If you are being sentenced for a DUI in Connecticut, you are likely frightened and unsure of what is to come. On this page, I discuss the sentencing process as well as the options that you have once a sentence has been determined. Not everyone knows this, but it is possible to appeal the court’s decision. So if you are sentenced, consider this option.
Appearing for sentencing could happen the same day if you face misdemeanor charges. The judge may sentence you to the maximum period of jail time allowable for the crime. Oftentimes prior to sentencing, the judge will order the probation department to conduct a pre-sentence investigation and report. This serves to provide the judge with a better understanding of your background. The probation department may suggest a certain way for the judge to structure the sentence. Or it could suggest certain penalties to include, such as community service and counseling. However, the judge ultimately decides the sentence.
If convicted, you could make an appeal. But you must hire a lawyer to represent you for this new phase. The fee for an appeal lawyer usually differs from that of your trial lawyer. Many times people simply hire the trial lawyer for the appeal because they already have knowledge of the case. They have already conducted research on the exact issues in the appeal. The appeal only deals with legal issues, not factual issues. This means it isn’t a retrial. Your lawyer then will review the court transcript to find questionable issues, such as the inclusion of improper evidence by the state or incorrect instruction on the law to the jury by the judge.
The appeal gets filed within a few months and then the state has time to file a brief in opposition. The case is then argued in front of a panel of three judges in Hartford, in which witnesses are not presented and a time limit is instituted for both sides. After the case is argued, the judges release a written decision, which either affirms the guilty verdict, or reverses the decision and a retrial begins. In rare circumstances, the reversal will complete the case and there will not be a retrial. If the original decision is affirmed however, your lawyer may appeal for review by the Supreme Court.
If you face a Connecticut DUI or want to appeal the court’s decision, it is in your best interest to hire a DUI defense lawyer like me. I can assist you through this process and make sure that you are not taken advantage of by the criminal justice system.