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Stamford Third-Degree Assault Lawyer

What is Third-Degree Assault in Stamford?

Under Connecticut General Statutes (“C.G.S.”) § 53a-61, third-degree assault occurs in three distinct situations:

  • Intentionally causing physical injury to others
  • Recklessly causing severe bodily injury to others
  • Causing physical harm to others using a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, or an electronic defense weapon with criminal negligence

What is the Difference Between Intentionally and Recklessly?

C.G.S. § 53a-3 distinguishes between “intentionally,” “recklessly,” and acting with “criminal negligence” to further define the elements required for a third-degree assault conviction. To act intentionally means to have the conscious objective to take specific actions or act in a certain way.

By contrast, individuals who act recklessly are aware of, but intentionally disregard, a significant risk that harm to others may occur. Recklessness is a substantial deviation from the type of behavior that a reasonable person would exhibit in the same or similar circumstances.

What does Criminal Negligence Mean?

Criminal negligence occurs when individuals fail to perceive a substantial risk that a specific outcome will occur or situation exists. As with reckless behavior, persons who act with criminal negligence take a risk that is a significant departure from how a reasonable person would act in the same situation. Since a conviction for any of these behaviors can have severe consequences, contacting a third-degree assault lawyer in Stamford may be highly advisable.

What are Common Examples of Third-Degree Assault?

Experienced attorneys often see third-degree assault charges stem from domestic violence situations. Assault is considered family violence when individuals cause physical harm or threats of bodily injury to family or household members. However, third-degree assault charges may just as easily include a fight with strangers outside a bar.

What are the Penalties for Assault in the Third Degree?

Third-degree assault is a Class A misdemeanor under Connecticut law. A conviction can result in a jail sentence of up to one year. If the offense involved the criminally negligent use of a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, or an electronic defense weapon, then individuals are subject to a mandatory one-year jail sentence that the court may not reduce or suspend.

What if my Case is Considered Domestic Violence?

When third-degree assault arrests stem from an incident of domestic violence, there may be additional repercussions. For example, an arrest for any crime related to family violence requires an appearance in court on the next business day. At that time, the judge will consider implementing a protective order and require an assessment by a family relations officer.

Depending on the situation, the family relations officer can order individuals accused of family violence to undergo further assessments and make recommendations to the court for participation in treatment or educational programs. A third-degree assault attorney in Stamford can help defend those accused of family violence in conjunction with a third-degree assault arrest.

Should I Call a Stamford Third-Degree Assault Attorney for Advice?

Yes. If convicted of third-degree assault, you could face jail time, fines, and more. In some cases, the judge cannot even suspend or reduce the maximum jail sentence. A Stamford third-degree assault lawyer can be essential in safeguarding your freedom, your job, and your future.

A single lapse in judgment, a temper flare, or efforts to protect yourself should not cause so much potential damage to your future. Reach out to Mark Sherman Law today to discuss your case.