The law protects your right to defend yourself against harm, but the line
can be thin. Yes, you’re allowed to use physical force to protect
yourself and others, but only in limited circumstances. This can be an
especially tough thing to moderate, because these situations tend to happen
in a blur and when emotions are generally high. Sadly, your act of self-defense
can be misconstrued as
assault in the eyes of the law and could land you in some hot water.
What Is Considered Self-Defense?
C.G.S. § 53a-19, you are justified in using reasonable physical force upon another person
to defend yourself or another person from what you reasonably believe
is the use or imminent use of physical force. Deadly physical force can
only be used if you reasonably believe the assailant is using or imminently
going to use deadly physical force or the attacker is inflicting or going
to imminently inflict substantial bodily harm to you or another person
Unfortunately, what is considered “reasonable” force during
self-defense is initially up to the police and prosecutors, based on preliminary
evidence and potential witnesses. Since it’s open to interpretation,
you need an experienced self-defense attorney to help prove that your
self-defense is justifiable and reasonable in proportion to the amount
of force threatened against you.
If your self-defense case is thrown out and replaced with an assault charge,
you can face some serious penalties. Assault in the third degree, the
least serious of assault charges, can land you in prison for up to a year
and with up to a $2,000 fine. With assault in the first degree, in which
someone is seriously injured with a weapon, you can face up to 20 years
in prison (5 minimum) and up to $15,000 in fines.
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
If you were arrested for assault, but believe you were defending yourself,
please contact our
Connecticut criminal defense attorneys at Tomeo Sills, LLC. Our team of experienced lawyers can look closely
at your case and help you build a strong defense.
Call (844) 913-7747 or contact us online
to speak with an attorney.