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stamford criminal defense lawyerAmple 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.

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Fairfield County criminal defense lawyerThe moments immediately following a major car accident are often a blur of adrenaline-induced panic. After realizing that a serious accident has occurred, a driver may check on the other individuals involved in the accident only to find that another person has been seriously injured or killed. If you cause an accident in which a vehicle occupant, cyclist, or pedestrian is hurt or killed, do you go to jail? In a situation like this, the first thing you should do is speak with a skilled attorney. You could be facing charges for assault with a motor vehicle or vehicular homicide.

Connecticut Laws Regarding Negligent Homicide with a Motor Vehicle

Car accidents happen for almost countless reasons. Sometimes, a driver is simply not paying close enough attention to the road. Other times, the driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol. The term negligence means carelessness or recklessness. If a driver acts with negligence, meaning he or she fails to act as a reasonably prudent person would act in a similar situation, and causes an accident in which someone dies, he or she may be charged with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle. This offense is also referred to as vehicular homicide. If you are convicted of negligent homicide with a motor vehicle in Connecticut, you face up to six months in jail.

Driving Under the Influence and Causing Severe Injury or Death

If a driver is intoxicated at the time of a fatal or injury-causing accident, the penalties are especially severe. In Connecticut, a driver may be charged with “assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle” if:

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Posted on in Violent Crimes

CT defense lawyerMost of U.S. law hinges around the idea that the Constitution protects the right to free speech, and in the strong majority of situations, a person can say what they wish without fear of reprisal. However, there are some rare situations in which mere words can be punished, especially when they communicate conduct that might be threatening in itself. Being charged with threatening in the first or second degree has become more common than it used to be, especially in situations involving bullying or domestic violence, and the consequences can be severe.

There Are Limits to Free Speech

While most people may think that speech is only punished under authoritarian regimes, the reality is that U.S. law has had what it calls time, place, and manner restrictions on free speech since the beginning - particularly when it comes to what is called ‘fighting words.’ The fighting words doctrine is an idea developed in 20th-century cases, essentially holding that any kind of speech that is an incitement to “imminent lawless action” or retaliation of any kind is not protected by the First Amendment.

Connecticut courts have also sometimes invoked what is known as the “true threat” doctrine to decide whether or not to charge someone with criminal threatening. A statement is a true threat if it is comprised of words that the speaker intentionally uses to illustrate a present or future wish to inflict bodily harm on another person. The threat must also be genuine - that is, a reasonable person must get the impression that they will soon be the victim of harm if the threat is carried out. Either of these doctrines can be applied to threatening cases, especially in domestic violence matters where there is an enhanced likelihood of threat against the alleged victim.

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Posted on in Violent Crimes

CT defense lawyerLike in any other state, Connecticut does experience its share of violent crime, though it still occurs less often than one might think. At the same time, when someone is arrested and charged with a violent crime, the pressure is on the prosecution to make certain that the right person is convicted. If you have been arrested and charged with any crime of violence, it is crucial that you seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, as the stakes cannot be higher.

Facing Serious Consequences

A violent crime is any offense involving either bodily injury or the threat of bodily injury, to another person. Some examples, like robbery, can involve the threat of bodily injury being part of committing another criminal offense, but this is not strictly necessary. There is no specific “violent crimes” statute in Connecticut, but many of them are grouped in a similar legal place - in other words, many of them carry the same fines and prison sentences if someone is convicted. Crimes such as assault and battery, kidnapping, domestic violence, murder/manslaughter, sexual assault, and various weapons crimes are just some of the offenses classified as violent in Connecticut.

Violent crimes are generally tried as felonies, and depending on the degree, the resulting jail sentence can be anywhere from 1-10 years for a Class C felony (for example, manslaughter in the second degree), to life without the possibility of parole for a capital felony (murder with special circumstances, such as murder for hire or murder of a child under age 16). While judges do have a degree of discretion in sentencing for many violent crimes, this is not the case for capital felonies, even with Connecticut’s repeal of their death penalty statute in 2012.

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CT defense lawyerViolence is never the answer unless in self-defense. Sometimes, though, things simply happen, and you wind up in the very serious situation of being charged with a violent crime in Connecticut. Violent crimes are the most harshly punished in the state, and even if the victim survives, you may face an extremely severe penalty including years in prison. If you have been charged with a violent crime, you need an experienced attorney on your side as soon as possible.

Violent Crime Receives Stiff Penalties

There are many, many different types of violent crimes, and they come in two types. One type is inherently violent - for example, murder requires violence and bodily harm to be successfully completed. The other type is conditionally violent - an example would be a robbery, which does not necessarily have to involve violence unless the perpetrator wants it to, or finds it necessary. Intent does matter in many crimes, but not all; you would generally be punished for the commission of a violent crime as long as it can be proven that you did so, but demonstrated intent might push your sentence into a higher bracket, so to speak.

Any offense involving bodily harm done to another person will fall under the umbrella of violent crime, but the sentences for such crimes will vary significantly. Crimes involving accidental or incidental violence will often mandate lower sentences than a deliberately violent crime - for example, a conviction in a murder where the victim was less than 16 years old triggers an automatic life sentence, with no possibility of parole, while robberies, which require intimidation but not necessarily violence, can lead to sentences as low as 1 year in prison.

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