Joseph J. Colarusso, Attorney at Law
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Do repeat offenders face higher sentences?

If you were facing a second or third time in the Connecticut justice system, it would be perfectly natural to be nervous about how your previous offenses and convictions might affect your current proceedings. The fact is that, if you received a conviction for a new crime, there could be a chance for enhanced penalties based on your previous record.

Of course, just because you made a few mistakes in your past would not automatically mean that you would receive a harsher sentence. There are many myths and anxieties you might have in the situation, but few of them would likely have a foundation in reality. 

The official website of the Connecticut General Assembly has a full resource explaining persistent offender laws and possible long-term consequences of repeat convictions. However, you would probably not need to know all of the various categories and scales that make up this complex system.

Instead, you would want to look at a few of the core principles of the law and determine how they relate, if at all, to your own situation. For example, lawmakers designed the persistent offender law to provide enhanced sensing and deterrence for the more severe crimes in the Connecticut statutes. If you were looking at a second misdemeanor, they would probably not be as much cause for concern as would a second violent crime. Other key concepts include:

  •       Your prosecutor would need to justify seeking an enhanced sentence
  •       You could potentially avoid extreme penalties a successful defense or a plea bargain
  •       Your previous arrests would not matter for this law unless they led to a conviction or guilty plea

Since there is a potential for more of an impact on your future, it would probably be in your best interest to take each subsequent charge even more seriously than the last. As such, a case-specific analysis would probably be necessary to supplement this general information. Please do not regard any of this as specific legal advice.

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