Assault Charges in Connecticut
Springtime is nearly here, and with it returns much fanfare. From the “March Madness” of the NCAA Tournament to spring break for “senioritis” for graduating high school seniors to college spring break to the simple pleasure of warming weather and clearing skies, a degree of wildness is in the air. When wild feelings to turn to wild actions, however, springtime fun runs the risk of devolving into springtime punishment. When verbal matters turn physical at a spring social gathering and an assault charge results, under no circumstances will a Connecticut court accept “March Madness” or “senioritis” as a defense.
Rather, the court will be concerned with facts, timeline, judicial and prosecutorial procedure, evidence, testimony, and there relevant, any criminal history of the accused. If you have been charged with assault in Connecticut, you need to be aware of the consequences you face and the need for an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Defining Assault in Connecticut
Fighting is frequently the result of an assault charge. No matter who “started it,” if you have been charged with assault, you will need to prepare to defend against the allegation in one of the state’s criminal courts. In Connecticut, there is one succinct legal definition. It is a crime of “degrees,” though each degree of seriousness reflects 1) intent to cause physical injury to another, 2) the means (e.g. fists, weapons) to carry out the intended physical injury, and 3) the extent of any physical injuries suffered by the other person.
Self-defense indeed may relevant, but must be proportional to the threat of attack at the moment and capably demonstrated through evidence and testimony in court. Importantly, the degrees of “assault,” as with other crimes, are ordered in decreasing degrees of seriousness. Assault in the third-degree is a less serious charge than assault in the second-degree, which is itself a less serious charge than first-degree assault. In addition, the lesser crime of assault in the third-degree is prosecuted as a misdemeanor, while first-degree assault is prosecuted as a felony. Second-degree assault, depending on whether a dangerous instrumentality (e.g. firearm, vehicle) is alleged to have been using, is also prosecuted as a felony, though typically of a lower “class” than of first-assault.
Penalties for an Assault Conviction in Connecticut
If you are convicted of first-degree assault in Connecticut, you may be punished with a jail sentence between five and 20 years and a fine of up to $15,000. As such, it is imperative that you rely on an experienced Norwalk criminal defense attorney to mount the strongest possible legal defense.