Assault in the first degree the most serious and assault in the second degree are felonies , while assault in the third degree is a misdemeanor. To learn about assault in the third degree, see Assault in the Third Degree in Connecticut. Assault in the First Degree A person commits assault in the first degree, classified as a Class B felony , in any of the five ways discussed below: What distinguishes intentional from reckless conduct?
Intentional behavior occurs when a person acts with the conscious desire to cause a result or to engage in specific conduct. For example, aiming a gun at a person and pulling the trigger constitutes an intentional act. The risk must be of such that disregarding it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.
For example, firing bullets through a wall into an occupied apartment constitutes recklessness. Loss of consciousness, bullet wounds, and loss of body parts are normally considered serious physical injuries in Connecticut.
A dog that has been commanded to attack also constitutes a dangerous instrument, unless the dog is owned by a law enforcement agency and the dog is in the performance of its duties under the direct supervision, care and control of an assigned law enforcement officer. A judge or jury must often examine the facts of a case and determine whether an alleged victim has suffered serious physical injury, or whether an object constitutes a dangerous instrument.
For example, in one case a jury determined a garden hose nozzle constituted a dangerous instrument because the accused used it to beat the victim.
When the Vvctim is pregnant If the assault of a pregnant woman results in the termination of the pregnancy, such that a live birth does not result, the crime is elevated to a Class A felony , which results in harsher penalties. Penalties for assault in the first degree Someone convicted of assault in the first degree can be subjected to any or all of the following penalties: Imprisonment is permitted for not less than one year, nor more than twenty years.
If a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument is used to cause serious physical injury, the court cannot reduce or suspend the term of imprisonment to less than five years.
Additionally, if the victim of the crime is less than ten years of age, or if the victim is a witness and the defendant knew the victim was a witness, there is a ten year mandatory minimum sentence, which the judge cannot reduce or suspend. If the victim is an elderly, blind, disabled or pregnant person or a person with intellectual disability, there is a five year mandatory minimum sentence.
For Class A felonies, imprisonment is permitted for not less than ten years, nor more than twenty-five years. The judge cannot reduce or suspend the term of imprisonment to less than five years. A person on probation regularly meets with a probation officer and fulfills other terms and conditions, such as maintaining employment and attending counseling.
Courts often include as a part of probation the requirement that the defendant work for a specified number of hours with court-approved organizations, such as charities. See a Lawyer If you are facing a charge of assault in the first degree, consider consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in your area.
A local criminal defense attorney, who knows how the prosecutors and judges involved in your case typically handle such cases, can assist with these negotiations. Finally, if you decide to go to trial, having a good lawyer on your side will be essential.