Criminal Defense

If you are facing criminal charges, you don’t have to navigate the criminal justice system alone. I have defended many criminal charges, ranging from minor crimes to major felonies, including larcenies, drug possession, assault, kidnapping, and domestic violence. Even if your case seems hopeless to you, I will listen to you and help protect your rights and freedom. 

As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I can present many options you might not know. For example, the State might not have enough evidence to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, or the State’s evidence might have been obtained pursuant to an illegal search or confession. Even if the evidence is so overwhelming that a conviction is likely, I can work with you toward the goal of avoiding jail time. Some pretrial programs even permit you to avoid jail time and a criminal conviction. Even if you have pleaded guilty, you may have options to receive minimal or no jail time for serious felonies. There are even remedies after conviction, including appeal, and collateral attacks (such as habeas corpus), and the erasure or pardon of a criminal record.

I will work with you. I will stand up for you.

Crimes in Connecticut

When the State charges you with a crime, the State is accusing you of violating the law, sometimes of violating more than one law. The State decides the criminal charges to bring against you, and one set of facts may subject you to more than one criminal charge. It is important to remember that to convict you of any crime, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime charged. Beyond a reasonable doubt is the highest standard of proof. Until the State meets that burden of proof, you are presumed innocent of the crime. 

Connecticut generally classifies crimes in two major categories: felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are crimes punishable by up to a year in jail. Felonies are crimes punishable by more than a yearin jail. If you are accused of a felony or a misdemeanor, you have the right to a jury trial. The people on the jury must be convinced that the State proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt before convicting you. 

In addition to felonies and misdemeanors, violations and infractions provide a basis for charges against you. An example of a violation is possession of alcohol by a minor. Traffic violations are the most common types of infractions. 

When you are charged with a crime, you should hire an attorney.

Contact me to discuss your case.

Criminal Sentences

When the State accuses you of any crime, you owe it to yourself to take the matter seriously.  The classification of crimes and their corresponding punishments is a complex area of the law. The facts of the case often determine the charges, which in turn determine the corresponding punishment. 

  • If you are convicted of a felony, you face several possible punishments, including more than a year in prison. It is widely believed that you can’t go to prison for a misdemeanor, but that’s not true.  
  • If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you face punishment of up to one year in prison. Even though violations and infractions don’t subject you to jail time, the consequences can impact areas of your life in addition to your wallet. 
  • Even if you do not receive jail time, you may be sentenced to a period of probation or conditional discharge. This is still a restriction on your liberty and you face jail if you violate the court's conditions.

Employers can ask you about your criminal record. Numerous licensing boards, from home inspectors to teachers to physicians, can consider your criminal record. Insurance companies can consider your record. It is critical that you address your case early, then together we may work toward the goal of minimizing the consequences to you. 

Criminal Defense Attorney in Connecticut

Criminal defense attorney Chris DeMatteo provides compassionate and effective legal assistance to people who have been charged with offenses, violations, or crimes in Connecticut. Whether in state or federal court, Chris DeMatteo devotes his time and talent to helping you achieve your goals. You can contact Chris today for an initial free consultation. Chris regularly represents clients in all of Connecticut's criminal courts, frequently appearing in Milford, Derby, New Haven, Meriden, Middletown and Waterbury.