One of the most common defense strategies to get your Connecticut arrest for Hit and Run / Evading Responsibility arrest dismissed is using a Connecticut Diversionary Program called “Accelerated Rehabilitation” (also known as “AR”).
As any of the best criminal lawyers or attorneys in Stamford or Norwalk Connecticut will tell you, applying for—or “burning”—your AR will usually get your Connecticut arrest for Evading Responsibility under CGS 14-224 dismissed, but at what cost? And do you have any other options?
Under the new Connecticut Accelerated Rehabilitation laws, you only get one shot in your lifetime to apply for AR if you’re trying to get into the program to get a felony arrest dismissed, such as a felony arrest for Evading Responsibility / Hit-and-Run in Westport, Greenwich or Darien Connecticut. Alternatively, if you’re going to try and apply for Accelerated Rehabilitation to get rid of a misdemeanor Evading Responsibility arrest (for causing property damage), then you are only eligible to apply for the program every 10 years.
The best Connecticut criminal law firms in the Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport and Danbury Connecticut criminal courthouses understand that you should only burn your AR when absolutely necessary. An inexperienced Connecticut criminal lawyer – or an attorney who primarily does real estate or divorces but takes your Evading Responsibility arrest case just to stay busy — may push you toward the AR program as an easy solution to get your case dismissed.
And it sounds great, at first. Most people who just got arrested in Connecticut for Evading Responsibility are so mortified that they will jump at the chance of getting their criminal case dismissed. But what these attorneys and lawyers won’t explain to you is that there are other defense strategies available to you besides burning your AR program. It will require more work, more negotiation, and more outside-the-box thinking on your lawyer’s part. In many cases, AR is the only way to get a case dismissed—just make sure you’ve considered your options.
Some of the best results you can hope for if you’ve been arrested in Connecticut for Evading Responsibility is convincing the Stamford, Norwalk or Danbury prosecutors to drop your criminal Evading Responsibility charge (“nolle” it) or reduce it to the infraction of “Failure to Stop and Show Insurance Card” under C.G.S. 14-217. This way you can preserve your AR (or proverbial get-out-of-jail-free-card) for something more serious in your lifetime. Even more importantly, getting your Connecticut Evading / Hit-and-Run arrest nollied or reduced is much more advantageous to an AR because it clears your criminal record much quicker than if you got AR for your Connecticut arrest. Here’s why.
Ask any top Darien or Westport Connecticut criminal lawyer: while your case is on AR, all of your employment background checks will come up with your Evading arrest so long as the AR is open and active. You see, your Connecticut Evading arrest is not technically dismissed and expunged off the books and courthouse records until the AR monitoring period is over, which could last up to 2 years. So while you may very well have to use your Accelerated Rehabilitation program to get your Evading Responsibility arrest dismissed, first try to exhaust all other non-AR options before jumping into the program, or urge the Norwalk or Stamford court to give you a short period of AR (like 3-6 months). The short-term and long-term advantages are well worth a few extra trips to court to try and hammer out a deal which is best for you and your family.