Charged with Assault in Connecticut?
Assault crimes in Connecticut are those that involve one person attacking another, either with or without a weapon, with the intent to make contact. Depending on the degree, you do not need to have intended to injure the person you attacked - but the injured person and the state have a right to seek consequences against you nonetheless. If you have been charged with assault, you need an experienced attorney to help protect your rights.
There are several different levels of assault charges in Connecticut, ranging from assault in the first degree, down to assault in the third degree with a weapon. In addition, assaults on different types of victims may raise or lower the degree of the charges - for example, assaulting a child or an elderly person is considered a more serious crime, due to the more fragile nature of the victim in these cases. This is especially true if the victim’s injuries are severe; the worse the harm suffered, the more likely one is to face serious consequences.
It is worth noting that assault in the first degree is one of the few crimes in Connecticut that carries a mandatory minimum sentence, meaning that if convicted, there will be at least a part of your sentence that cannot be “suspended or reduced by the court” - it must be served, full stop. The lesser degrees of assault do not carry mandatory minimums, except for if a firearm was used in the commission of the act, but they do carry prison time in most situations, to say nothing of the fines and fees you will have to pay.
Charges and Defenses
Many people assume that if the victim declines to press charges, then no charges will go forward. This is unfortunately not the case - even if the victim would rather not face a trial, the state will move forward with charges if the prosecuting State’s Attorney thinks it is in the state’s interests, especially if the assault occurred in the context of domestic violence. In criminal cases, the state is the plaintiff, not the victim, and it is important to be aware of that so that nothing surprises you in court.
That said, there are possible defenses to assault that you may be able to bring in court. You may be able to argue self-defense, given that many assaults happen when one person is in fear (reasonably or unreasonably) of themselves being harmed. Alternatively, you may be able to argue that you were unaware of the victim being a member of a specific group (for example, that they were disabled or female), which may not get you off the proverbial hook, but it may bargain your offense down to a lower degree.
Call a Fairfield County Assault Attorney
Assault is a serious crime, and if you have been accused of perpetrating one, you need an experienced attorney to help you with your case to ensure that you have a fair day in court. The skilled Stamford assault attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner have years of experience with these matters, and Attorney Weiner is happy to try and help you with any questions you might have. The Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner are ready and willing to try and assist you. Call our offices today at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.