Darien Hit and Run Penalties
What’s commonly known as a hit and run is officially known as “evasion of responsibility in operation of motor vehicles.” A Darien hit and run offense may be treated as either a misdemeanor or a felony, with each classification carrying different penalties.
When is Hit and Run Penalized as a Felony?
The penalties for hit and run in Darien are set forth in Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §14-224. This statute specifies that when a driver leaves the scene of an accident that resulted in “serious” physical injuries or death, the driver should be imprisoned for at least two years and may be sentenced to up to 20 years. In addition, the court may impose a fine as high as $20,000. These penalties are in line with those for Class A and B felonies, though this is an “unclassified” felony.
In situations where a hit and run scenario results in injuries that are not classified as “serious,” then the driver may be imprisoned for as much as five years. This is the same maximum term of imprisonment as a Class D felony, though again, this is not specifically classified under the statute. The maximum fine, however, is $600 for a first offense and $1,000 for subsequent offices. A minimum fine of $75 applies for a first-time offender, and it increases to $100 for subsequent offenses.
What is a Serious Physical Injury?
Hit and run penalties in Darien are much more severe when the collision results in “serious” physical injuries. Under C.G.S. §53a-3, a physical injury may be considered serious when it:
- Creates a substantial risk of death
- Causes serious disfigurement
- Seriously impairs health
- Causes serious impairment or loss of function of a bodily organ
A “physical injury” itself is defined in this statutory section as consisting of pain or “impairment of physical condition.” Thus, the threshold for defining injury itself is arguably quite low.
When is Evading Responsibility a Misdemeanor?
Hit and run is a misdemeanor if it causes property damage but no personal injuries. In such cases, the driver of the vehicle may be fined up to $600 and imprisoned for up to one year.
For a subsequent offense, the range of fines increases to $100 to $1,000. Darien hit and run penalties are also likely to include license suspension and impoundment of the vehicle. Reach out to an experienced attorney to fight against the penalties.
Ask a Darien Attorney About Your Hit and Run Case
Individuals charged with evading responsibility need to be concerned with more than just the official criminal penalties. First time offenders can have their licenses suspended for between three and 12 months, and the suspension period increases substantially for subsequent offenses.
In addition, a conviction or guilty plea creates a criminal record that can interfere with job opportunities, housing, and other aspects of life for years to come. Darien hit and run penalties are much more severe than most people realize, making it critical for anyone accused to consult with an attorney. For help with your case, call Mark Sherman Law.