Plea Process in Connecticut
Facing a criminal allegation can be a terrifying ordeal. There are many moving parts to a criminal case, and it can be daunting for a person who is being charged with a crime to understand everything that is happening. Depending on the circumstances of your case it may be in your best interest to enter into a plea deal. The kind of plea deal and the terms of your plea deal with be ferreted out by a skilled and experienced Stamford, Connecticut, criminal defense attorney.
Types of Plea Deals
Most people consider a plea deal to be a one size fits all type of agreement. However, in Connecticut, more than one kind of plea deal exists. Each type of plea deal has unique characteristics. The types of plea deals available include:
- Guilty - a plea where a defendant admits his or her guilt in the crime alleged.
- Nolo Contendere - a plea that translates to “no contest.” With this kind of plea, the court enters a finding of guilt, but the plea may not be used as an admission in another criminal or civil trial.
- Alford Plea - a much less common type of plea where the defendant does not admit guilt but does acknowledge the evidence against him or her and makes the determination that it is best not to fight the case and instead plead guilty.
It is important that if you have been charged with a crime that you talk through the various types of plea deals available with your Connecticut criminal defense attorney. It is very important for you to consult with your lawyer when considering accepting a plea as you give up certain rights when a plea is accepted by the court. An example of a right you lose when you enter in a plea is the right to appeal your conviction.
Do Courts Automatically Accept Pleas?
No. Judges will analyze the circumstances of each case, and assess the defendant's understanding of the plea they are attempting to enter. Some factors judges consider:
- Mandatory sentences that may apply.
- The maximum sentence that could be imposed.
- The defendant’s understanding that they do not have to enter into a plea.
- Whether the defendant voluntarily wishes to enter into the plea deal.
- If the defendant is a non-citizen, the defendant understands that their acceptance of the plea deal may result in deportation.
When a plea hearing is conducted, a judge may sentence the defendant immediately after accepting the plea, if the defendant waives their right to a pre-sentence investigation. In other cases, the judge will schedule a separate hearing to formally sentence the defendant.
Been Charged with a Crime?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, it is of the utmost importance to contact our Stamford, Connecticut criminal defense attorney. Your case does not have to end with a plea deal, but it is important you have all of your options fought for and explained to you. The staff at the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner are relentless defenders of our client's rights. Contact our Stamford office today at 203-348-5846 to schedule a free consultation today.