Ridgefield Hit-and-Run Lawyer
Leaving the scene of an accident without fulfilling all the requirements imposed on you by Connecticut state law can leave you facing severe criminal penalties, up to and including thousands of dollars in fines and potentially multiple years of imprisonment. When you have been charged with “Evading Responsibility” and want to defend yourself effectively, you will need help from a seasoned Ridgefield hit-and-run lawyer who has handled cases like this successfully in the past.
How State Law Categorizes Hit-and-Run Charges
Anyone involved in any kind of traffic accident in Connecticut is required under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 14-224 to do all of the following:
- Immediately stop their vehicle at a safe distance from the scene and outside the flow of traffic;
- Render aid to any person involved in the accident who needs it;
- Provide basic identifying information, including their name, address, and driver’s license and registration numbers, to all involved parties as well as any responding police officers or witnesses; and/or
- If unable to provide identifying information to any of the parties mentioned above, file a written report with local law enforcement detailing what happened and providing that information as soon as they are physically able to do so.
Failing to do any of these things for any reason after a wreck constitutes “Evading Responsibility” and can be prosecuted as a criminal offense. The severity of that offense—and of the penalties which may come with a conviction—depends on whether the accident resulted only in property damage or caused any kind of physical injury or wrongful death to another person.
If an accident results only in property damage, that hit-and-run is a misdemeanor offense punishable by no more than a year in jail and between $75 and $600 in fines for a first offense. Subsequent offenses can result in $100 to $1,000 in fines. If a wreck causes injuries as well as property damage, the hit-and-run is an unclassified felony with a maximum prison term of five years upon conviction. Finally, as a Ridgefield Evading Responsibility attorney can further explain, if an accident results in serious injuries or death, a hit-and-run is considered a felony offense punishable by two to 20 years of imprisonment plus a maximum of $20,000 in fines.
Possible Defenses for Evading Responsibility
Importantly, prosecutors must prove that someone knowingly and intentionally evaded responsibility for an auto accident to convict them on hit-and-run charges. For that reason, many cases can be contested by establishing that the defendant was not aware they were in a collision with another person or reasonably believed they had complied with all the requirements imposed on them by law.
Sometimes, first-time offenders accused of a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge may avoid criminal prosecution by participating in Accelerated Rehabilitation or another pre-trial diversionary program. A hit-and-run attorney in Ridgefield can discuss more specific options for fighting a particular case during a confidential consultation.
Get in Touch with a Ridgefield Hit-and-Run Attorney Today
Hit-and-run charges can be difficult to contest and substantially harder to move on from if they lead to a criminal conviction. Whether this is your first time facing criminal allegations of any kind or you have a previous Evading Responsibility charge on your record, having help from a tenacious Ridgefield hit-and-run lawyer can significantly boost your chances of securing a favorable result. Call the Law Offices of Mark Sherman today to learn more, and click here to read what our past clients have said about working with us.