Assault offenses are taken seriously in Connecticut and carry severe consequences upon conviction. In fact, only one version of assault defined in the Connecticut Penal Code is categorized as a misdemeanor; otherwise, this offense is always considered a felony. Even first-time offenders face potentially long prison sentences.
The first step to dealing with an assault allegation is to speak with an attorney about the charges and applicable laws. A Milford assault lawyer at Ruane Attorneys can examine your case, build a comprehensive defense strategy, and help pursue the best possible outcome.
Degrees of Assault Under State Law
The Connecticut Penal Code outlines three degrees of criminal assault, depending on what the defendant allegedly did and what injuries resulted.
As a Milford attorney could explain, third-degree assault entails someone intentionally causing physical injury to someone else, recklessly causing serious physical injury, or causing physical injury through criminally negligent use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. This is the least severe version of the offense and is charged as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines.
Second-degree assault, on the other hand, is a more serious offense that involves someone doing one of the following:
- Intentionally causing serious physical injury to someone else
- Intentionally causing physical injury using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument other than a firearm
- Recklessly causing serious physical injury with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument
- Intentionally rendering someone else unconscious without their consent by administering an intoxicating substance to them
- Intentionally injuring a Board of Pardons and Paroles employee or member as a parolee
- Intentionally knocking someone unconscious without provocation by striking them in the head with intent to cause serious physical injury
- Intentionally injuring someone else by kicking or striking them in the head while they are prone
This offense can be treated as a Class C or Class D felony, depending on whether the defendant’s actions resulted in serious physical injury.
First-degree assault, on the other hand, is always a Class B felony with a non-suspendable prison term. As per Connecticut General Statutes §53a-59, this offense involves someone intentionally causing serious physical injury through extremely dangerous means or intentionally injuring someone by discharging a firearm.
Aggravating Conditions for Assault Charges in Milford
Assault against an elderly, blind, physically or intellectually disabled, or pregnant person always carries a mandatory minimum term of incarceration, which cannot be suspended or reduced. The term ranges from one year for third-degree assault to five years for first-degree assault. Knowingly assaulting a pregnant person and directly causing the termination of their pregnancy and the loss of the fetus through that assault is considered a Class A felony, meaning a conviction could carry between 10 and 25 years of prison time.
Additionally, the presence of a firearm while committing third-degree or second-degree assault can result in enhanced penalties upon conviction, even if the defendant did not discharge the weapon. The assault lawyers at our firm can further explain these charges and potential penalties during a consultation.
Talk to a Milford Assault Attorney Today
Allegedly injuring someone else can lead to criminal charges with severe consequences upon conviction. Being proactive about speaking with legal counsel and contesting the charges against you could help you reduce or even avoid the penalties you face. Fighting back against a conviction may be crucial to protecting your future.
When facing these charges, your priority should be to contact a Milford assault lawyer. Call Ruane Attorneys today to schedule your consultation and get started on your case.