Greenwich Misdemeanor vs. Felony Evading Responsibility Charges
Depending on the severity of the offense, a Greenwich evading responsibility arrest can sometimes have serious penalties. A misdemeanor vs. a felony evading responsibility charge carry very different penalties, and being able to understand the differences in these charges is incredibly important. Any individual involved in either a misdemeanor or felony evading responsibility arrest should contact a Greenwich evading responsibility lawyer immediately. A seasoned attorney will be able to assist in effectively reducing or dismissing any charges you may be facing.
Misdemeanor Hit and Run Charges
A misdemeanor evading responsibility charge in Greenwich is where there is an accident that causes damage to an individual’s property. When an accident happens and the person leaves the scene without assisting the other driver or providing any contact information, the individual can be arrested for misdemeanor evading.
A misdemeanor evading responsibility charge is not as serious as a felony, but it is still a criminal charge in Connecticut. If someone either pleads or is found guilty of the charge, they have a permanent criminal record. In that regard, a misdemeanor is still a very serious offense.
If someone is convicted of a misdemeanor evading responsibility charge in Greenwich, the penalties could include a fine of up to $600, and potential jail time of up to one year. There are also Department of Motor Vehicle penalties. If an individual is found guilty or pleads guilty to a misdemeanor evading responsibility charge in Greenwich, they will face a license suspension. The length of that suspension is usually at least 90 days. However, this could be longer if that individual has a previous evading responsibility conviction on their record.
Facing the Charge
When someone faces misdemeanor evading responsibility charges in Greenwich, they should look for a defense attorney who is experienced in the Stamford Court and has dealt with evading responsibility cases many times before.
Also, the attorney must get involved before the court date, make sure there are letters from the person’s insurance company, gather any evidence that shows the person was not intoxicated, and make sure to preserve any helpful evidence.
Felony Hit and Run Charges
An individual could be charged with a felony evading responsibility if they are knowingly involved in an accident that results in the death of another person, causes someone to be seriously injured, or causes physical injury. Serious physical injury includes things that are more permanent in nature, like broken bones or disfigurement.
When someone causes a death, serious physical injury, or physical injury and they know they were involved in such an accident but fail to stop to give assistance and give their information, they can be charged with a felony evading responsibility.
This charge is much more serious than a misdemeanor. If someone pleads or is found guilty of felony evading responsibility, they are a convicted felon. That is a permanent criminal record and stays with them for life.
Penalties for a Felony Charge
In a Greenwich felony evading responsibility case, the prosecutor must first prove that the operator of the car was knowingly involved in the accident. Then, they will need to prove that the accident caused the death, a serious physical injury, or a physical injury to another person. Finally, they must prove that the operator did not stop, render any assistance, or provide any of their own information, and that simply left the scene of the accident.
A conviction of a felony evading responsibility charge makes the individual a felon for life. In these instances, the individual must give a DNA sample as a convicted felon in Connecticut. It could also affect their rights to possess some firearms if they are a felon.
The penalties are more severe than a misdemeanor evading responsibility charge. An individual could face a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment for a period of up to 10 years, or both. The DMV penalties can come into play as well. If an individual pleads or is found guilty of felony evading responsibility, they will face a license suspension of at least 90 days due to Connecticut DMV. However, it could be longer depending on the person’s driving history.
Impact on an Individual’s Life
Even when someone is not convicted of a felony charge, they must come to court for a handful of appearances. The courts take these charges more seriously and are more reluctant to drop the charges very quickly. The courts need to see a lot more evidence to understand that the individual was not evading responsibility before they give them a chance to get the charge dismissed or do something to have it dropped. However, it is a lot more rare that those cases are dropped.
Contacting a Lawyer
When facing these charges, a person should get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. When there is extensive jail time in play, it is important to have an attorney involved from the beginning who can interview witnesses and gather evidence. The attorney can go to the alleged scene of the accident and start to get reports and gather information to prepare the defense of the person charged.