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Criminal Defense - Assault

Assault is a violent crime that is heavily penalized in Connecticut. If you have been charged with assault, you will need effective and strong defense each step of the way. As an experienced Connecticut criminal defense firm, we are here to protect your rights as you pursue justice.

In addition to assault charges, we can assist you with a variety of violent crime charges, including:

Don’t be falsely accused, and don’t let anyone infringe upon your rights. To protect your freedom, contact Attorney Michael Dolan at Dolan Law Firm. We draw upon a variety of valuable experiences, connections, and skill sets to fight hard and produce optimal results for your case.

Sentencing for Felony Assault

In Connecticut, most cases of assault are considered felonies. Connecticut laws concerning assault charges are often very complex and nuanced. The way that the crime was committed, the harm that was done, and the identity of the victim are some of the primary factors considered when the charge is being examined.

Your sentence may be increased if the crime was committed:

  • Against pregnant woman
  • Toward a member of law enforcement
  • In conjunction with another crime

If you are facing assault charges for being involved in a fight, this means that you may even be sentenced for bringing fear to the other participant. Without even laying a hand on the other individual, you can face life-altering penalties. Our criminal defense attorney can assist you throughout your case to ensure you receive the proper legal representation and guidance.

A summary of the Connecticut General Statutes §53a-61a is summarized as follows:

 

Assault in the First Degree

Assault in the first degree is a Class B felony. It can typically result in 1-20 years in prison, non-suspendible, and up to $15,000 in fines. A person is guilty of assault in the first degree if:

(a) they injure a targeted person or third party using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, with intent to cause serious injury.

(b) they injure a targeted person or third party, with intent to seriously and permanently disfigure, destroy, amputate, or disable some part of the person’s body.

(c) they cause serious physical injury to another person by engaging in reckless conduct that creates a risk of death for that person, demonstrating an extreme indifference to human life.

(d) they injure a targeted person or third party and are aided in the deed by 2 or more people present, with intent to cause serious physical injury.

(e) they injure a targeted person or third party by discharging a firearm, with intent to cause physical injury.

Assault of an Elderly, Blind, Disabled or Pregnant Person, or a Person with Intellectual Disability in the First Degree

If the victim of the assault was elderly, pregnant, blind, otherwise physically disabled, or intellectually disabled, the sentencing changes slightly. This remains a Class B felony, but comes with a minimum prison sentence of 5 years, non-suspendible. An affirmative defense for this charge, for example, is that the perpetrator did not know the woman was pregnant or that the victim was intellectually disabled at the time of the assault. A person may be charged with this offense if they commit first degree assault, as defined above in (a) through (e), and one or more of the following applies:

(f) the victim of the assault is at least 60 years old, is blind or physically disabled, or is pregnant.

(g) the victim of the assault has an intellectual disability and the perpetrator does not have an intellectual disability.

Assault of a Pregnant Woman Resulting in Termination of Pregnancy

If the victim of an assault was pregnant, and the assault caused a termination of the pregnancy, this is a Class A felony, which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison, non-suspendible. An affirmative defense for this charge is that the perpetrator did not know the woman was pregnant at the time of the assault. A person is guilty of this crime when they commit assault in the first degree, as defined by (a) through (e) above, and:

(h) the victim of such assault is pregnant.

(i) such assault terminates the pregnancy in that it does not result in a live birth.

Assault of an Employee of the Department of Correction in the First Degree

Another offense that is distinguished from first degree assault is first degree assault of an employee of the Department of Correction. This is also a Class B felony. Any prison sentence for this offense will be added consecutively onto whatever sentence the person is currently serving in the DOC. For a person to be charged with this offense, all of the following must be true:

(j) the perpetrator is in the custody of the Commissioner of Correction or being held in any facility of the Department of Correction.

(k) they commit assault in the first degree as defined above in (a) through (e).

(l) the victim of the assault is an employee of the Department of Corrections and performing his/her duties as an employee.

 

Assault in the Second Degree

Assault in the second degree is a Class D felony, or a Class C felony if the offense resulted in serious physical injury. A conviction for this crime may result in 1-20 years in prison, non-suspendible, and up to $15,000 in fines. A person may be charged with second degree assault if:

(a) they injure a targeted person or third party, with intent to cause serious physical injury to the target.

(b) they injure a targeted person or third party using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument that is not a discharged firearm, with intent to cause physical injury.

(c) they recklessly cause physical injury to another by means of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.

(d) they administer a drug or substance (or preparation resulting in the same effect) to a non-consenting victim, intentionally creating stupor, unconsciousness, or other physical impairment to the victim or a third party.

(e) they are a parolee from a correctional institution and they intentionally injure an employee or member of the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

(f) they cause serious injury to another person by striking them on the head, without provocation, with intent to render the person unconscious.

(g) they cause serious injury to another person by striking or kicking them in the head while the person is in a lying position, with intent to cause physical injury.

Assault in the Second Degree with a Firearm

This offense is distinguished from general assault in the second degree. It is still a Class D felony, except with a 1 year non-suspendible, mandatory minimum prison sentence. A person is guilty of assault in the second degree with a firearm if they commit assault in the second degree, as described in (A) through (G), and while committing the offense they are armed with, threaten the use of, or use a firearm.

Assault of an Elderly, Blind, Disabled or Pregnant Person, or a Person with Intellectual Disability in the Second Degree

This is a Class D felony with a mandatory minimum of 2 years in prison, non-suspendible. An affirmative defense for this charge is that the perpetrator did not know the woman was pregnant or that the victim was intellectually disabled at the time of the assault. A person may be charged with this offense if they commit second degree assault, as defined above in (A) through (G), or second degree larceny, and one or more of the following applies:

(H) the victim of the assault is at least 60 years old, is blind or physically disabled, or is pregnant

(I) the victim of the assault has an intellectual disability and the perpetrator does not have an intellectual disability

Assault of an Elderly, Blind, Disabled or Pregnant Person, or a Person with Intellectual Disability in the Second Degree with a Firearm

This is a Class D felony for which a mandatory minimum of 3 years in prison is non-suspendible. A person may be guilty of this offense if they commit second degree assault with a firearm, where the victim is as described in (H) and/or (I).

Assault in the Second Degree with a Motor Vehicle

A person may be guilty of assault in the second degree with a motor vehicle if, while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, they cause serious physical injury to another person as a consequence of the effect of such substances. This is a Class D felony. The sentence for this offense is typically a one year suspension of one’s license. In addition, for a period of two years after one’s driving privileges are restored, the offender will not be able to drive any vehicle that is not equipped with an approved ignition interlock device.

 

Assault in the Third Degree

Assault in the third degree is a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction for this crime results in a minimum of 1 year in prison, non-suspendible, and a fine of up to $1,000. A person may be charged with third degree assault if:

(1) they injure a targeted person or third party, with intent to cause physical injury

(2) they recklessly cause serious physical injury to another person

(3) they cause physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, or electronic defense weapon due to criminal negligence

Assault of an Elderly, Blind, Disabled or Pregnant Person, or a Person with Intellectual Disability in the Third Degree

This is a Class A misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum of 1 year in prison, non-suspendible. An example of an affirmative defense for this charge is that the perpetrator did not know the woman was pregnant or that the victim was intellectually disabled at the time of the assault. A person may be charged with this offense if they commit third degree assault, as defined above in (1) through (3), and one or more of the following applies:

(4) the victim of the assault is at least 60 years old, is blind or physically disabled, or is pregnant

(5) the victim of the assault has an intellectual disability and the perpetrator does not have an intellectual disability

Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

Sentencing for assault can be very complex, with charges altering based on the nature of the violence, the identity of the victim, and even the amount of information at the perpetrator’s disposal. If you are not sure where to turn after being arrested for criminal assault in Connecticut, and are seeking to get your charges reduced or dropped, Dolan Law Firm will provide you with the defense you need. Contact Attorney Dolan today for a free case evaluation.