Assaulted Someone in Connecticut?
There are many different degrees of criminal assault, each with its own set of criteria that must be proven at trial. However, this can be quite confusing for someone who has been charged with assault, because you may not be aware of what the prosecution has to prove and what it does not. Having a good understanding of the case against you is an important way that you can keep a realistic picture of your chances in court.
Assault Charges Are Very Specific
Connecticut recognizes numerous specific degrees of assault charges, understanding that arguments and fights that get out of hand are quite different from an intentional and malicious attack. Intent is a major factor in determining what degree to charge someone with, but it is not the only factor - others include whether or not a weapon was used, the level of harm caused, and the identity of the victim (penalties will be stiffer, for example, if the victim is an elderly or disabled person).
It is important to keep in mind that factors about each defendant do not tend to affect the choice of charge; rather, if someone is convicted, it will be taken into account for sentencing purposes. Obviously, your aim is to avoid conviction and sentencing in the first place, but it is still a good idea to be aware of what the factors are that go into charges. The charge will reflect the overall event: if you caused minor injury to someone with your hands versus, say, attacking them with a knife or firearm.
Not Always Straightforward
While many people try to handle minor assault charges on their own, it is generally always recommended to enlist an experienced attorney, because assault cases can be so varied and present in so many different ways. For example, a lot of defendants will insist they never committed assault because they did not lay physical hands on the victim. In reality, any action that shows intent to injure a person can, in theory, constitute assault, especially if it is done with some kind of weapon. Administering a drug to someone without their consent is assault under Connecticut law.
Another fact of many assault cases that can be surprising is that assault between friends or family members means that the victim is not able to stop prosecution by refusing to press charges. Victims may refuse to testify in theory, but the state will still proceed in many situations. If you are on trial for assault of any degree, your best bet is to have a dedicated attorney on your side, who can cast doubt on certain cornerstones of the prosecution’s case.
Can a Stamford Assault Attorney Help You?
Whether assault is malicious and targeted, or an unintended mistake, it is a serious charge that can land you in prison without the right help. The dedicated Fairfield County criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner have handled many of these cases through the years, and we can work hard to give you the best chance possible at a fair outcome in yours. Contact our office for a free consultation.