Hartford Criminal Defense Lawyer

Dedicated to Defending the Rights of Criminal Defendants in Hartford ConnecticutHartford-Criminal-Defense-Lawyer

Have you been accused of a crime in Hartford, CT? You’re likely feeling scared, anxious, and unsure of what comes next. At this difficult moment in your life,  your first priority should be to retain the services of a highly credentialed Hartford criminal defense lawyer. Fortunately, you’ve landed on the right page. You won’t find anyone better to fight your criminal charge than J. Christopher Llinas.

Seasoned Criminal Defense Representation You Can Trust

  1. Christopher Llinas of Llinas Law LLC has a 20+ year track record of obtaining case dismissals, reduced charges, not guilty verdicts, and lenient sentencing for individuals accused of a wide range of crimes. His tireless work ethic, savvy negotiation and litigation skills, and passionate dedication to his clients has earned him a reputation as one of the best criminal defense lawyers in Hartford, CT.

Dealing with the criminal justice system in Connecticut can be overwhelming. The Hartford Police Department and Hartford State’s Attorney’s Office have tremendous resources at their disposal to build a case against you. Having a veteran criminal defense attorney like J. Christopher Llinas in your corner can put you on a level playing field.

Request a Complimentary Case Review

Criminal matters must be addressed quickly in order to increase the likelihood of a successful outcome. If you or someone you love is the target of a criminal investigation or has been arrested and/or formally charged with a criminal offense in Hartford County, don’t delay in seeking help. Call (860) 969-0480 and schedule a free and confidential consultation with criminal defense lawyer J. Christopher Llinas.

Act Now to Protect Your Freedom, Reputation, and Future

The stakes are often high in a criminal case. If found guilty, you could face incarceration, probation, fines, and other serious penalties. Even if you successfully complete your sentence, a criminal conviction will follow you for years to come. You may encounter barriers to getting a job, renting or leasing an apartment, securing a loan, or having the kind of future you planned for yourself.

From the moment criminal defense lawyer J. Christopher Llinas takes your case, his number one goal is to get the charges against you dismissed outright. When a dismissal is not possible, he will work to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor resulting in reduced charges or lenient sentencing. If necessary, he is fully prepared to take your case to trial and present a compelling defense before a judge or jury.

Comprehensive Defense for Criminal Offenses in Hartford County

Llinas Law LLC has the skills, experience, and resources to defend against misdemeanor and felony crimes in Hartford County,  including but not limited to:

Drug CrimesTolland County Criminal Defense, J. Christopher Llinas

  • Possession of an illegal controlled substance or narcotic
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Possession with intent to sell or distribute
  • Sale or distribution
  • Drug trafficking
  • Drug manufacture/cultivation

Drunk Driving

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
  • Traffic Offenses
  • Driving while suspended
  • Driving without a driver’s license
  • Driving uninsured
  • Hit and run

Violent Crimes

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Assault
  • Domestic Violence

Sex Crimes

  • Forcible rape
  • Sexual Assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual solicitation
  • Indecent exposure

White Collar Crimes

  • Identity theft
  • Bad check and credit card offenses
  • Embezzlement
  • Counterfeiting

Weapons Offenses

  • Illegal possession or use of a firearm
  • Concealment of weapon

Property Crimes

  • Arson, threat of arson
  • Theft
  • Burglary
  • Trespass
  • Malicius destruction of property
  • Motor vehicle theft

Juvenile Offenses

Probation Violations

Why Choose J. Christopher Llinas?

Llinas Law Immigration and Criminal Defense Lawyer

    • Expert knowledge – Over 20 years of experience practicing criminal law, first as a prosecutor and public defender, and now as a private criminal defense attorney.
    • Client-centered approach – Available 24/7 to answer questions and alleviate concerns.
    • Familiarity with Connecticut criminal courts – In-depth understanding of local court rules and procedures; positive working relationships with prosecutors, probation officers, law enforcement officers, court clerks, and other court personnel.
    • Trial tested – over 80 trials and 25 appeals
  • Customized defense strategy — No two criminal cases are alike. You will benefit from a defense strategy tailored to your specific goals and circumstances. 
  • Affordable retainer and payment options available


Protecting Your Rights At Every Stage of the Criminal Justice Process

When Hartford criminal defense attorney J. Christopher Llinas takes over your case, you can expect him to:

  • Be present during police questioning or interrogation to shield you from self-incrimination’
  • Intervene before charges are filed to negotiate a case dismissal;
  • Negotiate reduced charges or more lenient sentencing;
  • Accompany you to arraignment and pre-trial hearings;
  • File motions to have coerced testimony or evidence from illegal searches and seizures excluded
  • Engage in discovery to obtain evidence (police reports, lab reports) and gather witness testimony
  • Consult experts who can strengthen your defense (forensic specialists, toxicologists, medical examiners, etc.)

Put A Former Prosecutor to Work For You

The prosecution has the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As a former prosecutor, J. Christopher Llinas knows how the other side thinks and operates. There is no better advantage for someone accused of a crime than to have a criminal defense attorney who has the prosecutor’s “playbook” in their hands. Mr. Llinas is skilled in identifying weaknesses and inconsistencies that can “poke holes” in the prosecutor’s case. He can then use these weaknesses as leverage to negotiate a favorable plea deal or prepare a defense strategy for trial.

Important Law Enforcement Agencies and Courthouses in Hartford County

Criminal Justice System in Hartford Connecticut


The location of your arrest and/or the criminal charge will determine which State’s Attorney or prosecutor will be assigned to your case and where your case will be heard. The Connecticut criminal justice system is divided into two divisions: Part A and Part B. Serious felony crimes are considered Part A and are typically assigned to a Judicial District courthouse. Less serious misdemeanors and traffic offenses are considered Part B and are generally housed in the G.A. or Geographical Area Court.

In Hartford however, Part A and Part B cases are both handled at one location — the Hartford County Criminal Courthouse located on 110 Lafayette St. The Judicial District court is on the third floor and the G.A. court is on the second floor.

The Hartford Courthouse processes the arrests made in Avon, Bloomfield, Canton, Farmington, Hartford, and West Hartford.

Overview of Criminal Proceedings in Hartford County

The criminal justice process in Hartford County involves a series of stages beginning with an arrest and ending before, during, or after a trial.


In order for law enforcement to make an arrest in Hartford, CT they must have probable cause to believe a crime was committed. Depending on the circumstances, you will either be arrested:

  • at or near the scene of the alleged crime,
  • after an arrest warrant is issued, or
  • after a  grand jury returns an indictment.

Summons vs. Physical Arrest

If the alleged offense is relatively minor, the arresting officer will issue a summons or criminal citation with instructions to appear in court on a specific date. For more serious crimes, the officer will place you in handcuffs and transport you to the Hartford Correctional Center located at 177 Weston Street where you will be booked.


Upon arrival at the Hartford Correctional Center, you will be strip-searched, photographed, fingerprinted, and placed in a holding cell. You may also be questioned or interrogated by police. During this time, it can be tempting to want to explain yourself or deny any involvement in the alleged crime. However, anything you say can and will be held against you as evidence. The smartest thing you can do is invoke your right to remain silent until you have a lawyer present.

Pretrial Release

If you were arrested without a search warrant, the police will set bail and the Bail Commissioner will review the bail amount. It’s possible the Bail Commissioner chooses to lower the bail. If you were arrested with a search warrant, a specific bond amount is often set by the Court. Bail can then be posted at the Clerk’s Office in the Court, in cash or through a bondsman.

Released on Your Own Recognizance

If the criminal offense is relatively minor and you are not considered a flight risk or threat to the community, you will likely be released on a “Promise to Appear” (PTA) or non-surety bond. Being released on your own recognizance allows you to get out of jail free in exchange for a written promise to return to court at a later date.

Money Bail


If you do not qualify for a PTA or non-surety bond, the court will set an amount of bail you must pay to be released. The amount of bail varies and depends on several factors:

  • the nature and severity of the alleged offense;
  • your employment status and history;
  • your ties to the local community or state;
  • whether you are considered a flight risk or a danger to yourself or others;
  • whether you have a prior criminal history or record of not appearing in court

Once bail is set, you will have the option of paying the full amount as a cash bond.

Surety Bond

If you cannot afford to pay the entire bond in cash, you can opt to use a surety bond from a bail bondsman. This entails paying a small fee to a bail agent, which is a fixed percentage of the total amount of bail. In Connecticut, bail bond rates are determined as follows:

  • $500 bail — $50
  • $501-$5,000 – 10%
  • $5,001 – 7%


If bond is posted, you will be given a date for an arraignment or first appearance before a judge. The arraignment will be scheduled 1-14 days from the date of your arrest and held at the Hartford Superior Court located on 90 Washington Street.

If you are still being held in police custody, your arraignment will likely take place 24 hours after your arrest. At the arraignment, a judge will announce the formal charges against you and inform you of your right to an attorney and fair trial. You will also be asked to submit a plea of guilty or not guilty. The judge will also set bail and set a date for the pre-trial conference.

Pre-Trial Conference and Plea Bargaining

The pre-trial conference occurs approximately 4-6 weeks after your arraignment. This is an opportunity for you, Mr. Llinas, and the prosecutor to discuss the nature of the charges and how the case will proceed. The vast majority of criminal cases in Hartford County are resolved without going to trial through plea bargaining. This is a process by which we would work out an agreement with the prosecution that allows you to plead guilty or “no contest” in exchange for reduced charges or a more lenient sentence. Mr. Llinas will thoroughly advise you of the pros and cons of the plea deal and the final decision on whether to accept will be up to you.

Avoid a Conviction and a Criminal Record By Completing a Diversionary Program

Hartford County offers a number of diversionary programs focused on rehabilitation, not punishment. These programs are often available to less serious offenders. If a program is successfully completed, charges will most likely be dismissed. Criminal defense lawyer J. Christopher Llinas can

Types of Diversionary Programs in Hartford, CT

Hartford Lawyer For Diversion Programs

Accelerated Rehabilitation – The AR program is a probationary period lasting up to two years that can include elements such as counseling and community service. Available to those charged with certain misdemeanor crimes and Class B and C felonies (must show good cause).

Pre-Trial Drug Education Program — Substance abuse educational classes and drug treatment along with possible community service. Available to those who have been charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, less than four ounces of marijuana, or possession of small amounts of narcotics

Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission Diversionary Program (CADAC) – The CADAC consists of probation along with substance abuse treatment, possibly within a hospital or inpatient setting. Available to individuals charged with more severe drug crimes that don’t qualify for the pretrial drug education program.

The Family Violence Education Program – A program designed for first-time domestic abuse offenders. Involves completion of educational classes at a local community treatment provider focused on reducing future family violence. A two-year probation period must also be completed.

Alcohol Education Program — A program consisting of 10-15 classes about DUIs and alcohol, a probation period up to one year, a possible victim impact program run by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and community service. Available to first-time DUI offenders or someone who has had no prior DUIs in the past 10 years. The program disqualifies those who have committed second-degree felonies such as vehicular manslaughter.


If a satisfactory plea deal cannot be made during pre-trials, your case will be put on the “trial list.”  At trial, you can count on Hartford criminal defense attorney Llinas to zealously attack the prosecution’s case and work tirelessly to create reasonable doubt in the mind of a judge or jury of your peers.

Contact a Skilled Hartford Criminal Defense Attorney Today!

Are you or a loved one facing criminal charges in Hartford Connecticut? Your freedom, reputation, and future could all be on the line. Put a former prosecutor with over 20 years of experience in your corner. J. Christopher Llinas is ready to begin working on your defense today. Call 860) 969-0480 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.


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