Misdemeanors and Felonies
In Connecticut, criminal offenses are divided into two general categories; felonies and misdemeanors. Crimes are divided into each category based on their severity, and some offenses may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the specific circumstances of the case and what the prosecutor decides. A criminal conviction in either category can result in life-changing consequences. Penalties may include heavy fines, jail time, community service, and in some cases, loss of driving privileges. There are other potential consequences for individuals convicted of a crime as well.
For example, having a criminal record can make it more difficult to obtain housing, employment, bank financing, college scholarships or even admission to certain colleges. If you are a professional, you may have trouble obtaining the necessary license to practice or renewing your current license. Those convicted of felonies lose the right to vote in Connecticut, and convictions for certain felonies and misdemeanors may bar you from obtaining a firearm. If you are facing any type of charge, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner forcefully advocating for your rights and interests.
At the Upton Law Firm, we understand what is on the line when someone is charged with a misdemeanor or felony, and we go to work immediately to aggressively defend the charges against you. Our firm is owned and operated by United States Military veterans who know what it means to serve. We have extensive knowledge of this area of the law, and we have in-depth experience successfully defending individuals facing criminal charges in Connecticut.
We are familiar with the inner workings of the local Hartford courts, and we know many of the prosecutors, judges, and others that you will be dealing with. When you retain our services, we thoroughly examine your case and put our experience to work to identify any and all weaknesses that can be used to have the charges against you modified, reduced, or even dismissed altogether.
Misdemeanors are less severe than felonies, but they can still leave a permanent mark on your record. Misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by a fine and/or jail time of up to one year. Misdemeanor crimes can include but are not limited to:
- Theft or Common Theft
- First-Time Drunk Driving (DUI/DWI) Offenses
- Public drunkenness
- Resisting arrest or Obstructing or Resisting a Police Officer
- Disorderly conduct
- Breach of the Peace
- Failure to appear in Court
In Connecticut, misdemeanors are divided into four categories:
- Class A Misdemeanors: The most serious category of misdemeanor, those charged in this class can be punished by fines of up to $2,000 and up to one year in county jail.
- Class B Misdemeanors: A Class B misdemeanor is punishable with fines of up to $1,000 and up to six months in county jail.
- Class C Misdemeanors: A Class C misdemeanor is punishable with fines of up to $500 and up to three months in county jail.
- Class D Misdemeanors: A Class D misdemeanor is the least serious classification, with fines of up to $250 and up to 30 days in county jail.
Some misdemeanor crimes may not be classified. For unclassified misdemeanors, the punishment is specified within the statute that defines the crime. There is a statute of limitations of one year from the time that a misdemeanor crime was allegedly committed for the prosecution to bring charges. If no charges are brought before the one-year deadline expires, the defendant can move to have the case thrown out.
If you or a loved one was accused of a misdemeanor offense, you should consult our criminal defense attorneys immediately. Our attorneys will work with the prosecutor and find the best options to reduce or eliminate the charge.
Felonies are more serious crimes that are punishable by imprisonment of one year or longer. Because of the severity of the crimes, it is typically more challenging to negotiate a reduction of charges and/or case dismissal with a felony charge. Examples of felonies include but are not limited to:
- Drug Possession and/or Sale
- Second or Subsequent DUIs, or DUIs with Certain Aggravated Circumstances
- Child Abuse
- Illegal Possession of Weapons
- Money Laundering
- Child Pornography
Felonies are divided into five categories based on severity:
- Capital Felonies: Capital felony is the most serious offense an individual can be charged with. This charge is reserved for the most heinous crimes; such as murdering a police officer who is on duty, murdering two or more people in one transaction, or murdering someone under the age of 16. Capital felony used to be punishable by either the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. In 2012, Connecticut did away with the death penalty. Today, all capital felons in the state are punished by life imprisonment without parole.
- Class A Felonies: A Class A felony is the second most severe crime in Connecticut and is punishable by either 10 to 50 years in state prison, or 25 years to life in state prison and fines of up to $20,000.
- Class B Felonies: A Class B felony is punishable with fines of up to $15,000 and up to 40 years in state prison.
- Class C Felonies: A Class C felony is punishable with fines of up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
- Class D Felonies: A Class D felony is the least serious crime in the felony category and is punishable with fines of up to $5,000 and up to five years in state prison.
As with misdemeanors, some felonies may not be classified. For unclassified felony crimes, the punishment is specified within the statute that defines the crime. The statute of limitations for felonies in Connecticut varies depending on the specific crime. For the most serious felony crimes, such as murder and some sexual assaults, there is no statute of limitations and they can be prosecuted any time. For most other felonies, there is a five-year statute of limitations from the date the crime was allegedly committed to commence prosecution.
Call The Upton Law Firm for Skilled and Aggressive Misdemeanor and Felony Defense
Since misdemeanors and felonies incur heavy fines, jail time, and even time in state prison, you should speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately to discuss your rights, defenses, and the complex legal system. Even if you have not been charged, but you learn (or have reason to believe) you are under investigation, you should be proactive and retain strong legal counsel right away.
At The Upton Law Firm, we know what is at stake when you are facing criminal charges, and we have a successful track record helping other clients that have been in your shoes. Do not fight this battle alone; we will stand by your side from start to finish to prepare an aggressive defense and help ensure that the circumstances are mitigated as much as possible. For a personalized consultation with one of our criminal defense attorneys, call our office today at 860-893-0558 or send a secure and confidential message through our online contact form. You may also stop by our office in West Hartford.