Classification of Criminal Charges in New Haven
The most common criminal charges in New Haven tend to include gun and weapon charges, possession of narcotics, the sale of narcotics, other drug-related offenses and assault charges. In addition, there are numerous other charges connected to disturbing the peace, breach of peace, disorderly conduct, larceny and other minor cases. A New Haven criminal attorney can advise on how to approach these various charges.
These types of cases are common because they are the kinds of cases that prosecutors and police pursue. In New Haven, the authorities claim there is a major gun problem tied to drug use and the sale of narcotics. With assault cases, there is a victim who was assaulted and injured who calls the police and requests that the case be prosecuted.
How Innocent People Can Get Implicated
There are a number of ways individuals are charged with a crime for something they did not commit. For example, innocent individuals can be implicated in a gun case simply by being a passenger in a car. If a car is pulled over in New Haven for a motor vehicle infraction and the police search the car and find a gun, they arrest all of the individuals in the car. An innocent person may have no idea that there was a gun or drugs in the car. However, they are still arrested and charged with criminal offenses in connection with that gun or drugs. It is possible for someone to be implicated in those types of cases when they have absolutely no guilt.
Additionally, in terms of an assault case, the situation can be a case of mistaken identity. Someone says they were assaulted and they identify the wrong person. There are many issues with eye witness identifications where memory is not nearly as accurate as people think. Often, it can lead to a wrongful identification.
Differences Between Felonies and Misdemeanors
The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor is the maximum possible period of incarceration.
Felonies and misdemeanors have different classifications. Those classifications specify the maximum penalties. A misdemeanor is any offense that carries up to one year in jail. Any crime where the maximum penalty is one year or less is classified as a misdemeanor. A felony is any offense that carries a period of incarceration greater than one year.
There are four types of misdemeanors; Class A, B, C and D. Each classification carries a different amount of possible incarceration. For example, a Class A misdemeanor carries a maximum of one year in jail.
The same is true with felonies; they are broken up into classifications. There are Class A, B, C and D felonies. Class A felonies are the most serious with Class D felonies being the least serious. Nevertheless, Class D carries a maximum of five years in jail.
In terms of the collateral consequences, misdemeanors and felonies have different consequences involving an individual’s ability to vote, maintain public housing, and maintain a firearm. Not only is the possible jail sentence different between a felony and a misdemeanor; the collateral consequences are also different.
Examples of Felonies and Misdemeanors
An example that illustrates the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the charge of assault. In Connecticut, an individual involved in a fight may be charged with assault. Assault has three different levels; assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, and assault in the third degree. Each of these charges carries different penalties. Assault in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail. Assault in the second degree is typically a Class D felony, which carries a maximum of five years in jail. With assault in the first degree, the classification depends on the particular subsection in which the person is charged. The penalties vary, they but can be up to 20 years in jail for an assault in the first degree.
Value of a Lawyer in These Circumstances
Whenever someone is arrested for a criminal offense, there are significant penalties. All criminal charges, no matter how minor, carry the possibility of incarceration, significant fines, probation, and other collateral consequences.
The benefit of having a lawyer is that they will fight the case properly and position their client to get a favorable outcome. A lawyer can help in terms of formulating a defense, mitigating the possible consequences, and ensuring the state has the ability to prove the case.
Having a lawyer allows an individual to exercise their constitutional rights and makes sure that the state is able to meet its burden of proof. It is important that a person exercise their rights and make sure the state can meet its burden because the consequences are severe.