What is a Substitute Information?
The word sub can refer to a sandwich (a grinder), an underwater vessel, a type of teacher and, in Connecticut criminal courts, an amended charging document. In this case, sub refers to a "substitute information." The information is the formal charging document that the State's Attorney files to bring criminal charges against an individual. The State has the sole authority to decide the charges it prosecutes. A court can dismiss charges that cannot be supported by law or evidence, but when charges are supported by probable cause, it is up to the State to maintain or discontinue the prosecution.
In many cases, the State files a 'sub.' There are many reasons for substitute charges. A common reason is a plea deal. The State may agree to reduce a charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, for example, or to come off of a mandatory minimum. The State can also increase ("up charge") or add additional charges; or add an enhancer or "Part B."
Substitute informations are common in motor vehicle cases. The State may "sub down" a motor vehicle crime to an infraction, which is not a crime and punishable by only a fine. Motor vehicle offenses, even infractions, may triggers problems with suspensions, points and operator retraining. While a sub to a ticket is often a good outcome, it is necessary to consider all possible consequences before deciding to plead to one.
I've resolved many cases through substituted charges throughout Connecticut, including in Milford, Meriden, New Haven, Derby and Bridgeport. Contact me if you would like to discuss your criminal case.