New Canaan Third-Degree Assault Lawyer
While Assault in the Third Degree is the least severe variant of Assault that someone can be charged with in Connecticut, that does not mean it is not a serious criminal allegation that could have long-lasting repercussions. Working closely with a New Canaan lawyer who specializes in such charges helps you proactively and effectively contest the accusations you are facing and avoid more serious sanctions that can come with this charge.
How State Law Defines Third-Degree Assault
According to Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-61, someone commits Assault in the Third Degree when they do any of the following:
- With intent to cause physical injury to someone, actually cause such injury to that person;
- With intent to cause physical injury to someone, actually cause such injury to a third person nearby;
- Recklessly cause serious physical injury to someone else; and/or
- With criminal negligence, cause physical injury to another person by using any deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, or electronic defense weapon.
In this context, “serious physical injury” means an injury resulting in serious impairment of someone’s health or bodily function, serious disfigurement, or a substantial risk of death. Conversely, “physical injury” for the purposes of a third-degree Assault charge means any “impairment of physical condition or pain.” Notably, this means that an injured party does not necessarily have to sustain an injury severe enough to require professional medical care for the person responsible for causing that injury to be charged with assaulting them. A New Canaan third-degree Assault attorney can go into further detail about relevant definitions during a confidential consultation.
Possible Enhancements to Assault Penalties Upon Conviction
Assault in the Third Degree is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Connecticut, which means the maximum penalties applicable upon conviction would typically be one year of jail time or $2,000 in fines. However, when someone commits Assault in the Third Degree through the criminally negligent use of a deadly or dangerous weapon or instrument, they would be subject to a mandatory minimum term of one-year of incarceration that a court could not reduce or suspend under any circumstances.
As per C.G.S. § 53a-61a, the same sentencing enhancement applies to anyone convicted of committing Assault in the Third Degree against a person 60-years old or older, a blind person, a physically- or intellectually-disabled person, or a pregnant person. However, if the defendant was sincerely unaware of the physical or cognitive condition of the person they injured, a New Canaan third-degree Assault attorney can use this as a potential defense under the statute.
Third-Degree Assault as a Domestic Violence Offense
Anyone who commits Assault in the Third Degree against a family or household member may have their offense categorized as “family violence.” While this would not allow for enhanced criminal penalties upon conviction, it often results in the court imposing a protective order against the defendant for the duration of their criminal case. In certain circumstances, this categorization may lead to further sanctions following an investigation headed by the State’s Department of Children and Families (“DCF”).
Speak with a New Canaan Third-Degree Assault Attorney Today
Being charged with Assault in the Third Degree can have serious short- and long-term implications. A knowledgeable New Canaan third-degree Assault lawyer can help accused individuals build and execute effective defense strategies to mitigate these consequences.