The Maddox Law Firm, LLC

Misdemeanors aren't necessarily minor

You're not stealing cars or robbing banks, but you've gotten into a little trouble with the law. What happens next?

Here's how "minor" crimes are handled in the state of Connecticut.

What are examples of minor crimes?

First off, it's worth noting that what counts as a minor crime can vary from state to state. Here are a few examples of popular minor crimes in Connecticut:

  • Shoplifting property valued at less than $500 (Class C Misdemeanor)
  • Trespassing in the first degree (Class A Misdemeanor)
  • Vandalism in the fourth degree, causing less than $100 of damage (Class C Misdemeanor)
  • Disorderly conduct (Class C Misdemeanor)

These offenses may all carry heightened penalties depending on the circumstances of the crime, such as damages caused by the offense or whether the threat of violence was present.

What are the penalties for minor crimes?

Minor crimes are typically defined as offenses that carry misdemeanor charges. But, did you know that there are three different degrees of a severity that can be issued under a misdemeanor charge?

The following misdemeanor classes all carry different penalties:

  • Class A Misdemeanor- This is the most severe misdemeanor class, with a penalty up to a year in county jail and/or fines up to $2,000.
  • Class B Misdemeanor- These charges are less harsh than a Class A misdemeanor but could still potentially cost a defendant up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Class C Misdemeanor- Class C misdemeanor charges still carry disruptive penalties, as defendants can still be sentenced to 3 months and may only need to pay a fine of up to $500.

Can misdemeanor charges hurt my future?

Although misdemeanors are often characterized as minor, they can still make a big impact on your future. Connecticut recently passed a "ban-the-box" law that prevents employers from inquiring about your criminal background before they see your resume or give you a conditional offer.

However, if a judge or court includes license suspension in your sentence, you may have difficulty retaining employment. Similarly, sentences that require jail time, public service, or treatment could also create scheduling conflicts with work.

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