In 2017, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration estimated that hit and runs occur about once every 43 seconds in the U.S. Most often, these accidents involve two cars and result in property damage, but they can also involve serious injuries to drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians, or anyone else who was hurt at the scene of the accident. In either case, committing a hit and run (or “evading responsibility”) is a serious crime that calls for an experienced criminal defense attorney.
“Hit and Run” vs. “Evading Responsibility”
Connecticut uses the term “evading responsibility” where most states use “hit and run.” Really, the two charges are one and the same. In Connecticut, you can be charged with this crime if you cause a car wreck and then A) leave the scene before properly identifying yourself or B) fail to report the accident.
People throughout Connecticut get charged with evading responsibility for a number of reasons. Sometimes, they hit another car, panic, and drive off before thinking through the consequences. On other occasions, they might think they’ve taken care of all the necessary post-accident paperwork only to later find out they missed a step. Regardless of what you allegedly did to be accused of evading responsibility, what matters now is how you handle your case from here on out.
Do I Need a Lawyer for an Evading Responsibility Charge?
Unlike your run-of-the-mill traffic ticket, evading responsibility charges typically involve insurance claims, property damage, injuries, or even death. Connecticut law may not require you to have an attorney, but for your own sake, you want someone on your side who can handle the intricacies of these charges.
When it comes to hit and runs, even a fender bender that resulted in minimal damage can leave you facing steep legal penalties, such as license suspension, fines, or even jail time. If someone else from the accident was seriously injured or killed, those penalties only get steeper. For all these reasons, I strongly encourage you to at least review your case with a local criminal defense law firm. If you were charged in or near West Haven, Connecticut, take advantage of a free consultation with DeMatteo Legal Solutions.