Every allegation of an assault is a serious matter, and a conviction can come with harsh consequences. Potential penalties include jail time, heavy fines, and a criminal record that could continue to impact you for years to come.
Additionally, some types of assault charges are among the most serious offenses in the state’s criminal code. If an assault allegation involves a deadly weapon or severe bodily harm, you could be facing felony charges with multiple-year prison terms upon conviction. A New Britain assault lawyer is here to help you to avoid this outcome. At Ruane Attorneys, our hardworking attorneys aim to evaluate the prosecutor’s case, obtain evidence that helps demonstrate your innocence, and protect your Constitutional rights during all court sessions.
Misdemeanors Assault Charges Under State Law
Assault cases come in many forms and levels of severity. However, most fall under the basic definition found at Connecticut General Statute § 53a-61. This statute defines an assault in the third degree, which involves physical injury to another person with the intent to cause harm. Recklessly causing injury to another or causing harm to another through the negligent use of a deadly weapon may also lead to assault charges.
Penalties for Misdemeanor Assault in New Britain
According to the law, these are Class A misdemeanors. This means that a conviction could result in a maximum jail sentence of one year, although this is a rare outcome. Unless the behavior involved was especially egregious or the defendant has a lengthy criminal record, the court is far more likely to order the payment of a fine. Still, a convicted individual will face a criminal record that could follow them for the rest of their life. A local assault attorney could fight to avoid these outcomes and provide a vigorous defense every step of the way.
When Does an Assault Case Become a Felony?
Not every instance of an alleged assault is a misdemeanor. In fact, state law offers two more severe examples of conduct that fall into the category of felonies. Whether an alleged assault will fit into these categories depends upon the identity of the alleged victim, whether a weapon was present during the event, or if the event resulted in serious bodily harm.
Assaults in the Second Degree
Assaults in the second degree are felonies. More specifically, they are Class C or D felonies depending upon the exact circumstances of the case. Under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-60, prosecutors may pursue charges for assault in the second degree for the following scenarios:
- An incident resulted in severe bodily injury
- An alleged assault occurred with a weapon present
- The alleged offender struck or kicked another in the head while the alleged victim was lying on the ground
Assaults in the First Degree
The most serious charge of this kind is assault in the first degree. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-59 defines this offense as when an alleged perpetrator causes serious bodily harm to another by using a deadly weapon. Alternatively, prosecutors may pursue these cases if they believe that a defendant caused serious harm and acted with extreme indifference to the well-being of others.
Assaults in the first degree are usually Class B felonies that bring a mandatory minimum five-year prison sentence. However, aggravating circumstances could lead to even harsher penalties, requiring dedicated legal counsel from a New Britain assault lawyer.
Call a New Britain Assault Attorney to Defend Your Rights
If you face a charge alleging assault, you should act quickly to protect yourself and your rights. Regardless of whether the alleged offense is a misdemeanor or a felony, a conviction can bring disastrous consequences, including fines, jail time, the creation of a criminal record, and the formation of restraining orders.
Disputing these charges requires significant knowledge of the law and local court systems. At Ruane Attorneys, a New Britain assault lawyer is here to listen to your side of the story and evaluate the prosecutor’s evidence. Our legal team could form defense strategies that aim to weaken the case against you and create reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors. Call our firm today to get started.