The state of Connecticut has three different Assault statutes, classified by degree. Assault in the First Degree is the most serious and is a Class B felony. Second Degree Assault is a Class C felony or Class D felony in CT, depending on which subsection applies, and Assault in the Third Degree is an A misdemeanor.
What is Assault in the Second Degree?
Second Degree Assault in Connecticut is a serious crime. If you have been charged with Assault, hire an experienced attorney who knows the law and can defend and advocate for you. Attorneys Audrey Felsen and Bruce Koffsky are highly experienced in handling Second Degree Assault charges in Connecticut and can help you navigate through, and prepare for, any criminal investigations or court proceedings.
Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 53a 60, you can be charged in CT with Assault in the Second Degree for any of the following acts:
- With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, you cause such physical injury to such person or another; or
- With intent to cause physical injury to another person, you cause physical injury to such person or another using a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument (other by discharging a firearm); or
- One recklessly causes serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or
- For a purpose other than lawful medical or therapeutic treatment, one intentionally causes stupor, unconsciousness or other physical impairment or injury to another person by administering to such person, without his or her consent, a drug, substance or preparation capable of producing the same; or
- You are a parolee from a correctional institution and with intent to cause physical injury to an employee or member of the Board of Pardons and Paroles, you cause physical injury to such person (employee or member); or
- With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person by rendering such other person unconscious, and without provocation by such other person, you cause such injury to such other person by striking such other person on the head; or
- With intent to cause physical injury, you cause such injury to another person by striking or kicking that person in the head while he or she is lying down.
How can they prove I intended to hurt someone?
Assault in the Second Degree is a specific intent crime and a Class D Felony. This means that under certain circumstances the state has to prove you intended to perform a certain act and to achieve a particular result when committing that act. A person acts with the requisite intent under the Connecticut assault statute when he or she intends to act with a “conscious objective” to cause serious physical injury. Intent to cause physical injury is usually proven through circumstantial evidence.
What is Recklessness?
Recklessness is defined under Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-3 as a state of mind in which the actor is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and justifiable risk that a dangerous event will occur.
- Whether someone acts recklessly is evaluated based on a reasonable person standard. A reasonable person standard refers to whether a reasonable person would have acted the same way in that situation.
- Recklessness can be found when a person knowingly and consciously puts another person at risk or in danger.
- For example, a defendant who pointed a knife toward the victim level with the victim’s heart as they engaged in a verbal and physical argument was found to have recklessly caused serious physical injuries to the victim and convicted of Assault in the Second Degree.
What is Serious Physical Injury?
Physical injury to another person is defined under Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-3 as impairment of physical condition or pain. If one causes serious physical injury to another person, “serious physical injury” is defined as one that:
- creates a substantial risk of death, causes serious disfigurement, serious impairment of health, or serious loss or impairment or injury of the function of any bodily organ
- results in a loss of consciousness
- results in a loss of body parts
Whether an injury constitutes a serious physical injury is a fact-intensive inquiry and is a question for a jury. (Note: It is entirely possible to cause serious physical injury, as an element of Assault in the Second Degree, without causing disfigurement or a permanent injury.)
Types of Assault in the 2nd Degree Charges in CT
Many different kinds of conduct could result in you being charged with Assault in the Second Degree in Connecticut, which is a Class D Felony. You may be charged with Second Degree Assault for:
Domestic Violence Charges
You can be charged with Assault in the Second Degree for a domestic violence, or family violence, incident. Domestic or family violence crimes are acts that result in physical harm, bodily injury to another person or assault, or a threat of violence that causes fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault to a family or household member.
Connecticut defines family or household member to include any of the following persons regardless of their age:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Parents or their children
- Persons related by blood or marriage
- Persons other than those related by blood or marriage but who presently reside together or have resided together (e.g.; roommates)
- Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have ever been married or lived together
- Persons who are currently in or who have recently been in a dating relationship
Note: Courts handle cases involving family violence, including charges of Assault in the Second Degree when it involves a family or household member, on a separate, domestic violence docket. There are domestic violence dockets in every courthouse in Connecticut. We represent clients who are charged with Assault in the Second Degree all over Connecticut, including Fairfield, Bridgeport, Norwalk Westport, Wilton, Weston, New Canaan, Darien, Stamford and Greenwich.
Assault with a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument
A deadly weapon is also defined in Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-3 and includes:
- any weapon, whether loaded or unloaded, from which a shot can be fired
- switchblade knife
- gravity knife
- billy or blackjack club
- metal knuckles
A dangerous instrument is defined in Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-3 as any instrument, article, or substance that is used, attempted or threatened to be used that can cause death or serious physical injury. Note: For an item to constitute a “dangerous instrument” for purposes of Assault 2nd Degree Connecticut, it is enough that a defendant used the item in a manner that created the potential for causing serious bodily injury, whether or not the item actually caused serious injury. Under this definition, almost anything can be considered a dangerous instrument depending on the circumstances under which it was used.
The following items have been found to be dangerous instruments:
- metal chair
- aerosol spray
- clothing iron
Assault in the Second Degree with a Firearm
Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 53-60a, you can be charged with Assault in the Second Degree with a Firearm in Connecticut if you use or are armed with and threaten the use of or display or represent by words or conduct that you possess a pistol, revolver, machine gun, shotgun, rifle or other firearm.
Assault in the Second Degree with a Motor Vehicle
Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-60d re assault, you can be charged with Assault in the Second Degree with a Motor Vehicle if you operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drugs (or both) and cause serious physical injury to another person as a result of the effect of the alcohol and/or drug.
What if I am charged with Assault in the Second Degree in Connecticut?
If you are found guilty and convicted of Second Degree Assault in Connecticut you face any or all of the following penalties:
- Up to five years’ imprisonment.
For a conviction of Assault in the Second Degree with a Firearm, you face a mandatory minimum of one year in jail. That means the judge cannot sentence you to less than a year in jail.
If you are convicted of Assault in the Second Degree with a motor vehicle, your license will be suspended for one year and, after restoration of privileges following lifting of the license suspension, for the following two years you can only drive a motor vehicle equipped with an approved ignition interlock device (IID).
If the victim is elderly, blind, intellectually or physically disabled, or pregnant you face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of two years in jail.
If you used a firearm when committing this offense, you face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three years in jail.
- Fines of up to $5,000
Finding an attorney to help with my Second Degree Assault charge
An experienced criminal defense attorney will make sure you understand the charges, possible penalties and evidence against you and how to best protect your rights if you are charged with Assault in the Second Degree in Connecticut. Your attorney will review the police report and any other evidence the law enforcement agency and state has against you and will conduct his or her own investigation to help you build a defense or mitigate the charges. Your attorney will also help you preserve and gather information as part of your defense.
Your criminal defense attorney can recommend counseling or treatment that will help address any underlying issues that led to your arrest. Such treatment could include group or individual counseling, or anger management classes. Successful completion of these programs may result in reduction of the charges against you, a sentence of probation instead of prison and sometimes even a dismissal of the charges.
If you have been charged with Assault in the Second Degree or have any questions about assault charges in Connecticut, contact the law offices of Koffsky & Felsen, LLC at 203-327-1500. Criminal Defense Attorneys Audrey Felsen and Bruce Koffsky have over 50 years of combined experience in handling assault and domestic violence cases. Our experienced attorneys know how to handle Connecticut assault charges and have an in-depth understanding of the CT criminal justice system. At Koffsky & Felsen, LLC our attorneys will work with you to protect your rights.