What to Expect in a Hit and Run Charge in Westport
There are several little-known defense strategies available to someone who is charged with Evading Responsibility in Westport. It is important to speak with an experienced hit and run attorney who can aggressively investigate the case and explore all available defense options.
That is often a rebuttable presumption that exists in a Westport police officer’s minds when they are investigating Evading Responsibility crimes. It is up to the person who is being suspected of Evading Responsibility to disarm the presumption of accepting first-time offender’s programs and to try to show the officer that the person was not trying to evade another crime.
Penalties Associated with Hit and Run Charges
There are two subsections within Connecticut criminal law that permits a person to be charged with Evading Responsibility in Westport or any other jurisdiction in Connecticut. The misdemeanor charge of Evading Responsibility arises when property damage is caused.
The felony charge is when serious physical injury has been caused by the accident. “Serious physical injury” under Connecticut law is typically when the car accident causes a third part to suffer broken bones or hospitalization.
Consequences of Conviction
A conviction of the felony Evading Responsibility charge carries a maximum 10-year sentence, $10,000 fine, as well as probation. The misdemeanor charge carries a one-year maximum jail sentence and fines of up to $600 and probation.
Connecticut prosecutors frequently seek enhanced penalties for repeat Evading Responsibility offenders so if you are arrested as a repeat or second-time Hit and Run / Evading Responsibility charge, they can expect enhanced jail sentences.
Role of Law Enforcement
Once an officer receives a report of damage to a vehicle or injury with someone who has left the scene, they immediately try to track down the license plate number and identity of a person who fled the scene. Officers will sometimes observe surveillance video in the parking lot or on the street or in the building or on the highway where the accident happened.
Westport Connecticut officers then try to aggressively and quickly identify and interview the driver. They will question the driver and if the driver makes admissions that they were in fact driving or left the scene or drinking, or under the influence of any kind of prescription drugs, then that can make the Evading Responsibility case in Norwalk Court even more challenging to defend.
Appearing for Court
Once an individual has been booked, fingerprinted, and photographed at the Westport Police Station, they will be required to report to Norwalk Superior Court, also called “GA20,” located at 17 Belden Avenue in Norwalk Connecticut.
An individual will be required to appear for his or her first court date—called the arraignment. The process of resolving an Evading Responsibility case will involve several court appearances and negotiation with the prosecutors.
Prosecutors will sometimes want guilty pleas in exchange for fines. As a guilty plea, no matter how small the fine, will be on your record forever.
What does it mean if there was property damage?
There is usually no threat of jail time associated with a first-offense property damage. There are defense strategies available that can get a misdemeanor charge reduced to an infraction. It is referred to as failure to stop and show, or a first-time offender’s program such as the Accelerated Rehabilitation Program may be available. It may be available to a person arrested in Westport Connecticut for Evading Responsibility.
Importance of Hiring a Lawyer
In addition to consulting a Connecticut internet scrubbing attorney to assist you in managing the publication of a Westport Evading Responsibility arrest online and on Google, the most important piece is trying to resolve the case without a criminal conviction, without a permanent criminal record, and without having to burn a diversionary program or a first time offender’s program, especially when the damage caused in Evading Responsibility is minimal.
If there is serious physical injury and an individual is charged with a felony Evading Responsibility in Westport, Connecticut, then, obviously, jail is certainly on the table. An individual will need to have an experienced and aggressive Westport, Connecticut criminal lawyer by his or her side to help them resolve the case without a felony record, and to avoid jail time, if possible, under the circumstances of the case.