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Stand Your Ground? Not in Connecticut. Claims Of Self-Defense Can Be Complex.

The laws and your rights concerning Connecticut self-defense should be more understood. The Connecticut law of self-defense is complicated and involves several factual requirements that must be met to pursue a defense of self-defense successfully. You’re likely reading this web page because you or someone you know has been charged with a Connecticut assault, or you’re simply researching what Connecticut law allows if someone needs to defend themselves.

It is common for law enforcement and prosecutors to challenge the adequacy of the force applied, claiming it was excessive and that you didn’t meet the requirements of Connecticut self-defense. It would help if you had a lawyer with vast experience, an intimate understanding of Connecticut law, the skill to evaluate evidence, and the courage to advocate. You can find the help you’re looking for when you contact The Maddox Law Firm, Inc.. Let’s protect your rights and freedom together.

Understanding The Duty To Retreat

Connecticut is not a stand-your-ground state. That means that when you reasonably believe that you are confronted by the use of force or the imminent use of force, you are not permitted to use power to defend yourself if you know that you can retreat safely. In other words, you must retreat. Although this law is contrary to our instincts to defend ourselves automatically, for instance, if someone hits or punches us, it is, in fact, the law. You must withdraw or retreat if you believe you can do so safely.

Furthermore, if at trial, the state proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you provoked the use of physical force against you or that you were the initial aggressor, you will not be able to use self-defense as a legal defense. You cannot use deadly force if, to do so, you need only to give up property (think of carjacking, believe it or not) or if you can give in to demand rather than use force. More on the defense of property is below.

We know…we know…all of this is hard to swallow. But do you know what’s harder to swallow? A Connecticut assault charge that your law firm doesn’t understand how to analyze and defend, or an attorney that doesn’t honestly know how to advocate for you and fails to tell your whole story.

And all of the above rules still apply to the knights among our readers, who feel that duty and honor compel them to defend someone else.

What About Potential Lawsuits?

It has become common for people to sue individuals charged with assault. At The Maddox Law Firm, our self-defense attorneys have many years of experience protecting our clients from civil lawsuits. With our deep knowledge of criminal and civil litigation, we will guide you on making statements that do not expose you to additional civil liability while taking the fullest possible advantage of all available defenses to your criminal charges.

Furthermore, we will assist you in minimizing your legal costs and exposure to civil lawsuits by collaborating with your insurance carriers to secure coverage. You can trust we will defend your rights and protect your interests aggressively.

What Constitutes Reasonable Force?

The reasonableness standard is even difficult for many lawyers to understand. The threshold question as to whether a defendant’s force was necessary is whether a reasonable person under the same circumstances would have used the same degree of force.

Jurors are asked to use their common sense and life experience to decide what is reasonable. In an assault trial, they would also be asked to determine whether a defendant could retreat, as described above, and failed to do so.

It can be virtually impossible to reason in a violent encounter or when you believe you are faced with a physical threat, with adrenaline flowing and fear or anger clouding your judgment. Connecticut law doesn’t recognize “imperfect” self-defense, so a top criminal defense attorney is essential to defend against criminal charges.

The Limits To Using Force To Protect Property

Under Connecticut criminal law, you can use reasonable physical force to protect your home. You may use that amount of power necessary to repel an illegal trespass, and you may even use deadly force if the circumstances demonstrate that you reasonably feared the imminent use of deadly force by someone entering your home.

Reasonable physical force is also permitted to prevent theft, robbery, or property destruction. However, deadly physical force is never allowed to avoid property loss or damage.

Discuss Your Legal Options With Our Skilled Attorneys

A Connecticut criminal or civil case involving self-defense demands meticulous attention to a wide range of details.That’s what you can expect when you contact The Maddox Law Firm. We provide strategic, knowledgeable and aggressive representation designed to protect your rights and safeguard your freedom.

To discuss your legal options in an initial consultation, call us at 203-298-3154 or submit an online contact form. Hablamos español. Nous parlons français.


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Matthew Maddox

Attorney & Founder

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Jessica Kordas


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Carol Dreznick


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Stephany Eastmond