Criminal Defense FAQ

Over the years we have practiced, we find that there are certain criminal defense FAQs that almost every client asks. We've compiled the questions and answers below:

Should I talk to the police?

Do not ever talk to the police. We can't stress this enough. If the police have a case against you, they won't need any information from you to corroborate it. If they don't have enough evidence yet to charge you, speaking with them could give them a statement that could help their investigation.

Your constitutional rights mean you never have to speak with law enforcement. Simply state, politely but firmly, I won't talk to you without an attorney.

I've been stopped for DUI — should I take the breathalyzer test?

If you have been arrested for DUI, request to speak with an attorney. You have the right to do so before submitting to the test.

In general, we advise clients to take the breathalyzer test. If you refuse, you will face an automatic suspension of your license for a period of one year. Your refusal can also be used as evidence against you in criminal court. It is easier in this situation, to fight the charges.

If this is your second or subsequent DUI, make sure you talk with an attorney before taking the test. There are serious consequences for repeat DUI offenders. An attorney can best advise you at the time of your arrest.

Can I fight a traffic ticket?

You can and should fight all traffic tickets. Not only because having them on your record can increase insurance premiums, but also because an attorney can often negotiate a lower fine or even get the ticket dismissed. It's always a good idea to make the state prove their case.

Am I going to go to jail?

When we represent a client, we first review the police report and any evidence. Our goal is to get the case dismissed. If that is not a possibility, we work with the prosecutor to reach a plea agreement. Cases rarely go to trial. If, however, we think it is in your best interest to fight your case, we will aggressively represent you to ensure you get the best possible outcome.

Jail time is determined by a number of factors. We can often keep a defendant from serving time; however, much depends on the crime with which you were charged, and whether you have a previous criminal record.

How is a case dismissed and what does that mean?

A person can be charged with a crime for which there is very little evidence. Sometimes a crime is charged, but the evidence has been obtained by violating a person's constitutional rights.

If these scenarios apply to your case, we would ask the court to dismiss the charges. A dismissal means that the charges against you are dropped.

What's a plea agreement?

In cases where the evidence against you is strong, we work with the prosecutor to avoid having your case go to trial. In exchange for a guilty plea, a prosecutor will often offer better sentencing terms.

If this is the first time you have been charged with a crime, we work with the prosecutor to obtain a "stay of adjudication." In this case, you would plead guilty, fulfill whatever obligations the court has imposed on you (such as paying a fine) and after a period of time (usually a year), the case against you would be dismissed.

How long does the process take?

Many cases can be resolved in a matter of months. Serious charges often require more court appearances and can take much longer to resolve. If a case goes to trial, it can often take a year or more to resolve the case.

Serious, Focused, Dedicated

At the Law Office of Paul V. Carty, we are serious about the rights you have under the U.S. Constitution. Our lawyers will fight to ensure the prosecutor observes those rights, and we will work tirelessly to ensure you the best possible outcome for your case.

Located in New Haven, Connecticut, we also serve the surrounding areas since 1985. Call us for confidential free case evaluation at 203-361-9810.