Penalties For Domestic Violence in Connecticut

October 26, 2020
Penalties For Domestic Violence in Connecticut

Connecticut has a number of laws that protect victims of domestic violence and keep offenders liable. The penalties levied on offenders for domestic violence, generally referred to as “family violence” under Connecticut law, differ widely based on the specific circumstances surrounding the incident that contributed to their charges. Nevertheless, those convicted of family violence-related charges face strict penalties that can affect their lives well after the case against them is over.

If the criminal act includes people in the same household or family, several separate criminal charges may fall under the umbrella of domestic violence. Some of the most serious offenses and the penalties you may face if convicted of a charge of domestic violence are described below:


Someone charged with assaulting a spouse, child, or other family members can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony under Connecticut law. The form of crime the offender is charged with depends on the severity of the victim's injury and whether the offender used a weapon or not. The penalties are as follows for first, second, and third-degree assault:

  • Assault with a weapon or deliberate amputation or dismemberment is a first-degree assault (Class B felony). A conviction on these charges carries a minimum prison sentence of 1-10 years, which can be increased to as much as 20 years. Those that are convicted can also face up to a fine of $15,000.
  • Second-degree assault (Class D felony) charges will result in imprisonment, probation, and a $5,000 fine for up to five years.
  • The most common charge related to domestic abuse is a third-degree assault (class A misdemeanor); it indicates that the accused may have wanted to cause the victim's injury or that the injury was caused by their recklessness. Penalties include imprisonment for up to a year, probation, and a $2,000 fine.


Threatening is another criminal offense that may come under the umbrella of domestic violence. Under Connecticut law, depending on whether the offender used a lethal weapon or firearm to make the threat, a person may be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor for threatening a partner or family member. 

  • First-degree threatening involves the use of a firearm to threaten the victim. Those convicted face up to 5 years in jail, probation, and a fine of $5,000.
  • Second-degree threats (Class A misdemeanor) will result in up maximum 1 year's imprisonment, probation, and a $2,000 fine on conviction.


While strangulation is a form of attack, it is handled separately from other forms of assault by Connecticut law. Based on the extent to which the accused refrained the victim by their throat or interfered with their ability to breathe, there are three distinct degrees of strangulation.

  • If the accused is convicted, first-degree strangulation (Class C felony) charges could result in up to a $10,000 fine
  • Convictions of second-degree strangulation (a class D felony) bear up to a fine of $5,000 and up to five years in prison.
  • Convictions of third-degree strangulation (Class A misdemeanor) bring up to a fine of $2,000 and up a maximum of 1 year in prison.

Sexual Abuse

An individual who sexually forces a partner or a spouse can be charged with sexual assault in a spousal or cohabiting relationship, a class B felony under Connecticut, punishable by a fine of up to $15,000. This charge does not apply to the mandatory minimums on other sexual harassment charges, although the court has the power to order up to 20 years in prison.

Murder and Manslaughter

The accused can be charged with murder or manslaughter if domestic abuse has led to the death of the victim. A manslaughter conviction brings a minimum prison term of five years that can be increased to up to 40 years, and a Class A felony murder charge comes with a minimum sentence of 25 years to life imprisonment.

If you're still in prison, on bail, or seeking legal advice for a family member, it's in your best interest to hire an Experienced Connecticut Domestic Violence Attorney to assist you through the court process.

All people are equal before the law. A good attorney.