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Defenses for Evading Responsibility Charges in Westport

An experienced hit and run attorney can critically assess how injured the other person is because getting to the level of serious physical injury is the difference between a class D felony and a class B felony. 

The difference between penalty determinations is the type of injury sustained. Individuals can face a mandatory two-year jail sentence for up to 20 years or the potential of having no prison time and only facing up to five years.

Impact of Injury Severity

Serious bodily injuries include:

  • Serious disfigurement an injury that causes
  • Substantial impairment to an essential organ of the body
  • Lasting or permanent beyond something like a bruise, cut or bump

The line between serious physical injury and regular physical injury determines potentially sitting in prison for more than a decade or facing probation.

Defenses to Negating Liability

There are defenses for evading responsibility charges in Westport that can negate liability at any level. They can reduce liability from the different felony levels down to the misdemeanor level. With regard to the defenses that can help negate liability, it is relevant to explore whether the individual reasonably knew or should have known that an accident occurred.

It is possible that someone did not know that they had struck another person or another vehicle. In that instance, the person again should make sure that the way that the car appears after the incident is preserved through photos or videos in order to show exactly where the collision point was or was not.

Arguing No Harm Done

Possible defenses for evading responsibility charges in Westport can include building an argument to show potentially that there was no damage and whatever is being reported appears to be inconsistent with what appears to be on that person's car.

Meaning, if it turns out that the accused person’s car does not appear to have any damage or scratches on it, that that would be very helpful to negating the element that there actually even needs to be an accident. It could potentially be shown that there really was not an accident or that there was no reason for the person to know that an accident occurred.

Important Elements of the Scene

Sometimes someone could not stop because of the circumstances around where the incident took place such as: 

  • Not having enough room to stop
  • It was not safe to stop
  • They were attempting to reach their destination
  • Left to call the police

In other words, they did not get a reasonable opportunity to fulfill the duties that are imposed on them by this law.

Not Imposing the Duties

The injured party may have made it difficult for the person accused to fulfill their duties either by the other person leaving the scene themselves or claiming that there is no damage done or nothing to address and then later reporting it to the police or something along those lines.

When building defenses for evading responsibility charges in Westport, it is important to keep in mind that liability is determined by the amount of damage actually caused. It is important to document the damage to their own vehicle in order to be able to show that there might not have been a very heavy amount of damage or that the person may be exaggerating their level of damage.