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Dematteo Legal Solutions March 14, 2022

When you disagree with someone, things can get out of control quickly, especially when alcohol is involved. Before you know it, tempers are flaring and boom — things explode!

But can you get arrested and face criminal charges when a shouting match turns physical? What if both parties agreed to fight? What about reacting in self-defense? The short answer to these questions is yes, you can be arrested.

If you or a loved one was arrested for fighting, you need to protect your rights and ensure the best available defense strategy. Sometimes what seemed to be a harmless altercation can lead to an arrest with significant consequences.

At Dematteo Legal Solutions, I serve clients who face criminal charges after getting into a fight in the greater West Haven area. I have the skill, and resources to guide and represent individuals facing disorderly conduct and assault charges. My firm also represents individuals across Derby, Milford, Meriden, Bridgeport, New Haven, and Waterbury, Connecticut.


Getting into a fight can result in potentially serious charges, even when two people actually agree to fight. If you’re caught fighting in the state of Connecticut, you may face charges of disorderly conduct or assault.



According to Connecticut law, a person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, they: 

  • Engage in fighting or in violent, tumultuous, or threatening behavior 

  • Annoy or interfere with another person

  • Make unreasonable noise

  • Disturb any lawful assembly or meeting

  • Obstruct vehicular or pedestrian traffic 

  • Congregate with other individuals in a public place and refuse to comply with a reasonable official request or order to disperse

  • Observe others in an other-than-casual or cursory manner


Assault is generally defined as intentionally putting another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent harmful or offensive contact. 

Under Connecticut law, the crime of assault is charged at different levels based on the intent of the attack, the level of harm caused, who the victim was, and whether or not a weapon was used.


If you get arrested for getting into a fight, possible defenses that you may be able to claim depend upon the circumstances of your fight and the charges you are facing. Possible defenses to fighting-related charges may include:

  • Self-Defense — You believed that you had to use force to protect yourself from an attacker.

  • Defense of Others — You used force to defend someone else who was being attacked by the assailant.

  • Defense of Property — You used force to protect your property from being stolen or illegally entered.

  • Provocation — While this is rarely a valid defense for fighting, it can potentially be used to lessen the penalty.

Assessing your situation can quickly become complicated if there are other charges or prior offenses. Please call me, an experienced Connecticut criminal defense attorney, for a consultation to get a more accurate understanding of what you are likely facing in your specific case.


Some assault charges can be classified as felonies and others are classified as misdemeanors. The chart below provides a general scope of penalties under Connecticut law.

                                         Connecticut Assault Penalties 




Assault, First-Degree

Class B Felony

  • Up to 20 years in prison (five years minimum)

  • Up to a $15,000 fine

Assault, Second-Degree

Class D Felony

  • One to five years in prison

  • Up to a $5,000 fine

Assault, Second Degree with a Firearm

Class D Felony

  • One year in prison, mandatory minimum, up to five years

  • Up to a $5,000 fine

Assault, Second Degree with a Motor Vehicle

Class D Felony

  • One to five years in prison

  • Up to a $5,000 Fine

  • One-year License Suspension

Assault, Third-Degree 

Class A Misdemeanor

  • Up to one year in prison

  • Up to a $2,000 fine


Conflict is inevitable but getting into a fight can be risky, both legally and physically. If you have been arrested and charged with assault or disorderly conflict due to a scuffle, retaining a skilled and aggressive Connecticut criminal defense attorney is critical to protect your legal rights and help build your defense. 

At Dematteo Legal Solutions, I’m committed to handling criminal cases and defending clients facing disorderly conduct or assault charges. I will fight to protect your rights and help you pursue the best available outcome for your situation. My firm proudly serves clients in West Haven and throughout Derby, Milford, Meriden, Bridgeport, New Haven, and Waterbury, Connecticut.