Bridgeport Criminal Lawyer
If you are fighting criminal charges in Bridgeport, you need a capable and effective Bridgeport criminal defense lawyer on your side. Do not rely on a public defender who may not be able to give you and your case the attention it deserves. A skilled defense attorney can assess your charges and build the defense needed to give you a positive outcome in your case.
Categories of Bridgeport Criminal Offenses
Under the Connecticut Penal Code, some of the most serious offenses include illegal gun offenses, assault offenses, with penalties that range from misdemeanors to felonies, larceny and robbery, sex crimes, including prostitution, and DUI offenses. Drug offenses are also very serious in Bridgeport.
Generally, felony charges entail prison terms in excess of one year, while misdemeanor charges range from one year to 30 days or less, depending on the severity of the particular charge.
Assault in the first degree, for example, which requires intent to cause extreme injury, is a class B felony, meaning a term of imprisonment of at least five years. Assault in the third degree, by contrast, which only entails causing physical injury to another, is a Class A misdemeanor with a one-year prison term.
Most criminal charges are resolved through the process of plea bargaining or negotiating a lesser charge with a prosecutor. Sometimes a person’s best option is to consider taking an offer of a reduced sentence or fine and foregoing the right to a jury trial, but not always.
Even if a plea agreement seems acceptable to an individual at first blush, it vitally important to review it with a Bridgeport criminal defense attorney to determine any negative consequences and if a better outcome is possible.
Accepting a Plea
Accepting a plea agreement is essentially entering a guilty plea. There is much more to consider than just whatever fine or penalties are being offered. For example:
- If an individual charged is not a US citizen, a guilty plea can have severe consequences for their immigration status
- The plea can pose a problem for any commercial license someone holds, such as a CDL
- A guilty plea may result in a violation of any outstanding probation orders an individual currently has
All these potential issues must be disclosed to a Bridgeport criminal defense attorney so they can thoroughly review all potential avenues to resolve their client’s case, weigh the costs and benefits, and fight for the best possible outcome.
Role of a Bridgeport Criminal Defense Attorney
The State must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. In defending a case, an experienced criminal attorney in Bridgeport will determine if an individual had the requisite mens rea, or state of mind, required for a particular crime.
For some crimes, the state must prove an individual acted knowingly. For other crimes, simply acting recklessly is enough to convict. Other defenses an aggressive Bridgeport criminal defense attorney can bring forth include:
- That one acted in self-defense or in the defense of another person
- Lack of mental capacity
- That an individual acted under duress or threat from another
You should not face criminal charges alone. The potential pitfalls and legal consequences are too severe to make a mistake. Contact a Bridgeport criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights as soon as possible.