Assault is one of the most overcharged crimes in Connecticut. If you have been charged with any degree of assault by a state or municipal police department it is important you seek the advice of a Connecticut criminal defense attorney to better understand all the possible ramifications of an assault conviction.
DEGREES OF ASSAULT CHARGES IN CONNECTICUT
The crime of “assault” is outlined in ten different Connecticut statutes: Sec. 53a-59 through Sec. 53a-61. The degrees of Assault range from 1st degree, a class B felony, to Assault in the Third Degree, a Class A misdemeanor. The type of assault charge also depends on the “status” of the alleged assault victim. For example, assault on an elderly person is its own distinct crime. Assault with a firearm is also its own crime. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you better understand the difference between Connecticut’s various assault statutes.
In addition, the severity of injuries involved in an assault can also influence the charge. For example, if a person is involved in a fight in a bar in Cromwell, then that person might be charged by the Cromwell police with Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor. However, if a person involved in the fight receives serious injuries, then that person may be charged with Assault in the Second Degree, a class C felony. When that person goes to superior court in Middletown, a criminal defense attorney may attempt to argue that the lesser assault charge should apply and therefore attempt to prevent a conviction for a felony.
MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCES FOR ASSAULTS
Connecticut, like many other states, takes assault charges very seriously. In fact, it is one of a few types of crimes that carry what is referred to as mandatory minimum sentencing. A mandatory minimum in Connecticut means that if a defendant is convicted of a crime that “carries a mandatory minimum” then they can receive no less than the sentence prescribed by the statute.
Assault in the First Degree is one such crime that carries a mandatory minimum depending on the circumstances of the alleged assault. For example, Connecticut General Statute section 53a-59 states that a person is guilty of first-degree assault if the person causes serious physical harm and intended to cause serious physical harm with a deadly weapon. If that person is found guilty under that part of the assault statute, then that person must be sentenced by the court to no less than five years in prison. If the victim is under ten years old, then the mandatory minimum is no less than ten years in prison.
CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS FOR ASSAULT CHARGES
A criminal defense attorney can help you defend yourself against serious assault charges. There are several defenses to assault, which can either eliminate the charge altogether or reduce a more serious charge to a misdemeanor. An experienced defense attorney will be able to walk you through the specific allegations and type of assault you are facing to determine the best course of action. For example, self-defense is a defense to assault. Also, the police may charge a person with felony assault when the more appropriate charge was a misdemeanor.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE INVESTIGATED FOR ASSAULT IN CONNECTICUT
If you are under investigation for committing any one of Connecticut’s many assault charges, then you should know that you have the right to remain silent. A person under investigation for assault should consider not giving a statement to police without first contacting a criminal defense attorney familiar with pre-arrest investigations. Many times, a person being investigation for assault may think that they can simply tell their side of the story and put an end to police scrutiny. However, doing so can often lead to arrest even when no assault occurred.
At Aeton, our attorneys have years of experience representing persons that are the subject of police investigation. We have been successful in preventing an arrest from happening at all, even when our clients are the lead suspects in a crime. Sometimes, just alerting the police to the fact that you have an attorney can provide peace of mind and prevent their constant attention.
If you are under investigation for or have been charged with assault, then you and your attorney will want to do at least a few things to prepare your defense. Some of those items include:
- Getting all the available information that the police have.
- Gathering and/or interviewing witnesses.
- Determining what the alleged victim’s claimed injuries are.
- Reviewing the appropriate statute to determine the appropriate assault charge, if any.
CONNECTICUT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS
If you are under investigation or have been charged with a crime in Connecticut, then contact one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys and set up a consultation. Call 860.785.2099.