Building a Defense for Stamford Assault
There are many penalties that come with assault convictions in Stamford, so someone facing charges is in need of a strong defense. In an assault case, the prosecution has to prove that a person intended to cause injury to another person and that there is an injury. First-degree assault is classified as a Class B felony. Second-degree assault is a Class B felony if the offense resulted in a serious physical injury. Second-degree offenses depend on how serious the injury was. Third-degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor and a person can be sentenced up to one year of jail time, which can be suspended or reduced, along with probation and fines.
Because of the serious penalties you may face with conviction, it is important to build a solid Stamford assault defense early on. A Stamford assault attorney can work hard to obtain a positive outcome in your case.
The first, most common way to build an assault defense in Stamford is by claiming self-defense. The defendant states they were attacked or provoked, or someone came after them and they had to defend themselves with this weapon. An attorney will try to back that defense with either eyewitness testimony, surveillance footage, or something of that nature. If the state is using eyewitness testimony, a defense is that the testimony is flawed. An experienced attorney will try to speak to the eyewitness and if they cannot be found, that is something that can be brought to the court.
The defense attorney will preserve medical records if the defendant is accused of having broken someone’s arm, for instance, which is assault in the second degree. It may be possible from a review of the medical records to see that the person’s arm was not actually broken. The attorney would then contact the State and lower the charge to assault in the third degree.
Through building a thorough defense for a Stamford domestic assault case, there may be options for alternative sentencing as opposed to harsher penalties. The defendant may be able to apply for the Family Violence Education Program (if the defendant is a first-time offender). This is a program where the defendant will participate in classes – the amount of classes depends on the severity of the assault charge. If a defendant is a man, and if it is a really serious case, they will be placed in the Explore Program. The defendant cannot miss any classes, and upon completion, the case may be dismissed.
The program for a less serious assault charge is the Family Violence Education Program (“FVEP”). If it is not a domestic violence case and a person is a first-time offender, the defendant might apply for Accelerated Rehabilitation (“AR”). What this means is that the defendant does not need to attend any classes or go to any court order programs, but cannot be arrested for the pendency of the case. Usually, the judge will order the defendant to complete therapy or a certain amount of private therapy sessions if the defendant is in AR. If the defendant does all this successfully, the case can be dismissed.
If a person is in either if these programs and gets arrested, that person will get kicked out of the program and will not be able to use the program again. If a person uses these programs successfully, they will be unable to use them again for another 10 years.
Any evidence that would show that the alleged victim has ever assaulted the defendant is helpful to build a self-defense case. For example, gathering any evidence that the person claiming they are the victim in a case was arrested for beating the defendant before, or if someone who has been arrested for domestic violence before, that speaks to the defendant’s credibility. This would prove their statement that they were defending themselves against a person who has a history of violence.
Flawed Eyewitness Testimony
When building a defense for Stamford assault charges, an attorney will work hard to control the evidence that is available. Flawed eyewitness testimony, for example, is something an experienced attorney would bring up in the court. The eye witness’s account will be questioned. If someone who was down the street states they saw this person punch the other person, but their view was not good, or it was obstructed by a tree, a lawyer may investigate if that person normally wears glasses and if they had their glasses on that day. These things will determine the weight that the testimony should be given and the weight it should be treated as the truth.
Lack of Intent
Another defense built in Stamford assault cases would be whether the defendant ever intended to cause the injury. In an assault, there has to be intent. If the defendant did not mean to hurt anyone and it was an accident, then the assault is diminished.
A person can be still be charged with assault in the third degree if they recklessly caused physical injury. Recklessness does not require intent, but it would mean they had no regard for the other person’s safety. The State will try to prove recklessness if there is no intent, but a good attorney building a defense for a Stamford assault case may be able to use other defense strategies.
Contacting an Attorney
It is always important to have a skilled defense attorney’a help when building a defense for assault in Stamford. An experienced attorney will help protect an individual’s reputation, preserve the proper evidence needed, work closely with the State and the prosecution to negotiate a lesser sentence, and get the case closed as quickly as possible.