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CT defense lawyerAssault can be any incident where physical harm is done to another person. However, there are varying degrees of assault, and if you are charged with the crime, you may be able to plead to a lesser charge or avoid sentencing if you understand its ramifications fully. Having a Stamford assault lawyer helping you can make a big difference.

Different Degrees

Connecticut law divides assault charges into differing degrees, where variables will affect which one you are charged with. Third-degree assault, for example, is a Class A misdemeanor (with or without a weapon). It is punishable by up to a year in prison plus severe fines (usually around $2,000), plus costs. An assault case is more likely to be charged in the third degree if the person had intent to injure or acted recklessly (as opposed to intent to kill or use a weapon to cause permanent injury). The victim (or a third person) must be injured, but not necessarily severely.

Compare this to assault in the first degree. Someone will be charged with first-degree assault if they “intended to harm the person” and their victim was seriously injured or in certain other cases such as using a weapon to cause permanent injury. The sentence will be between 5 and 20 years in prison, as well as fines that can range up to $15,000, depending on the severity of the injuries caused. Generally, each degree of assault has its particular criteria, with only the intent and the actual injury (or lack thereof) being relatively uniform across the board.

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Connecticut defense attorneyWith school out of session on account of winter break and snow on the ground, actions that start out as mere mischief may get out of hand and rise to the level of torts and crimes. While it may seem inconsistent with the wintertime and holiday spirit, hitting someone with a snowball can bring serious consequences if injuries are sustained. The same is true for sledding-related horseplay that devolves into fist fighting. You may be charged with the crime of assault or battery, or sued in civil court for money damages. If you have been charged with assault or battery in Connecticut, you need an experienced Norwalk criminal defense attorney to protect your legal rights.

Defining Assault and Battery in Connecticut

In the general, common law sense, battery is a harmful or offensive contact. In Connecticut, more specifically, battery is the “willful application of force with the intent to cause bodily injury or offensive contact.” Assault, in the most basic sense, attempted battery. Specifically, under state law, assault is “attempted battery or the intent to cause another reasonable apprehension or contact.” In these two definitions, one can infer the importance of 1) intent and 2) whether or not contact actually occurs. Even if you have been unsuccessful in making contact, or merely intend to make another human being believe that you intend to make contact (but do not make contact), you may still be properly charged with assault in Connecticut.

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Posted on in Assault and Battery

police, assault of an officer, Stamford criminal defense attorneyIn the wake of several headline-making events this year involving police brutality and allegations of systemic issues of bias by police departments, the issue of assaults perpetrated against police have somewhat taken a backseat in media coverage. This does not mean that they are not still happening, or that the issue is not a major one for most police departments across the country. In 2014, more than 48,000 police officers nationwide were assaulted, and of these more than 28 percent sustained injuries. This is a rate of officer assaults of nine per 100 sworn police officers.

Dangerous Interactions

The majority of assaults against police are perpetrated when a person is out of control, either on drugs or drunk or angry. This can happen in a heated emotional or tense situation when the police are called to handle someone who is posing a danger to himself or people around him. When the situation escalates to violence, police officers are sometimes caught in the middle and assaulted, either accidentally or on purpose. Whether the assault against an officer was intended or not does not matter in the eyes of the law.

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aggravated assault charges IMAGEA man was charged in early January after allegedly stabbing two people at Hugo’s Mexican Bar and Restaurant in Stamford, according to Newsday and the Associated Press. “Oscar Saenz-Machado of Stamford was arraigned in Stamford Superior Court… and ordered held on $100,000 bail,” Newsday reports. Saenz-Machado “grabbed a knife from behind the bar, stabbed a 32-year old restaurant patron in the back and slashed a 33-year-old employee in the stomach,” according to Newsday. The altercation allegedly began when the restaurant patron refused to buy Saenz-Machado a drink when he asked him to.

Saenz-Machado pled not guilty to the first-degree assault and weapons charges he is facing, and both victims in the incident are expected to survive.  As of early January, it was unclear whether the perpetrator had a lawyer or not, and his court case was expected to continue later in the month, according to Newsday.

According to a Connecticut State publication, while violent crime, such as stabbings, have continued to steadily decline in the U.S. as a whole, the decline has not been as dramatic or as consistent in Connecticut. Between 2011 and 2012, in fact, there was a 3 percent increase in the number of violent crimes perpetrated in Connecticut. Aggravated assault made up 53.2 percent of all violent crime offense in 2012. There were 1,174 aggravated assaults committed with a knife, such as the one Saenz-Machado allegedly used. This type of weapon accounts for approximately 22 percent of all aggravated assault committed in Connecticut in 2012.

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