Connecticut Domestic Violence Penalties
Connecticut has several laws intended to protect domestic violence victims and hold offenders accountable. The penalties offenders face for domestic violence, legally referred to as family violence under Connecticut law, vary greatly depending on the particular circumstances surrounding the event that led to their charges. Regardless, those convicted of charges related to family violence face harsh penalties that can impact their lives long after the case against them is over.
Whether you are still in jail, out on bail, or seeking legal counsel for a friend or family member, it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced Connecticut domestic violence defense attorney to help you through the judicial process. A defense lawyer will uncover the facts of your case to provide you with the best options for your individual circumstances, and work to protect your legal rights each step of the way. Call Duffy Law today at (203) 946-2000 to schedule a consultation with a member of our team and determine the best path forward in your circumstances.
Criminal Charges and Associated Penalties for First Time Offenders
Many different criminal charges can fall under the umbrella of family violence if the criminal act involves individuals in the same household or family. Below you will find some of the most common offenses and the penalties you might face if convicted of a family violence charge:
Those accused of assaulting a partner, spouse, child, or other family member can be charged with a felony or misdemeanor under Connecticut law. The type of crime with which the accused is charged depends on the extent of the victim’s injuries and whether or not the accused used a firearm. The penalties for first, second, and third degree assault are as follows:
- First degree assault (Class B felony) is assault with a deadly weapon or intentional amputation or dismemberment. A conviction on these charges carries a one- to ten-year minimum prison term, which can be extended to as many as 20 years. Those who are convicted might also face up to a $15,000 fine.
- Second degree assault (Class D felony) charges can result in up to five years in prison, probation, and a $5,000 fine.
- Third degree assault (Class A misdemeanor) is the most common charge related to domestic violence; it means the accused must have intended to cause the victim’s injury or that their recklessness caused the injury. Penalties include up to a year in jail, probation, and a $2,000 fine.
Those who are charged with assaulting a pregnant woman, resulting in the termination of her pregnancy, face a Class A felony conviction which carries a minimum 25-year prison sentence, but can result in life imprisonment.
Making threats is another criminal offense that can fall under the family violence umbrella. Under Connecticut law, a person can be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor for threatening a partner or family member, depending on whether the accused used a dangerous weapon or firearm to make the threat.
- First degree threatening (Class D felony) charges involve threat with the use of a firearm. Those convicted face up to five years in prison, probation, and a $5,000 fine.
- Second degree threatening (Class A misdemeanor) can result in up to one year of jail time, probation, and a $2,000 fine upon conviction.
Although strangulation is a type of assault, Connecticut law treats it separately from other types of assault. There are three different degrees of strangulation, based on the extent to which the accused retrained the victim by their throat or interfered with their ability to breathe.
- First degree strangulation (Class C felony) charges might result in up to a $10,000 fine if the accused is convicted.
- Second degree strangulation (Class D felony) convictions carry up to a $5,000 fine, and up to five years of jail time.
- Third degree strangulation (Class A misdemeanor) convictions carry up to a $2,000 fine and up to one year in prison.
A person who forces themselves sexually on their partner or spouse can be charged with sexual assault in a spousal or cohabitating relationship, which is a Class B felony under Connecticut law, punishable by up to a $15,000 fine. The mandatory minimums for other sexual assault charges do not apply to this charge, but the court does have the discretion to order up to 20 years of imprisonment.
Murder and Manslaughter
If domestic violence led to the victim’s death, the accused can be charged with murder or manslaughter. Conviction for manslaughter carries a five year minimum prison sentence that can be extended to up to 40 years, and a Class A felony murder conviction comes with a minimum 25 year sentence up to life imprisonment.
The previously listed charges and associated penalties are for first-time offenders. If you have been convicted of the same or similar crimes previously, you will face increased penalties if you are convicted again. In the case of assault, or if you continue to violate protective or restraining orders, the court will increase your charge(s) from a misdemeanor to a felony, or charge you with a more serious felony crime, carrying a much larger fine and longer jail time. It’s always in your best interest to consult a defense attorney if you have been charged with a domestic violence offense, but it’s even more crucial if you have a criminal history.
Get the Legal Help You Need Today from Duffy Law
Criminal convictions related to family violence in Connecticut carry stiff penalties that can change your life forever. Even if you serve your jail term and pay associated fines, you will have a criminal record. This can make it difficult to find gainful employment as well as haunt you with a social stigma, especially if you are convicted of a felony. Public defenders often have hefty caseloads and cannot dedicate the same time and attention to your case that an experienced domestic violence defense attorney can.
Invest in your future and ensure your voice is heard throughout the judicial process. You have rights. Contact the experienced defense attorneys at Duffy Law online or at (203) 946-2000 today.