Norwalk Hit and Run Lawyer
Just one arrest in Norwalk Connecticut for Evading Responsibility (more commonly known as “Hit and Run”) can put a stain on your criminal record, increase your insurance rates, and cause you to lose your driver’s license. Many top Norwalk Connecticut criminal attorneys and lawyers know that the 2 main questions that law enforcement asks when you leave the scene of an accident are: (1) Why did you leave? (Were you drunk or high and trying to run?); and (2) Did you hurt someone and leave the scene without calling 911?
Whether you left the scene because you were under the influence or you merely made a poor decision in the heat of the moment, police can still arrest you in Norwalk Connecticut for Evading Responsibility under C.G.S. § 14-224. So if you find yourself faced with an Evading Responsibility arrest in Norwalk, then you need to get informed and get prepared for your first court date in Norwalk Superior Court. Showing up to court unprepared can result in a permanent criminal conviction on your record. If you’re facing a Norwalk Connecticut for Evading Responsibility charge under C.G.S. § 14-224, get in touch with any of the best Norwalk Connecticut Evading Responsibility criminal lawyers or law firms to get a handle on your case. They can explain how you can have your charges dismissed in the quickest and most cost-effective manner.
Heading Off Your Norwalk Connecticut Evading Responsibility Charge Before It Even Reaches Court
When you leave the scene of an accident, especially a minor one, you may feel like you got away with something. However, that is often just the beginning of a Norwalk Connecticut Evading Responsibility / Hit-and-Run case. The next step is typically a phone call from the Norwalk Police Department or the Connecticut State Troopers because someone took down your license plate on Route 7, I95, or any public road in Norwalk. Norwalk Police will track you down, call you at home, or even just show up at your door unannounced. The top Norwalk Connecticut Evading Responsibility attorneys can tell you that the police can also track you down because your accident might have been captured on surveillance video.
Know How to Handle a Norwalk Evading Responsibility Investigation
But all is not lost if the police come knocking on your door. Your top Norwalk Connecticut criminal attorney lawyer can step in between you and the police to try to prevent your arrest. Your lawyer may be able to communicate with the police, get the owner of the property compensated for the damage, and convince the Norwalk Police Department to treat the issue as a civil matter. It takes a bit of legal gymnastics, but if this strategy works, it can save you from the embarrassment and hassle of a criminal arrest for Evading Responsibility in Norwalk Connecticut, including avoiding humiliating media mug shots and court appearances.
But Do I Really Need an Attorney to Fight My Norwalk Evading Responsibility Arrest?
Absolutely. Evading Responsibility arrests in Norwalk begin with the police taking you down to the station and booking you or simply giving you a summons to court. Don’t be fooled by just getting a summons – it has the same effect as being arrested, being taken into the police station and having your mug shot taken. Getting a “Misdemeanor Summons and Complaint” means that you have been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
Fighting Your Norwalk Evading Arrest at Norwalk Court
Police will often try to keep you calm by telling you to just show up at Norwalk Court and the prosecutor will give you a slap on the write and drop the charge. Right?
Wrong. The best Norwalk Connecticut criminal attorneys and law firms know all too well that the police have essentially no control over what happens in court. You case is now in the hands of the Norwalk Superior Court prosecutors who have a lot of power over your case. They do not care what the officers told you. They are highly suspicious of WHY you left the scene and, as a result, may not be willing to just let you off easily. That is why it is essential for your attorney to attend the first meeting to negotiate your case with the Norwalk prosecutors.
Don’t Go It Alone on Your Norwalk Evading Responsibility Case
Do not go it alone! Allow your lawyer to set the table for what will hopefully be a favorable outcome of your case – the dismissal of your Evading Responsibility / Hit-and-Run charges. Find a criminal law firm in Stamford / Norwalk Connecticut which has been defending Evading Responsibility charges and taking them to trial for years. These firms know what prosecutors are looking for and know how to allay the court’s concerns for your direct benefit. No matter if you were taken down to the station or given a summons ticket, for Evading Responsibility under CGS § 14-224, be sure to not lose your paperwork and bring it with you to your consultation with your attorney.
How Do You Get Arrested for Evading Responsibility in Norwalk Connecticut?
The top criminal defense attorneys in Norwalk Connecticut know that if you get into a car accident and leave the scene without calling the police or leaving your information with the person you hit or with the owner of the property you damaged, then you can get arrested for Evading Responsibility under C.G.S. § 14-224. When you leave the scene of a car accident in Norwalk Connecticut, police believe you took off because you were doing something wrong. Maybe you were driving a stolen car, or maybe you did not have insurance or a license. Maybe you wanted to avoid a Norwalk arrest for DUI / DWI. No matter what the scenario, leaving the scene always leads the Norwalk Police to ask “Why?” and assume the worst.
You May Not Get Booked for a Norwalk Evading, But It’s Still a Criminal Arrest
Any of the best criminal lawyers in Norwalk Connecticut appreciate that police or Connecticut State Troopers do not have to take you to the station to fingerprint you and take your mug shot in order to arrest you. Instead, they can hand you a Norwalk “misdemeanor summons and complaint” ticket, which counter-intuitively, is still a criminal arrest. To be clear, you are still being charged with a misdemeanor or a felony if you are handed a ticket, so you should take this very seriously. You now have a pending criminal charge that will show up on every employment background check until the time that you have your top Norwalk Connecticut criminal lawyer attorney get your case dismissed and your arrest record erased.
Norwalk Arrests Report to Norwalk Superior Court
No matter if you are formally arrested or just given a “misdemeanor summons and complaint” for Evading Responsibility C.G.S. § 14-224 by the Connecticut State Troopers for a hit and run on I-95, Merritt Parkway or Route 7 connector, you will have to report to the Norwalk Superior Court to fight your charges. The town of Norwalk Connecticut is large enough to have its own courthouse to process the arrests in what’s called Geographical Area #20 which handles arrests in Norwalk, New Canaan, Westport, Weston and Wilton Connecticut. When you are looking for an attorney to represent you in fighting your C.G.S. § 14-224 arrest in Norwalk, make sure to consult with a top Norwalk Connecticut criminal law firm that appears frequently in Norwalk criminal court.
A Norwalk Evading Responsibility Arrest Can Be a Felony or Misdemeanor
Under Connecticut criminal law, Evading Responsibility C.G.S. § 14-224 contains two distinct subsections: a misdemeanor subsection for accidents involving minor injuries and property damage and a felony subsection for accidents resulting in serious physical injuries to a victim. If you cause serious physical injury to another person (such as broken bones) then you will be charged with a felony. Any lesser type of injury or property damage will result in you being charged with a misdemeanor. Get in touch with one of any of the best Norwalk or Stamford hit and run criminal lawyers to review your paperwork to confirm you have been charged with the proper subsection. A mistaken charge under the felony subsection can cause unexpected headaches when searching for a job.
Can I Spend Time in Jail for a Norwalk Connecticut Evading Responsibility Arrest?
That depends. If you have a criminal record and severely injured someone with your car, then your chances increase. If you did not have adequate insurance to cover medical bills and repair costs, then your chances also go up.
A misdemeanor arrest for Evading Responsibility in Norwalk under C.G.S. § 14-224 exposes you to up to 1 year of jail and fines up to $600. A felony Evading Responsibility charge under C.G.S. § 14-224 exposes you to up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. If this isn’t your first conviction, then the penalties get even worse. To add insult to injury, a guilty plea to either subsection will result in the Connecticut DMV suspending your driver license for a period of time. Keep reading to learn more about license consequences that arise from a Norwalk Connecticut Evading Responsibility arrest.
Step 1: Convince the Norwalk Police You Weren’t Driving Under the Influence
Any of the top Norwalk Connecticut criminal attorneys and lawyers know that Norwalk Police and Norwalk prosecutors are predisposed to assume that people leave the scene of a car accident to hide illegal activity. The best Norwalk Connecticut criminal lawyers who represent clients facing Evading Responsibility charges know the usual assumption is you were drunk driving, you had a suspended license, your insurance lapsed, or the car was not registered.
If you were doing everything legally, why would you risk leaving another person injured on the side of the road? This is when you will need your top Norwalk Connecticut criminal attorney lawyer to get in front of these questions as soon as possible. Ideally before there is a warrant for your arrest.
The reality of many Connecticut Evading Responsibility arrest cases is that more often than not, people panic and drive home as quickly as possible. This is especially true if the driver is a teenager or someone who has not been in a car accident before. In any event, many of the top Norwalk Connecticut criminal lawyers can be your voice to the Norwalk police officers who are investigating your case and try to convince them you weren’t drunk or breaking the law when you left the scene of the car accident.
Driver’s License Suspensions Following a Norwalk Connecticut Evading Responsibility Arrest
If you’ve been arrested for Evading Responsibility / Hit-and-Run in Norwalk Connecticut under C.G.S. § 14-224, then you are exposed to more than just criminal penalties. Many of top criminal attorneys in Norwalk Connecticut are also some of the best Connecticut DMV lawyers, so they can walk you through how a Norwalk Connecticut Evading Responsibility conviction triggers a Connecticut DMV license suspension.
If you go it alone and a prosecutor persuades you to enter a guilty plea to Evading Responsibility / C.G.S. § 14-224, or if you elect to have a trial and are found guilty, you will have a misdemeanor or felony conviction on your record AND your license will be suspended. The length of the suspension depends on the circumstances of your case. A felony Evading Responsibility conviction which caused serious physical injury or death will result in a one-year suspension while a misdemeanor conviction will trigger a 90-day suspension of your Connecticut driver’s license. Repeat offenders get a two-year and one-year suspension, respectively. Those penalties can be found under C.G.S. § 14-111.
Can I Still Get Arrested in Norwalk for Evading Responsibility / Hit-and-Run If I Was the Only Car Involved?
Absolutely. Norwalk Police will arrest you for leaving the scene of a one-car accident which causes property damage to a third party’s property, or damage to just your car, even if another car is not involved. Hitting someone’s mailbox, ruining their lawn, taking down their fence or stone wall, or damaging city property, can leave the property owner or insurance company out thousands of dollars in repair costs. Someone has to pay for it, and it will be either you, an insurance company, or the aggrieved property owner. If you go the insurance company route, then the insurer is going to have to figure out who was at fault through the police reports. That’s why you can get arrested for failing to report even a one-car accident—by failing to report the accident, you are putting insurance companies at an extreme disadvantage, as they will have no police reports or police investigation to rely upon to help them determine fault and pay out claims.
Plot Twist: If a Car You Own is Involved in a Hit and Run But You Were Not Driving, You Can Still Be Arrested!
An interesting and often unfair nuance in Norwalk Connecticut Evading Responsibility laws under C.G.S. § 14-224 arises when police aren’t sure who was driving the car that fled the scene of an accident. In these cases, they can arrest the owner of the car, regardless of whether they know who was driving the car at the time of the accident. The law allows police to assume the car owner is always driving the car. Then the burden shifts to the car owner, who must convince police they were not driving the car. So if you have been wrongly accused or arrested of Evading Responsibility in Norwalk Connecticut, be sure to contact any of the best Norwalk Connecticut criminal law firms to take the appropriate steps to protect and preserve your alibi such as cell phone records, credit card receipts, and surveillance videos.
Getting Your Norwalk Connecticut Evading Arrest Off Google & the Internet
The Norwalk Police Department strictly complies with the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) laws that require the police to publish arrest reports, booking photos, your full name and address in local news outlets. This includes the Norwalk Hour, the Norwalk Daily Voice the Norwalk Patch and News 12. The Norwalk police don’t care about the deep and lasting impact that the publicity can have on your career and reputation. But as many of the best Connecticut internet criminal attorneys know, the more clicks your article gets, the higher it will climb on Google search engines.
So what can you do about it? The Mark Sherman Law Firm may be able to help. In 2011, the Mark Sherman Law Firm launched a cutting edge “internet scrubbing” practice. Our goal? To hold Connecticut online news websites responsible for the damages they cause to the reputations of our clients. We fight these websites to get our clients’ Norwalk Connecticut arrest reports off their websites as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible. For more on our cutting edge internet / Google scrubbing practice, click here.
Fighting Your Norwalk Evading Responsibility Arrest in Court
Many of the best criminal attorneys lawyers in Norwalk Connecticut recognize that fighting a Norwalk arrest for Evading Responsibility / Hit and Run under CGS § 14-224 requires years of criminal court experience and a strong handle on the various defenses available. You will be dealing with victims who are turning to the court to voice their concerns and vent their frustrations about their injuries and property damage. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking to preserve digital and forensic evidence that can help your case. On top of that, you will be dealing with insurance companies looking to take your recorded statement and prosecutors who will seek a conviction unless they are persuaded otherwise. Handling all of these moving parts is a true balancing act that only the top Norwalk Connecticut criminal lawyers can handle competently. No matter who you hire, make sure you work with a top Norwalk Connecticut criminal defense lawyer (and not a divorce or personal injury lawyer who just dabbles in criminal court) to craft the best defense for your case.
Don’t Burn Your AR So Fast – Reduce Your Norwalk Evading Charge to an Infraction
One way to get your Norwalk Evading Responsibility arrest dismissed is to use Connecticut’s Pre-Trial Accelerated Rehabilitation Program, otherwise known as “AR”. AR is essentially your one free bite at the apple – you usually only get to use AR once (sometimes once every ten years with a recent law change). An inexperienced Norwalk criminal attorney may push you into applying for the AR program at the very outset of your case. This may not always be the best strategy. While you may end up having to use the program, it is always the smart move to try to convince the prosecutor to drop your Norwalk Connecticut Evading Responsibility Hit and Run charge or get it reduced to the infraction of “Failure to Stop and Show Insurance Card” under C.G.S. § 14-13(b). A chance to get your Connecticut Evading Responsibility arrest reduced to a Failure to Stop and Show infraction is something you should always take advantage of in order to save your AR for a rainy day / more serious Norwalk Connecticut arrest.
Will My Car Insurance Rates Go Up?
The last piece of this legal jigsaw puzzle is your car insurance. Insurance carriers are involved covering the damages and costs which arise from a Norwalk arrest for Evading Responsibility. If there is personal injury or property damage that insurance is going to cover, adjusters and investigators are required to investigate the who, what, where, when, and why of your Norwalk car accident in order to determine if they will have to pay up.
So if you are arrested for Evading Responsibility / Hit and Run in Norwalk Connecticut, then expect numerous phone calls and letters from insurance companies seeking answers. They will want to record your statement but remember – nothing you say to the insurance companies is privileged. This means they can turn over your recorded interview, and any admissions of guilt therein, to the police and prosecutor. In order to avoid this, it is best to run all correspondence through your top Norwalk Connecticut criminal lawyer to protect you.
Talk to a Norwalk Connecticut Criminal Attorney Today
If the police are trying to talk to you, or if they have already arrested you in Norwalk Connecticut for Evading Responsibility / Hit and Run in violation of C.G.S. § 14-224, then get in touch with any of the criminal attorneys at Mark Sherman Law. We are all about the end result: helping prevent your arrest, or getting your Norwalk Evading Responsibility charge dismissed as quickly as we can. Don’t just take us at our word, Read what our former Evading Responsibility clients have to say about our firm on the Avvo.com certified lawyer review website. Call us today for a consultation. We are available 24/7 to take your call at (203) 358-4700.