While Connecticut lawmakers are lightening (not lighting) up on some crimes – like marijuana possession – they are taking other crimes more seriously than ever, including passing new laws affecting arrests in Connecticut for Evading Responsibility, or “Hit-and-Run” as it’s more commonly known.
In many cases Hit and Run arrests are no longer misdemeanors—they’ve been elevated to felonies with greater exposure to jail time, and greater damage to your employment background checks.
Keep reading to learn more about how the new laws can impact you…
Here’s where the law has changed: under Connecticut’s new evading responsibility law, you’ll be charged with a felony for leaving the scene of an accident in Connecticut after causing any type of physical injury – even minor physical injury, like a bruise or sprain. It’s this kind of language that makes the heads spin of the best criminal lawyers in Stamford, Greenwich and Darien Connecticut. What qualifies as “physical injury” in Connecticut Evading Responsibility arrests is now a snakepit of ambiguity and can be broadly interpreted by Connecticut police.
This now means that if you are in a minor fender bender, but you fail to stop and offer help, call the police, or don’t give your insurance information, and the other party tells the police that they have any type of injury or pain, you can be charged / arrested for Felony Evading Responsibility / Hit-and-Run.
Because of these increased penalties, it is more important than ever to be represented by a top Connecticut criminal lawyer. Many of the best Connecticut criminal defense attorneys who fight Evading Responsibility arrests will carefully review all police reports to first make sure that you were not overcharged with felony Evading Responsibility instead of misdemeanor Evading Responsibility. These lawyers know to scrutinize and analyze each witness statement, file motions to preserve any evidence that may be helpful to your defense (such as parking lot or roadside surveillance footage, and 911 recordings), and file motions with the court for any available medical records or hospital records to see if there was an actual physical injury to support a felony Hit-and-Run charge. Click here for more on fighting Evading Responsibility / Hit-and-Run arrests.
Because a Hit-and-Run accident causing any type of physical injury is now a felony, if you are arrested for C.G.S. § 14-224(b)(2), you are facing a Class D Felony instead of a Class A Misdemeanor. So the maximum jail time you are exposed to if you are convicted is increased from 1 year to 5 years. And you could face a longer period of probation if you are convicted of felony Evading Responsibility in Connecticut.
Most importantly, if you plead or are found guilty of Evading Responsibility with a physical injury, you will have a permanent felony record, meaning you will have to give a DNA sample and will not be able to carry any firearms, detrimentally impacting your employment prospects.
Conduct that was Previously a Misdemeanor is Now a Felony under Connecticut’s New Evading Responsibility Law.
As many of the top Connecticut criminal law firms are aware, as of October 1, 2016, Connecticut’s new Evading Responsibility law went into effect.
Connecticut’s Hit-and-Run / Evading Responsibility statute is split into different subsections. If you are arrested for Hit-and-Run, your charge will depend on whether you caused physical injury, property damage, or both after you allegedly left the scene. Prior to October 1, 2016, if you left the scene of an accident after causing physical injury or property damage, you were charged with a misdemeanor. Felony evading responsibility charges were only if you left the scene of an accident after causing “serious” physical injury or death. (Serious physical injury includes broken bones, or life-threatening injuries).
If you have been arrested for Evading Responsibility, Hit-and-Run in Greenwich, Stamford, New Canaan, or anywhere in Connecticut, do not go it alone. With your permanent criminal record, reputation, and possible jail time on the line, it’s just not worth the risk. Get in touch with a law firm who will work with you to resolve your case as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible. The team of lawyers at Mark Sherman law is experienced, regularly defending and fighting Evading Responsibility arrests all over Connecticut. To see our Avvo-certified reviews from past clients, click here. We can be reached 24/7 at (203) 358-4700.