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East Hartford, CT criminal defense attorney trial penalty

Being charged with any type of crime in the state of Connecticut can be a scary and anxiety-ridden experience for many people, especially if this is your first time being involved in the criminal justice system. Many people have an idea in their head of how the process works from watching movies and television shows, but the actual criminal prosecution process is much different. In fact, most cases involving criminal charges do not even go to trial. Many times, prosecutors will end up offering the defendant a plea agreement, which would require a guilty plea in exchange for a lesser sentence than they would receive if they dispute the charges. However, this has created a new issue, dubbed the trial penalty.

Understanding Trial Penalties

If you are formally charged with a crime, you will then have the option of pleading guilty or not guilty. A majority of the time, a “not guilty” plea will result in the prosecutor offering you a plea deal, which is an agreement that typically requires you to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence than what you would likely receive if you proceeded to trial. The difference between the sentences is often staggering, too, forcing defendants to take deals for fear of risking longer sentences.

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sentencing, Connecticut criminal defense attorneyOver the last few years, there has been much debate regarding efforts in Connecticut to rethink how young adults should be treated in the realm of criminal law. Courts have long held that a person who is 18 years old or older should be fully responsible for his or her actions. Defendants under the age of 18 are typically granted considerations based on the idea that a minor’s brain is not yet fully developed.

In Connecticut, specifically, Governor Dannel P. Malloy has championed the idea of creating a separate court system for young adults up to age 23. Such a system would take able to take into account a defendant’s development and other factors when determining sentencing and the prospect of rehabilitation. Late last month, a ruling by a federal judge in Connecticut gave additional credibility to the concept of a young adult justice system by ordering a new sentencing hearing for a man convicted of committing murder at the age of 18.

A Violent History

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East Hartford, CT 06108
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