New Haven Criminal Charge Penalties

If you have been charged with a crime, it is absolutely necessary to pursue any and all defenses. There is too much at risk – your freedom, your family, and your reputation. At Billings & Barrett, our New Haven criminal attorneys understand that and begin preparing your defense from the moment we speak to you during the first phone call or meeting.

Criminal Penalty Overview

The consequences of a mere arrest, let alone a criminal conviction, can be devastating for you, your family, your career, and your standing in the community. If you are merely arrested, it will likely cost you money to post your bond and to hire an attorney. Also, it will likely cause you to lose time from work. For some, you may face the real possibility of becoming unemployed or appearing on the news. All this may happen even when you are still presumed innocent.

If you are convicted, the consequences often become worse. You may be confronted with jail time. If not, you will still likely be on some form of probation. Probation alone can be a harsh punishment because the Court will often impose conditions. For example, your ability to travel is restricted, you may be forced to attend various types of counseling, and you may be required to submit to random drug testing and other periodic searches. Probation really is only the beginning–many people fail to completely understand the harsh impact a criminal conviction will have on their lives.

This is when you can request our assistance. At Billings & Barrett, we will help guide you through the process and attempt to, if possible, minimize the consequences of your charges.

Misdemeanor v. Felony

There are two types of crimes: Misdemeanors and Felonies. Both of these are defined by statute and are divided into various subcategories with varying penalties.


A misdemeanor is defined as an “offense for which a person may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than one year.” See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-26(a). Misdemeanors are further divided into four subcategories: Class A, Class B, Class C and Unclassified. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-26(b). The maximum penalty, including imprisonment and fine, is listed in the following table:

Misdemeanor ImprisonmentFine
Class AUp to 1 YearUp to $2,000
Class BUp to 6 MonthsUp to $1,000
Class CUp to 3 MonthsUp to $500
Class DUp to 30 daysUp to $250


A felony is defined as an offense “for which a person may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment in excess of one year.” See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-25(a). Felonies are divided into six categories: Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, Unclassified, and Capital. The maximum penalty, including imprisonment and fine, is listed in the following table:

Felony ImprisonmentFine
Class A VariesUp to $20,000
Class B Up to 20 YearsUp to $15,000
Class C Up to 10 YearsUp to $10,000
Class D Up to 5 YearsUp to $5,000
Class E Up to 3 YearsUp to $3,500

Consequences of a Criminal Conviction


The biggest fear and most serious consequence for defendants is the risk of incarceration, which is almost always a possibility with any arrest. The maximum imprisonment for a given crime is defined in the statutes and depends on the type of crime. See our Misdemeanor v. Felony section for more classifications and maximum penalties.


In addition to imprisonment, a criminal conviction may also carry with it a large fine and probation. Many people fail to understand just how significant of an impact probation can have on their lives. Probation can include numerous conditions with which you must comply. If you do not comply, you can face jail time. For example, Probation can require you to undergo various medical or psychiatric treatment, reside in a halfway house, engage in community service, and pay restitution to name a few. See Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-30.


Another penalty which is often not considered by newly arrested people, is the potential for extremely hefty fines. Fines range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Fines do not include any restitution to be made to any victims or any of the court costs that defendants are required to pay.

Collateral Consequences

There are many “collateral consequences” to a criminal conviction, which many people do not consider when they are facing criminal charges. For example, a conviction for certain crimes can and often cause you to lose the following:

  • Driver’s License;
  • Firearms licenses;
  • Professional licenses;
  • Your right to vote;
  • Current and Future Employment;
  • Eligibility for Student Loans;
  • Eligibility for Housing;
  • Visitation and Custody Rights; and
  • Immigration Status.