
- Term of imprisonment with fine and a period of probation or conditional discharge
- Fine and authorized sentence by section 18-65a or 18-73
- Sentence of unconditional discharge
- Term of imprisonment and a period of special parole
- Psychological counseling (if convicted of sexual assault involving a minor)
Felony v. Misdemeanor
Under Connecticut law, a felony is defined as any crime punishable by more than one year in prison, or in other words, a 366-day or greater prison sentence. There are multiple classes of felonies, depending on the type and severity of the crime. By contrast, misdemeanor is any crime punishable by 365 days in jail or any lesser sentence.
Financial Restitution: Conditions and Considerations
In addition to the above-stated sentences, the court shall order a financial restitution if:
- The person is convicted of an offense that resulted to damage or loss of property or injury to another person;
- The victim requested a financial restitution; OR
- The court finds that the victim suffered injury, damage to, or loss of property.
The court will make sure that the terms of the financial restitution are reasonable and appropriate. In determining whether restitution is reasonable, the court will consider the following factors:
- The offender's financial resources;
- The capacity of the offender to pay on installments or other conditions;
- Method of payment and the rehabilitative effect of the restitution on the offender; AND
- Financial burden and the impact on the victim and other possible circumstances
The financial restitution ordered by the court must be based on ascertainable damages loss or damage of property or for injury. In other words, speculative monetary loss will not be considered. Examples of compensable damages are expenses incurred for medical treatment or even loss of wages that flow from the criminal act. The court will not award reimbursement for damages for mental anguish, suffering and pain, often referred to in the civil context as non-economic or general damages. However, a victim could recover these losses if he or she were to file a civil law suit stemming from the harmful criminal act.
The court must impose a written order containing the amount of damages for property or injury, actual expenses for any medical treatment, and the amount of wages lost resulting from injury. A certified copy of the order must be mailed to the victim advising the victim that the order is enforceable.
Period of Probation
A period of probation or conditional discharge shall be deemed a revocable disposition based on the judgment of conviction. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, but did not threaten or use physical force to harm another person or if a person has been convicted of a motor vehicle violation, the court must consider sentencing you to a period of probation. In such a sentence, the court will often order community service in the place where the violation occurred.
If the court orders you to a period of probation following issuance of a protective order, the court may consider, and likely will, order the protective order to remain in place during the period of probation.
The best Connecticut criminal defense lawyer will help you understand all the circumstances and possibilities of your case. You just need to find the right defense lawyer, and we are here to help. Please call our office at (619) 841-1529 or contact us online to discuss your legal options.