Stamford Hit and Run Lawyer
If you get a ticket or get arrested in Stamford Connecticut for Evading Responsibility (more commonly known as Hit and Run) under CGS § 14-224, then you are putting your criminal record, driver’s record, and car insurance rates in jeopardy. As any of the best criminal lawyers in Stamford Connecticut can explain, state prosecutors are primarily concerned with 2 issues: first, why did you leave the scene of the accident (drunk driving / license suspended?) and (2) they want to know if you injured someone and whether you left the scene without calling 911 or rendering assistance.
So if you were arrested or ticketed for Evading Responsibility in Stamford Connecticut, then you need to contact a top Stamford criminal attorney lawyer immediately in order to get prepared for your court date in Stamford Superior Court. The last thing that anyone wants is a permanent criminal record for an honest mistake or minor fender bender.
Can You Get Your Stamford Evading Arrest Dismissed Before it Gets Sent to Court?
Most Stamford, Connecticut Evading Responsibility CGS 14-224 cases start with a phone call from someone whose car was damaged in a hit and run accident or fender bender. Typically, these people are able to grab a license plate number from the driver who takes off and then provides the plate info to the Stamford Police Department, who will then look up their home address in their database.
The police will either call the fleeing driver at home or show up at their front door wanting answers. They will also be scrutinizing them carefully to see if they are drunk or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. As any top criminal defense attorney in Stamford will tell you, Evading Responsibility cases frequently take place in parking lots and there are almost always surveillance cameras that reveal all of the details of what happened…so don’t lie to the police; in fact you are much better off not saying anything then providing false info to the police.
Get Your Stamford Criminal Lawyer to Keep Case from Going Criminal
What the Stamford police may not tell you is that if you hire a top criminal defense attorney in Stamford, they may be able to get in contact with the police and convince them not to make an arrest, even if you did flee the scene of the accident. Your lawyer can sometimes get in contact with the victim party, and can ensure that they have been paid in full for the damage to their car, including rental car costs while the car is in the repair shop. Some of the best Stamford criminal law firms can then persuade the Stamford Police Department to re-classify the case from a criminal to a civil matter.
Stamford Police Have Discretion to Pursue Evading Responsibility Arrests
Prior to submitting an arrest warrant application for Evading Responsibility to Stamford Superior Court, the Stamford police have discretion to designate a case as a criminal or civil matter. And if the victim has been made whole and does not want prosecution (most people don’t—they just want their car fixed without any hassle), then you just may be able to avoid an arrest in Stamford for Evading Responsibility under CGS 14-224. It takes some negotiating, coupled with some finesse, but this strategy can often save you from all of the stress that comes with dealing with a criminal arrest for Evading Responsibility in Stamford Connecticut.
Is an Attorney Necessary to Fight My Stamford Evading Responsibility Arrest or Ticket?
Absolutely. There are plenty of strategic advantages in hiring an attorney to help you fight your Stamford Evading Responsibility arrest or ticket. Don’t be fooled by the police trying to calm you down with empty promises of “it’s no big deal” and that “everything will be find in court.” It won’t be if you don’t know what you’re doing. Even if the police just hand you a summons ticket, know that you have been officially “arrested” for the misdemeanor crime of Evading Responsibility / Hit and Run.
You need this charge off your record, off your employment background checks, off the internet, and off your Google searches…as soon as possible. A top criminal defense attorney in Stamford will be able to guide you through the court process, craft the most cost-effective defense strategy with you, and work quickly to try and get your Stamford Evading Responsibility arrest under CGS 14-224b dismissed.
When You Evade Responsibility in Stamford, Police Assume You Were Drunk Driving
Any of the best criminal defense attorneys in Stamford Connecticut will tell you that you can get arrested for Evading Responsibility in Stamford by leaving the scene of a car accident where you caused property damage or personal injury, without leaving contact information to the injured party or without calling 911. When you fail to call 911 or leave your contact information—even for the slightest amount of damage—the police will usually assume that you fled the scene because you were drunk driving, didn’t have a Connecticut driver’s license, or didn’t have proper insurance or registration for your car. And when you leave the scene of an accident, you leave the police with no other option than to assume that you evaded because you were otherwise violating the law.
Getting a Stamford Evading Responsibility Ticket = Getting Arrested
All of the top criminal lawyers and attorneys in Stamford Connecticut understand that even if the Stamford Police don’t bring you to the station and formally book you, being handed a misdemeanor summons and complaint ticket for Evading Responsibility under C.G.S. § 14-224 is equivalent to being arrested. So even if you are only issued a ticket, you must still take it seriously because you have been arrested for a Class A misdemeanor, the most serious classification of misdemeanors in the State of Connecticut (all felony Evading arrests almost always require Stamford Police to book, photograph and fingerprint you). While your case is pending, your arrest in Stamford for Evading Responsibility will show up on any criminal record or employment background check.
Your Stamford Evading Arrest Will be Handled in Stamford Superior Court
If you are arrested or just ticketed by the Stamford Police or Connecticut State Troopers in Stamford (including on I-95 or the Merritt Parkway), then you will be ordered to post bond (also known as bail) and appear in Stamford Superior Court in approximately 10 business days. Stamford Superior Court has jurisdiction over arrests and tickets given by the Connecticut State Troopers on the Merritt Parkway and on Interstate 95 in the Stamford area. So if you are looking for an attorney to help fight your Stamford arrest for Evading Responsibility, you should contact a top criminal defense attorney who appears frequently in Stamford Superior Court and doesn’t just dabble in criminal law.
Even One-Car Accidents Qualify for Evading Responsibility Charges in Stamford
One of the most puzzling legal issues surrounding Stamford Evading Responsibility arrests is that you can get arrested in Stamford for leaving the scene of a one-car accident. In other words, it’s against the law to leave the scene of an accident that only involved and damaged your car. One of the reasons behind this law is to assist insurance companies who regularly rely upon properly filed police reports when determining liability and coverage. But from a big picture perspective, it seems very unreasonable to the best Stamford Connecticut criminal law firms that you can get arrested for being involved in a one-car accident and then leaving the scene to go to the hospital or go home to take care of your own injuries.
Evading Responsibility Arrests in Stamford Can Be Felonies or Misdemeanors
Under Connecticut criminal law, an arrest for Evading Responsibility has two subsections: a misdemeanor law and a felony law. Misdemeanor Evading Responsibility arrests under CGS 14-224(b) and 14-224(c) are misdemeanors that usually involve hit and run arrests in Stamford causing just property damage. Felony Evading Responsibility arrests per CGS 14-224(a) involve car accidents that result in serious physical injury or death, and carry much more severe penalties and jail implications.
Can You Go To Jail for Your Stamford Connecticut Evading Responsibility Arrests?
Possibly, especially in cases where you’ve been arrested for hit and run and have caused serious physical injury or a fatality. When deciding whether jail is an appropriate punishment for your Stamford Connecticut arrest for Evading Responsibility / Hit-and-Run, prosecutors and judges will consider the severity of the injuries to other drivers, passengers and pedestrians, as well as other aggravating factors such as whether you were impaired by alcohol, recreational drugs, or prescription drugs.
Maximum Jail Penalties
Typically, the maximum penalty for a misdemeanor arrest for Evading Responsibility is 1 year in jail, probation and fines of up to $600. A felony Evading Responsibility conviction could result in a maximum of 10 years in jail, $10,000 and probation. Additionally, a conviction for Evading Responsibility will result in the Connecticut DMV suspending your driver’s license. Keep reading to learn more about the length of the Connecticut DMV license suspensions following a guilty plea to your Evading Responsibility arrests.
Avoid a Stamford DUI / DWI Arrest Following an Evading Responsibility Arrest
Perhaps the primary concern for Stamford Police Department officers who investigate Stamford Hit and Run cases is WHY someone evades responsibility and leaves the scene of an accident. Their first assumption is that the driver was drunk or was not properly licensed or insured. So, as the best criminal lawyers and attorneys in Stamford Connecticut understand, if you are being questioned about a Stamford Evading Responsibility arrest or investigation under C.G.S. § 14-224, then you should not answer any questions related to consuming alcohol, drinking and driving, taking prescription medication, or whether or not you were actually operating the vehicle. Remember you are not allowed to lie to a police officer, but you certainly have the right to remain silent and to NOT answer any questions until you have had a chance to talk to a top Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyer/attorney.
Can I Get Arrested in Stamford for Evading Responsibility for a One-Car Accidents?
Hard to believe, but the answer is yes. The best criminal law firms in Stamford Connecticut have seen Evading Responsibility arrests in cases where clients have accidentally hit a guard rail, or a stone wall, and no other cars were involved. These motorists leave the scene without calling the police and are later arrested for Evading Responsibility under C.G.S. § 14-224.
This begs the question most often asked to the top Stamford criminal lawyers…how can it be against the law if only your car was involved? The answer is more grounded in legislative public policy geared toward protecting insurance carriers rather than private citizens. You see, insurance carriers cannot properly investigate and pay property damage and injury claims if the accidents are not properly investigated and documented by police. After all, if the police don’t file accident reports, then what stops people from making up accidents and committing insurance fraud? While this may seem reasonable, it is still unreasonable to arrest Stamford Connecticut drivers with a Class A misdemeanor for leaving the scene of a one-car accident. Clearly a warning or an infraction ticket for Failing to Stop and Show insurance would be more fair and measured.
DMV License Suspensions after a Stamford Evading Responsibility Arrest
When someone is arrested in Stamford Connecticut for Evading Responsibility / Hit and Run, one of the first questions they have for their top Stamford criminal lawyer is whether their driver’s license will be suspended. They should breathe easy, however, knowing that license suspensions for Evading Responsibility arrests in Stamford are only triggered by convictions, not arrests. So do not plead guilty to an Evading Responsibility charge under CGS 14-224 until you had a chance to consult with any of the best Connecticut Evading Responsibility lawyers.
If You Own the Car Involved in a Stamford Hit-and-Run but Weren’t Driving, You Can Still Get Arrested
One critical evidentiary element of Stamford Connecticut Evading Responsibility arrests is always the question of WHO was driving the car when the accident occurred. In fact, if Stamford police are able to identify the car that left the scene of the accident, and if no one takes responsibility for driving the car, then Connecticut law imputes responsibility to the owner of the vehicle. This means that if you let someone borrow your car and they get into a car accident and leave the scene, then there’s a good chance that you—the owner of the vehicle—could get arrested in Stamford for Evading Responsibility. Sometimes the police will not be able to contact you and will just issue an arrest warrant for you, the car owner, in these scenarios. So if your car was involved in a hit and run accident, then be sure to talk to any of the best Stamford criminal lawyers who can make sure you don’t get arrested for Evading Responsibility, especially when you were not the one behind the wheel.
How Do I Remove My Stamford Evading Arrest Off the Internet?
A Stamford Connecticut arrest will quickly be published online by the Stamford Advocate, Stamford Patch, and Stamford Daily Voice. The articles will include your name, address, mug shot / photograph, and arrest summary report. And if the web article isn’t enough, you can be sure that Google will pick up the articles too. Any of the top criminal defense attorneys in Stamford can expalin that once people start clicking on these links, the links climb higher and higher in the Google search engine rankings, and can often end up landing on the first page of any search of your name.
There’s hope, however. In 2011, the Mark Sherman Law Firm opened its internet scrubbing practice, and our lawyers have been helping our clients get their Stamford Connecticut arrests for Evading Responsibility (and other charges) off the internet and off Google. For more information on our internet scrubbing practice, click here.
Defense Strategies for Fighting Your Stamford Evading Responsibility
The best criminal lawyers and attorneys in Stamford Connecticut understand that fighting an arrest for Evading Responsibility under CGS § 14-224 requires an experienced criminal attorney (not a real estate or personal injury lawyer) who understands the multiple defense strategies available to you. You do not want to plead guilty under any circumstances. Many cases involve angry victims who have suffered property damage, personal injury, or both, and who may be out of pocket for the damages caused by your Stamford Hit and Run arrest. And it doesn’t just stop with an irritated victim—your attorney will need to push back against insurance companies and the Stamford Police Department to ensure that all of the evidence necessary to clear your name is preserved. This includes photographs and digital video surveillance evidence.
Get Your Evading Responsibility Arrest Reduced to an Infraction
One key defense strategy used by the best Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyers is to convince the prosecutor to reduce your Evading misdemeanor charge to a Failure to Carry Insurance Card traffic infraction. You can also apply to the court for the Pre-Trial Accelerated Rehabilitation Program, which is otherwise known as “AR.” The AR Program in Connecticut is essentially your “get out of jail free card,” but you are usually restricted on how many times you can use an AR, so you should try and use it sparingly. If you hired an inexperienced criminal defense attorney, or a Stamford lawyer who just dabbles in criminal law, then you may find yourself being pushed into burning your AR program too quickly. While it may actually be the most appropriate strategy (depending on the seriousness of your case), do not jump into the AR Program so quickly.
Car Insurance Consequences for an Evading Responsibility Arrest
Insurance companies are almost always involved in Stamford Connecticut arrests for Evading Responsibility—especially when you are accused of causing personal injury or property damage to a third party. When car insurance adjusters and investigators get involved, it is helpful to have a top Stamford Connecticut criminal defense attorney on your side who will be able to navigate you through the process. These insurance adjusters and investigators will always schedule a recorded “on-the-record” interview with you, where you will be forced to discuss the details of your car accident. Remember, everything you say to your insurance company can be used against you by police and prosecutors. So get in touch with any of the best Stamford criminal law firms prior to speaking with an insurance company.
Contact the Law Offices of Mark Sherman Today
The Law Offices of Mark Sherman offers a team of criminal defense attorneys experienced in fighting Evading Responsibility arrests in Stamford Connecticut under CGS § 14-224. For more information on our law firm, click here to see our certified clients reviews on the Avvo.com lawyer website. So call us today at (203) 358-4700 – we are available 24/7 to take your call!