When involved in an accident, you can’t leave the scene of the accident after it occurs. This is especially true if you caused the accident or were partially responsible for it. If this is the case, you must do a few things.
First, it is your responsibility to talk to the other party or parties involved in the accident. You will have to exchange information with them. Then, you need to assess the damage to the people and property involved in the accident.
Often, one party will contact the police, who will show up at the scene and file a police report. These are the basic steps involved when there is some type of motor vehicle accident. But, if one party leaves the scene of the accident before this can be done, this is another crime. This action is considered evading responsibility or a “hit-and-run” accident. You can learn more about evading responsibility in this article.
In the State of Connecticut, fleeing the scene of the crime is evading responsibility. Evading responsibility can be a misdemeanor or a felony charge. How this infraction is charged depends on the circumstances of your specific case. The police will consider many factors when determining how to charge the case. Factors such as the severity of the damage done to other people and property are considered. For a small fender bender in a parking lot or a similar issue, you will likely receive a misdemeanor charge. But, if involved in a major accident, you might face a felony evading responsibility charge. This might happen if the accident caused the death or serious injury of another person.
If you face a misdemeanor evading felony charge, you will face penalties. These penalties include a fine of up to $600 or a year long jail sentence. If you face a felony evading felony charge, the potential penalties are more serious. You could face a fine of as much as $10,000 and a prison sentence of 1-10 years. If evading responsibility results in death for the victim, you face a fine of up to $20,000 and a prison sentence of up to 20 years. You also face a license suspension that could range from 90 days to two years. These charges and penalties are not the end. You might also face a personal injury lawsuit. You could face more penalties if this is the case.
It is never a good idea to flee the scene of a crime or an accident. This will only mean that you face more severe penalties than if you had stayed and sorted everything out. When the police locate you, you will face an evading responsibility charge. This alone can carry serious penalties. If you fled the scene of an accident that you were involved in, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. You should also turn yourself in to the police. If you are facing an evading responsibility charge, now is the time to build your defense. Contact our office today to discuss possible defenses for your case and to get your questions answered.