Many states, including Connecticut, have programs which give some offenders of non-serious crimes the right to choose an alternative to pleading guilty or being tried for the alleged crimes or offenses. Here, the alternative program is available to defendants and to veterans charged with certain crimes and motor vehicle offenses when the court believes the person charged is not likely to commit more crimes in the future.
Connecticut authorizes an Accelerated Pretrial Rehabilitation Program (AR). An experienced Hartford criminal defense lawyer can explain when this option is available and whether you meet the basic requirements set forth in Connecticut Statute 54-56e:
- The defendant shouldn’t have a criminal record of any offense that is referenced in the statute
- The court believes the defendant is not likely to commit another criminal offense
- The defendant states, under penalty of perjury, that he/she has not availed themselves of an AR program before
- Defendants who are veterans must state that they have used the AR program no more than once
- The defendant must also state, under penalty of perjury, that they have given notice to any crime victims or motor vehicle victims about this AR request so the victims can present their statements to the court
- The Court Support Services Division (CSSD) will investigate if the defendant has complied with any support orders
In general, a defendant is not eligible if he/she:
- Is charged with a Class A or Class B felony
- Is charged with a Class C felony but can’t show good cause why participation in the AR program should be allowed
- Is charged with certain sex crimes, drug crimes, or alcohol crimes
- Is charged with an offense for which another program would suit the defendant better
Conditions of the accelerated rehabilitation program
The court has discretion whether to grant the AR application and to decide what conditions will be imposed. Generally, the defendant will be ordered to do some or all of the following:
- Pay restitution to any victims
- Perform community service
- Take part in a hate crimes diversion program
- Get psychological or psychiatric counseling
- Obtain drug or alcohol treatment
- Take part in an animal or cruelty prevention and education program
Defendants must agree that the statute of limitations for the offenses will be completed during the terms of the AR order, in the case the defendant fails to complete the program and must be tried for the offenses that were filed. Defendants will be released to the supervision of CSSD for up to two years. The CSSD will monitor the defendant’s compliance with the court order.
If the defendant completes the AR requirements, the charges will be dismissed. There is a fee for applying for AR and for taking part in any AR program that includes a hate crimes program. The court may waive the fees if a defendant is unable to pay them.
Connecticut offers many defendants the chance to obtain rehabilitation help instead of facing the criminal trial process. At Barry, Barall, & Spinella, LLC, our Hartford criminal defense lawyers understand when you may qualify for the AR program and understand when AR may be the wiser alternative to trying your case before a judge or jury.
For help with any criminal charge, call our skilled defense lawyers at 860-649-4400 or fill out our contact form to arrange a time to discuss your case. We maintain offices in Hartford and in Manchester.