Change to Hit and Run Laws in Connecticut
Connecticut laws have seen a shift in the severity in which crimes are punished. While certain drug crimes recently became less troublesome other issues are being treated more harshly, including several traffic laws. One regulation experiencing a severity elevation is evading responsibility, also known as hit and run. Drivers mistakenly choose to leave the scene of an accident hoping to avoid the repercussions. More legal trouble awaits a driver opting to flee without leaving contact information.
How Did They Find Me?
An evading responsibility charge often begins with an emergency 9-1-1 phone call made by the victim or a witness of the accident. Once police arrive at the scene they begin gathering all information available. Cops ask all passengers of the remaining car as well as any witnesses for descriptions of the driver, car, or license plate. From there they utilize all avenues available, including:
- Body cams, dash cams, and other video recording from other drivers,
- Video surveillance from traffic cameras and surrounding businesses, and
- Police database information.
Making an Arrest
Did you know that even if your vehicle is the only involvement, i.e. a one-car accident, evading responsibility charges is still a possibility. In any circumstances, the police have the right to show up on your doorstep to ask you questions. However, without a warrant, they cannot complete a search or remove you from your home. In many cases, the police do not wish to complete the necessary paperwork before attempting to make an arrest. The following steps need to reach completion in order to make a true arrest:
- Gather evidence,
- Complete an arrest warrant application, and
- Obtain signatures from a prosecutor and a judge.
If no warrant is available during initial communication, be it face-to-face or over the phone, remain polite but do not go with them. Do not answer questions and inform them that either yourself or your attorney will contact them within 24 hours. In any hit and run accident involving any physical injury, including a bruise or a sprain, felony convictions are possible. This means that now, even in minor fender benders, if you fail to offer assistance or give your insurance information, even the mention of pain can result in a felony charge.
De-escalate before the Arrest
Communication by an aggressive and knowledgeable attorney to the police department before they issue an arrest warrant potentially can lessen the situation to a lesser charge or prevent the arrest entirely, dependent of the details surrounding the incident. If you are interested in discussing your case with an experienced Stamford, CT traffic defense attorney, contact the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner today by calling 203-348-5846 to set-up your free initial consultation.