2011 Connecticut Code
Title 53a Penal Code
Chapter 952 Penal Code: Offenses
Sec. 53a-59. Assault in the first degree: Class B felony: Nonsuspendable sentences.

      Sec. 53a-59. Assault in the first degree: Class B felony: Nonsuspendable sentences. (a) A person is guilty of assault in the first degree when: (1) With intent to cause serious physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person by means of a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument; or (2) with intent to disfigure another person seriously and permanently, or to destroy, amputate or disable permanently a member or organ of his body, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or (3) under circumstances evincing an extreme indifference to human life he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a risk of death to another person, and thereby causes serious physical injury to another person; or (4) with intent to cause serious physical injury to another person and while aided by two or more other persons actually present, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person; or (5) with intent to cause physical injury to another person, he causes such injury to such person or to a third person by means of the discharge of a firearm.

      (b) Assault in the first degree is a class B felony provided (1) any person found guilty under subdivision (1) of subsection (a) shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of which five years of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court and (2) any person found guilty under subsection (a) shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of which ten years of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court if the victim of the offense is a person under ten years of age or if the victim of the offense is a witness, as defined in section 53a-146, and the actor knew the victim was a witness.

      (1969, P.A. 828, S. 60; P.A. 80-442, S. 16, 28; P.A. 92-87, S. 1; July Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-2, S. 3; P.A. 95-142, S. 12; P.A. 99-240, S. 13.)

      History: P.A. 80-442 added proviso in Subsec. (b) requiring at least 5 years' imprisonment for person found guilty under Subsec. (a)(1), effective July 1, 1981; P.A. 92-87 added Subsec. (a)(4) re causing serious physical injury to another person while aided by two or more other persons actually present; July Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-2 added Subsec. (a)(5) re causing physical injury to another person or to a third person by means of the discharge of a firearm; P.A. 95-142 added Subsec. (b)(2) requiring the defendant to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of which 10 years of the sentence imposed may not be suspended or reduced by the court if the victim is under 10 years of age; P.A. 99-240 amended Subsec. (b)(2) to make the nonsuspendable sentence applicable if the victim of the offense is a witness, as defined in Sec. 53a-146, and the actor knew the victim was a witness.

      Cited. 171 C. 264. Whether physical injury sustained by victim was "serious" was question of fact for the jury. 175 C. 204. Cited. 191 C. 142. Cited. 193 C. 333. Cited. 196 C. 18. Cited. 200 C. 607. Cited. 203 C. 484. Cited. 207 C. 233. Cited. 209 C. 34. Cited. 211 C. 441. Cited. 215 C. 739. Cited. 221 C. 402. Cited. 227 C. 301. Cited. 239 C. 467. Cited. 240 C. 743. Cited. 242 C. 125; Id., 389.

      Cited. 3 CA 607. Cited. 5 CA 590. Cited. 8 CA 545. Cited. 11 CA 621; Id., 699. Cited. 13 CA 139. Cited. 14 CA 244; Id., 309. Cited. 17 CA 200. Cited. 19 CA 654. Cited. 20 CA 437; Id., 521. Cited. 21 CA 557. Cited. 25 CA 171. Cited. 34 CA 103. Cited. 35 CA 107; Id., 609; Id., 762. Cited. 36 CA 336. Cited. 37 CA 180. Cited. 38 CA 20; Id., 777. Cited. 39 CA 333; Id., 645. Cited. 42 CA 624. Cited. 43 CA 549. Cited. 44 CA 6. Cited. 46 CA 691. Assault statute provides for intent to be transferred and does not require that defendant be aware of the presence of unintended victim. 84 CA 263. In challenge of evidence as being insufficient to prove element that appellant was "aided by two or more other persons actually present", where appellant and another defendant assaulted the driver of a jeep while a third defendant assaulted the passenger of a jeep and a fourth defendant kept lookout, it was reasonable for the jury to conclude that the lookout aided in the assault by following the jeep, blocking the jeep from exiting an alleyway and acting as a lookout, and it was reasonable for the jury to conclude that appellant and other two defendants had aided each other by attacking from both sides of the jeep so that neither victim could assist the other or run for help. 111 CA 184.

      Cited. 39 CS 347.

      Subsec. (a):

      Subdiv. (1) cited. 169 C. 428. Cited. 172 C. 94; Id., 275. Cited. 173 C. 254. Evidence victim suffered various broken facial bones and spent eleven days in hospital was sufficient to show the "serious physical injury" required for conviction. Id., 389. Cited. 174 C. 16; Id., 604. Subdiv. (3) cited. 176 C. 138. Subdiv. (1) cited. 178 C. 116; Id., 448; 180 C. 481; Id., 557; 182 C. 449; Id., 501. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 585; part of ruling in State v. Jacobowitz, in which court had ruled that a defendant was entitled on remand to a direction of acquittal with respect to a count improperly added to other charges of which the defendant had had proper notice overruled, see 224 C. 1 et seq. Subdiv. (1) cited. 183 C. 29. Subdiv. (3) cited. 184 C. 400. Subdiv. (1) cited. 185 C. 63. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 372; 186 C. 1; Id., 17; Id., 654; 187 C. 199 (Diss. Op.); Id., 681; 189 C. 61; Id., 303; 190 C. 219. Subdiv. (3) cited. 191 C. 12. Subdiv. (1) cited. 193 C. 48. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 474. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 632. Subdiv. (1) cited. 194 C. 89; Id., 119. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 408. Subdiv. (2) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. 195 C. 475; Id., 651; 196 C. 395. Cited. 197 C. 602. Subdiv. (1) cited. 198 C. 23; 199 C. 155. Subdiv. (2) cited. Id. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Cited. Id., 322. Subdiv. (1) cited. 200 C. 642; 202 C. 259; Id., 463. Subdiv. (3): Not unconstitutionally vague as applied to defendant. Id., 629. Subdiv. (1) cited. 204 C. 207. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 523. Subdiv. (1) cited. 205 C. 370; Id., 673. Subdiv. (3) cited. 208 C. 38. Subdiv. (1) cited. 209 C. 322; 210 C. 619. Subdiv. (3) cited. 211 C. 1. Subdiv. (1) cited. 212 C. 50; 213 C. 97; 214 C. 122; Id., 344. Cited. Id., 717. Subdiv. (1) cited. 216 C. 188; Id., 492. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 585. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 647; 217 C. 243. Subdiv. (3) cited. 218 C. 747. Subdiv. (1) cited. 219 C. 16. Cited. Id., 363. Subdiv. (1) cited. 220 C. 385; Id., 408; Id., 915; 222 C. 117. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 444. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 718; 225 C. 450; Id., 524. Assault statute cited. 227 C. 301. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 518; Id., 711. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 751. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 751. Subdiv. (1) cited. 228 C. 147. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 234; Id., 335; 229 C. 125. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 178; 230 C. 608. Subdiv. (1) cited. 231 C. 235; 233 C. 502; 235 C. 473. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 746. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 748; 237 C. 694. Subdiv. (1): Under appropriate circumstances a defendant can simultaneously intend to cause death of, and serious physical injury to, same person; judgment of appellate court in State v. Williams, 39 CA 18, reversed. Id., 748. Subdiv. (2) cited. Id. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. 239 C. 481; 240 C. 395; 241 C. 665; Id., 802. Subdiv. (3) cited. 242 C. 143. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 485. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 723. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 745. Subdiv. (3): Criminal conduct can arise by an omission to act when there is a legal duty to do so and defendant who had established a familial relationship with victim's mother and her children, had assumed responsibility for the welfare of the children and had taken care of the children as though he were their father, had a legal duty to protect victim from abuse and breach of that duty exposed defendant to criminal liability. 245 C. 209. Subdiv. (5) cited. 247 C. 662. Defendant was not without fair warning and his due process rights were not denied by court's holding construing a common law duty to act under section. 260 C. 93. Evidence that child abuse victim had sustained obvious injuries was sufficient to support defendant's conviction based on his failure to act. Id. Re double jeopardy claim, defendant failed to meet his burden of proving that his conviction with regard to different injuries arose out of the same act. Id. This section and Sec. 53-21 do not stand in relationship to each other as greater and lesser included offenses and are not the same offense for double jeopardy purposes. Id. Defendant who was not perpetrator of physical assaults on child and who was neither a parent nor a legal guardian could not be criminally liable for assault in the first degree in violation of Subdiv. (3). Accordingly, defendant's conviction of two counts of that crime were reversed and case remanded for resentencing on remaining charge of risk of injury to a child. 274 C. 727. Sec. 53a-61(a)(2) is lesser included offense of Subdiv. (3), and court's refusal to grant related jury instruction constituted harmful error. 289 C. 742.

      Subdiv. (1) cited. 1 CA 609. Cited. 3 CA 166. Subdiv. (1) cited. 5 CA 40. Cited. 6 CA 124. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 469; Id., 476; 7 CA 309; 8 CA 119; Id., 176. Subdiv. (3) cited. 9 CA 79. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 169; judgment reversed, see 205 C. 370; Id., 330. Subdiv. (3) cited. 10 CA 103. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 176; Id., 302; Id., 462; Id., 643. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. 11 CA 499; 12 CA 217; Id., 655; 13 CA 12; Id., 120; Id., 237; Id., 687; Id., 824. Subdiv. (3) cited. 14 CA 1. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 140. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 493. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 511; 15 CA 34; Id., 416; Id., 531; Id., 704; 16 CA 184. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 206. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 346; Id., 390. Subdiv. (2) cited. Id. Cited. 17 CA 391. Subdiv. (1) cited. 18 CA 477; 19 CA 174; Id., 618; 20 CA 27; 21 CA 688; 22 CA 199; Id., 340. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 610. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id.; 23 CA 28; Id., 315; Id., 663; Id., 692; 24 CA 152; Id., 264; Id., 316; Id., 556; Id., 563; Id., 624. Subdiv. (3) cited. 25 CA 243. Subdiv. (2) cited. Id., 275. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 433; Id., 578; Id., 619. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. 26 CA 52; Id., 114; Id., 145. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 331. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 367; Id., 433; Id., 641; 27 CA 73. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Cited. Id., 322. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 654; 28 CA 34; Id., 290. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id.; Id., 402. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 548. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 825. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 833; judgment reversed, see 227 C. 518; 29 CA 59; Id., 262; Id., 704; Id., 744; 30 CA 9; Id., 26; Id., 68; Id., 232. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 359. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 406; judgment reversed, see 228 C. 335. Subdiv. (2) cited. Id., 606. Subdiv. (1) cited. 31 CA 58; 32 CA 553. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. 33 CA 60; Id., 122; Id., 743; judgment reversed, see 233 C. 502; 34 CA 223; Id., 261; Id., 610; Id., 691. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 807. Subdiv. (1) cited. 35 CA 51. Subdiv. (2) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 138. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 279. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 699; Id., 740; 36 CA 41; Id., 473; Id., 483; Id., 506. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 576; Id., 695; Id., 805; Id., 831. Subdiv. (3) cited. 37 CA 21. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 464. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id., 749. Subdiv. (1) cited. 39 CA 18. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id.; judgment reversed, see 237 C. 748. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 563. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. 40 CA 60; Id., 387; Id., 483; Id., 515; Id., 624; 41 CA 515; Id., 565; Id., 831. Subdiv. (4) cited. 42 CA 307. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 371. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. 43 CA 205. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id., 488; Id., 578; 44 CA 26. Cited. Id., 231. Subdiv. (1) cited. Id.; Id., 476; Id., 499; 45 CA 270; Id., 591; 46 CA 684; Id., 734. Subdiv. (3) cited. Id. Offenses described in Subdivs. (1) and (4) are two separate offenses for purposes of double jeopardy. 53 CA 581. To secure conviction for assault in the first degree under Subdiv. (1), state must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that defendant intended to cause serious physical injury to another person, did, in fact, cause serious physical injury to that person and caused that injury by means of a dangerous instrument. 70 CA 232. There was sufficient evidence from which jury reasonably could have found victim had suffered serious and permanent disfigurement and that defendant intended to cause such serious and permanent disfigurement where defendant butted victim's face with his head, bit her face, struck her on the head with a hairdryer, kicked her and attempted to choke her, resulting in scars to victim's face. 74 CA 633. Defendant's actions in shaking infant with such violence as to cause injuries consistent with "shaken baby syndrome" was a gross deviation from the standard of conduct a reasonable person would observe and evinced extreme indifference to human life. Id., 736. Subdiv. (2): Fact that the wounds actually inflicted by defendant were relatively minor does not mean that there was insufficient evidence to find that he intended to inflict serious injury. 78 CA 646. Subdiv. (1): Evidence that defendant arrived at crime scene and fired several shots at bedroom where he believed wife was staying was sufficient for jury to conclude that defendant committed attempt to commit assault in the first degree which requires proof of intentional conduct constituting a substantial step toward intentionally causing victim serious physical injury by means of a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon. 99 CA 203. Subdiv. (5): Court's instructions to jury improperly included additional element of intent to use firearm but did not prejudice defendant because inclusion of the additional element was to the state's, and not to defendant's, detriment. 107 CA 517. The jury reasonably could have concluded that scars constituted serious physical injury because they negatively affected the appearance of skin on face and abdomen. 118 CA 831.

      Subsec. (b):

      Cited. 219 C. 363.

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