Criminal Defense

Hartford Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested or are under investigation for a crime, you likely have questions about your rights. Our experienced Hartford criminal defense attorneys can provide the advice and representation you need, regardless of the alleged crime. Knowledgeable about the Connecticut criminal justice system, our skilled team of attorneys can help you navigate the criminal defense process whether that means defending you against misdemeanor or felony charges or fighting to protect your freedom after your constitutional rights have been violated.  

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys

Our attorneys are committed to your defense. We understand what is at stake when criminal charges are pending, and your freedom is on the line. A criminal conviction can affect every aspect of your life with both immediate and long-term consequences. With years of experience, our attorneys are skilled at navigating a complex legal process to ensure your rights are protected and that you have the strongest defense on your side.

Your livelihood and your future can be affected from the moment you are under investigation for criminal activity through and beyond filed charges and a conviction. If the authorities have their eyes on you, you need an attorney who can ensure that every action taken against you, from investigation through arrest and beyond, is fair and just. Our attorneys are here to defend you, protect your rights, and advocate for your best interests from start to finish.

What types of criminal cases do you handle?

When you are facing criminal charges, you need an attorney who has experience fighting those charges. Our attorneys handle a variety of criminal matters, including misdemeanor and felony offenses and other post-conviction matters. We have experience representing individuals charged with the following crimes:

  • DUI
  • Drug Charges
  • Assault
  • Theft
  • Violent Crimes
  • Sex Offenses

What is the criminal defense process like?

Unlike how criminal cases are depicted on TV, many cases never actually go to trial. Charges are often reduced or dismissed early in the case.

After an arrest, the next step is the arraignment. The arraignment occurs the first business day following the arrest. The accused is given an opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. Bond is also set by the judge at arraignment.

If a plea of not guilty is entered, a pretrial conference is scheduled. In the pretrial conference, the prosecutor and defense attorney will discuss the case and typically negotiate a plea bargain. The defendant may take the deal or go to trial to fight the charges. If a plea deal is either rejected or not available, the case will be set for trial. The defense attorney may file a motion to dismiss the case or a motion to suppress evidence before trial.

Criminal cases may be heard as a bench trial before the judge or a jury trial in front of six or twelve jurors. At trial, the prosecution and defense attorney will each make opening arguments, present evidence, question and cross-examine witnesses, and make closing arguments. Sometimes, the defendant will testify during witness questioning, but this is a discretionary move and defendants have a constitutional right to remain silent. Once the prosecution and defense rest, the judge or jury will enter a verdict.

Misdemeanors and Felony Charges

If you have been charged with a crime, you are facing either a misdemeanor or felony distinguished by the severity of the charge and punishment potential. Our attorneys are skilled in defending both. Misdemeanor convictions are less serious than felony charges, though both classifications of crime can lead to jail, costly fines, and other restrictions that can impact your life far beyond just establishing a criminal record. Both misdemeanor and felony charges are separated into classes of severity, which determines the consequences associated with a conviction.

What if my constitutional rights were violated?

When you are arrested, you are entitled to certain rights which include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney - even if you cannot personally afford to retain one. These rights are part of the “Miranda Rights.” If you are not fully advised of your rights upon arrest, any subsequent statement or action you make may be inadmissible against you. Additionally, everyone has the right to a speedy trial, fair and humane treatment, and should not be treated as guilty before a conviction.

If any of your constitutional rights were violated during arrest, questioning, or custody, not only can this help your case by allowing your attorney to have certain evidence suppressed, but it could even result in a complete dismissal of the case. In rare situations, you may even have a civil claim against an officer for violating your constitutional rights and/or personal injury.

What should I do after an arrest?   

The most important thing to remember if you are arrested is your constitutional right to remain silent. Though the police may try to intimidate or bully you into answering their questions, you do not have to talk. In fact, you may hurt your case by talking. Anything you say will be used against you and could even bar you from claiming certain defenses at trial.

If you are arrested, you need a criminal defense attorney. Even if you believe you are innocent and the charges are a mistake, you should contact an attorney. Do not engage in any conversation with the police, even if it seems they are just making small talk during the car ride to the police station, or while waiting for paperwork. You should not engage in a police interview or discuss the case with family or friends. Contact an attorney and only discuss the case, the arrest, and any activity related to the charges against you with your attorney.

If you are being held in police custody, be sure to ask your attorney about bond as well. Once bond is set, you may need to contact a loved one to help you post bond or make arrangements with a local bondsman for your release.

The Freeman Law Firm is here to help. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our Hartford criminal defense attorneys.