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Do repeat offenders face automatic jail time in Connecticut?

Connecticut state law provides for an increase in sentencing severity to dissuade recidivism. Persistent offenders, to use the language of the penal code, might face jail more often than individuals convicted of their first offense. For example, if you had a criminal record that included significant jail time or a death sentence, or if you had been previously convicted of certain crimes, you would conceivably be at risk for a more stringent penalty in a pending case.

Contrary to popular belief, any previous criminal record you might have would not automatically mean you would go to jail if you were accused of a crime. A number of things would influence that outcome, not the least of which is the verdict or lack thereof. There are a number of steps you might take during the investigation, negotiation and litigation process to reduce the consequences of your accusation — potentially avoiding penalties altogether should the prosecutor drop your case or the court dismiss the charges. 

For your reference, there are several classes of persistent offenders in Connecticut. The most important element of this classification would be your current offense. The Connecticut General Assembly’s online repository of the penal code lists each category in detail:

  • Standard, serious or dangerous felony 
  • Persistent larceny or DUI
  • Serious or dangerous sexual offenders
  • Repeat hate crime (bigotry or bias)
  • Repeated threatening crimes, such as stalking or violation of a protective order

If a court were to determine that you are a persistent offender, that would not be good news. However, only a limited number of persistent offense classifications would carry with them mandatory minimum sentences. More often than not, the court maintains discretion as to whether you would go to jail. However, each case is different. Please do not regard this article as legal advice. It is meant only to educate you.

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