Consult a Dedicated Criminal Law Attorney in Danbury
When you are charged with a crime, it is critical to seek the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney. And the reality is that the sooner you obtain legal representation, the better. Your constitutional rights protect you not just in the courtroom but at every step of the process, from the moment you are approached by law enforcement. If you fail to protect those rights, you may lose them and eventually lose your freedom as a result. People who are currently facing criminal charges in the Danbury area should consider contacting criminal defense lawyer Walter A. Shalvoy, Jr. He has the experience to help you navigate through the Connecticut criminal justice system and mount a strong defense to the charges against you. Mr. Shalvoy has served many people accused of crimes such as drug possession, sexual assault, DWI, and property theft, including burglary and robbery.
Protect Your Rights and Freedom
Even though an accused person is innocent until proven guilty, the prosecution is not going to treat you as though you are innocent if you have been charged with an offense. Instead, law enforcement and aggressive prosecutors often view their job as identifying, arresting, and securing a conviction of anyone they believe has committed a crime. It is up to you—and your attorney—to fight for your rights and your freedom.
Since so much is at stake in a prosecution, the U.S. Constitution grants criminal defendants many rights throughout the process of confronting their charges. These rights are designed to protect you, as an individual citizen, from the enormous power and resources of the government. Some of these rights include:
- Remaining silent;
- Being free from unreasonable searches or seizures;
- Being presumed innocent;
- Excluding evidence obtained in violation of your rights;
- Receiving a speedy and fair trial;
- Receiving a jury trial; and
- Confronting witnesses who are testifying against you.
If law enforcement believes it has enough evidence to convict you, the prosecution will move forward. However, it must prove every element of its case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is a heavy burden to bear. Your job thus consists of casting some doubt on the prosecution’s case and challenging the narrative that the prosecution tells the jury. This can be done in many ways, such as by presenting contradicting evidence or showing that the prosecution’s evidence is inadmissible, invalid, unreliable, or insufficient. Even if the prosecution’s story is essentially accurate, you often can defeat the charges or minimize the penalties by using an affirmative defense that mitigates or justifies what you did. Sometimes a defense attorney will negotiate with the prosecution before trial to have the charges reduced or even dropped altogether.
Connecticut Convictions Carry Heavy Penalties
Whether for misdemeanors or felonies, criminal convictions can carry serious punishments. By definition, a misdemeanor offense is one in which the penalty does not exceed 12 months of incarceration. Connecticut law defines both minimum and maximum sentences for certain crimes, although these may be harsher for repeat offenders. Judges have the discretion to impose any penalty within those limits, depending upon what they believe is suitable under the circumstances.
For example, first-degree manslaughter with a firearm is a Class B felony that carries a prison term of five to 40 years for a conviction, with fines up to $20,000. Accordingly, a judge must impose a sentence of at least five years, but not more than 40 years, and cannot impose a fine greater than $20,000. By contrast, Class A felonies carry a minimum sentence of 10 years, and the most severe Class A felony allows for incarceration for life without release. A felony conviction will also result in a permanent criminal record and the loss of certain civil rights. You may have more difficulty finding a job, pursuing further education, or finding suitable housing if you have a record.
Knowledgeable Waterbury Lawyer Serving Criminal Defendants
When you are charged with committing an offense, it is easy to feel scared and isolated. Even if you think that the prosecution has a strong case, getting a capable lawyer can make a critical difference in the outcome. To protect your rights against zealous prosecutors, call Waterbury criminal defense attorney Walter Shalvoy at 203-426-4409, or use our online form to set up a free consultation.