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Is there any way that a judge could suspend a mandatory sentence

Resolved Question:

Is there any way that a judge could suspend a mandatory sentence for second degree sexual assault, in Connecticut?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

Unfortunately, unless the charge specifically gives that discretion to the judge, the judge does not have this discretion per Connecticut statute 53a-39:


Connecticut General Statutes 53a-39 - Reduction of sentence or discharge of defendant by sentencing court or judge. Statement by victim


(a) At any time during the period of a definite sentence of three years or less, the sentencing court or judge may, after hearing and for good cause shown, reduce the sentence, order the defendant discharged, or order the defendant discharged on probation or conditional discharge for a period not to exceed that to which the defendant could have been originally sentenced.


(b) At any time during the period of a definite sentence of more than three years, upon agreement of the defendant and the state's attorney to seek review of the sentence, the sentencing court or judge may, after hearing and for good cause shown, reduce the sentence, order the defendant discharged, or order the defendant discharged on probation or conditional discharge for a period not to exceed that to which the defendant could have been originally sentenced.


(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any portion of a sentence imposed that is a mandatory minimum sentence for an offense which may not be suspended or reduced by the court.

ScottyMacEsq :

For instance, class A or C misdemeanors, judges can depart from the minimum sentences depending on the circumstances.

ScottyMacEsq :

There's a table here that shows what charges give the judge that discretion: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/rpt/2008-R-0619.htm

ScottyMacEsq :

But in short, the judge does not have that discretion (which is why it's called a minimum sentence, in that the judge can't go below that) assuming there is a conviction in the first place.

ScottyMacEsq :

Only a reduction in the charges, a dismissal of the conviction, or a "not guilty" verdict would make it such that the mandatory sentence would be avoided.

Customer: Under what circumstances could this felony be reduced?
ScottyMacEsq :

If the prosecutor agrees to reduce it, often in exchange for a guilty plea to a lesser charge.

Customer: What if accused admitted to crime while being questioned? Could it still be reduced?
ScottyMacEsq :

Certainly, but again, that's assuming that the prosecutor would be willing to agree.

ScottyMacEsq :

The likelihood is based upon the chances of conviction, so the chances of getting the prosecutor to agree in that situation would not be as good, but it's not completely out of the question.

Customer: The accused person did not know they were being accused of crime and just stated their side of the story.
ScottyMacEsq :

It's possible to get that "confession" excluded from evidence, if there was no Miranda warning, etc... That's a different matter entirely than mandatory sentences (which pertain to punishment, not the guilt/innocence phase of trial).

Customer: So basically, the accused will be looking at a nine month prison sentence?
ScottyMacEsq :

If convicted of these charges, yes. Again, charges can be reduced before the case, and a lot of things can be done to try to get a conviction thrown out, appealed, etc.. but if the conviction stands / is not challenged, then yes, 9 month minimum means minimum.

ScottyMacEsq :

That's the point of minimum sentences.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

ScottyMacEsq :

Are you there? Please note that I am still here, awaiting your response.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hello?

ScottyMacEsq :

Should I continue to await your response, or may I assist the other customers that are waiting?

Customer: Yes, you may assist other customers. Thank you
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
My apologies, but I must assist the other customers that are waiting. If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time (~40 minutes) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time (~40 minutes) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

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