Contact Us
Case Evaluation

    Differences Between Domestic Assault and Violence in New Canaan

    There are several key differences between domestic assault and violence in New Canaan that are important to understand when facing these kinds of allegations. A capable domestic violence attorney can provide further explanation and guidance during a private consultation, but for now, here is an overview of how the Connecticut Penal Code addresses both types of offenses.

    What Counts as Assault Under State Law?

    Unlike some other states, Connecticut does not define “assault” and “battery” as two related but distinct crimes. Instead, Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-61 defines assault as someone intentionally causing physical injury to someone else. This includes recklessly causing disfigurement and/or substantially life-threatening harm or inflicting bodily injury on someone through the criminally negligent use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. More specifically, this is Assault in the Third Degree, a Class A misdemeanor.

    Intentionally causing a more severe injury constitutes Assault in the Second Degree or Assault in the First Degree, which are always prosecuted as felonies. Various other aggravating factors may enhance assault to a felony offense as well, such as intentionally impairing someone by administering an intoxicating substance or drug without their consent. Furthermore, assault with a firearm is often prosecuted under different statutes that allow for mandatory minimum prison terms upon conviction, which are ineligible for court suspension or reduction under any circumstances.

    Additionally, there is no specific statute that defines assault against a family or household member in New Canaan as a distinct crime called “family violence.” This situation would not expressly allow for enhanced criminal sanctions upon conviction. However, it would expedite certain parts of the legal process and potentially allow a family court to take additional action against the alleged defendant even before their criminal trial concludes.

    What Are Examples of Domestic Violence Crimes?

    Another important difference between domestic violence and assault in New Canaan is that there does not need to be an injury stemming from a criminal act for an ensuing charge to be considered domestic violence. Family violence can occur whenever the offense in question puts the targeted person or people in reasonable fear of imminent physical danger. Various offenses might meet these criteria if directed toward a family or household member, including:

    While these types of offenses may not be treated quite as harshly as domestic assault, all the same consequences might still be on the table, including the possibility of a protective order being established. Additionally, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) could begin an investigation.

    Let a New Canaan Attorney Explain the Differences Between Domestic Assault and Violence

    Handling a domestic violence allegation can be tricky regardless of whether your alleged offense involved physical assault. This is especially the case if this is your first time facing a criminal charge of any kind. Fortunately, assistance is available from qualified attorneys who have experience addressing similar allegations proactively in the past. Call the Law Offices of Mark Sherman today to learn more about the differences between domestic assault and violence in New Canaan, and click here to visit our Avvo profile with over 300 certified reviews.