Can I Face Criminal Charges for Getting into a Bar Fight in Connecticut?
Ample research has demonstrated the relationship between alcohol and violence. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that one in four instances of violent crime involves an offender who was drinking. Consequently, bar fights are not uncommon in Connecticut or elsewhere in the U.S. If you were involved in a bar fight, you could be charged with a serious criminal offense. You could even be facing jail time for assault.
You Could be Charged with Assault Even If You Were Defending Yourself
Bar fights often take place in dark, crowded bars or nightclubs. This can make it very difficult for police to determine who instigated the fight. Sometimes, the victim of a violent crime ends up being arrested and charged with assault even though he or she was not the instigator of the altercation. Regardless of your role in the fight, you could be subject to significant legal penalties, so it is crucial to seek qualified legal counsel right away.
You May Be Facing Considerable Criminal Penalties Including Imprisonment
The criminal consequences associated with an assault charge vary widely in Connecticut. Assault in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor offense punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2000. You could be charged with misdemeanor assault if you allegedly intentionally injured another person or caused someone to be seriously injured as a result of reckless actions.
Assault may also constitute a felony offense in Connecticut. Second-degree assault occurs when someone intentionally causes someone else serious physical injury, unconsciousness, injury with a dangerous instrument or weapon, or an injury to the head. Second-degree assault is a Class D or Class C felony punishable by 1-5 years in prison and a maximum $5000 fine. First-degree assault or assault with a deadly weapon is the highest form of assault in Connecticut. It is punishable by a minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 20 years in prison. An individual may be charged with first-degree assault if they cause serious injury:
With a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon
While using a firearm
While recklessly engaging in behavior that could result in someone’s death
While seeking to permanently disfigure someone
In an altercation involving two or more other people
Per Connecticut law, a "dangerous instrument" is an instrument or object capable of causing death or serious physical injury. If you are accused of hitting someone over the head with a bottle during the fight, you could be charged with first or second-degree assault and sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Contact a Stamford Assault Defense Lawyer
If you were accused of participating in a bar fight, you could be charged with assault and subject to substantial criminal penalties. Contact Connecticut criminal defense attorney Daniel P. Weiner of the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner for help. Call 203-348-5846 today for a free, confidential consultation.