New Haven Traffic Lawyer
While the State of Connecticut has made efforts to reduce traffic crashes in recent years, New Haven’s large population makes it one of the most common traffic accident sites in the state.
For this reason, a New Haven criminal lawyer can help a person protect their rights after being involved in a car accident. A New Haven traffic lawyer can use their knowledge and experience to build the strongest defense possible and to ensure that a person has the tools and opportunity to combat the charges against them.
New Haven is the second largest metropolitan area in Connecticut after Bridgeport – with a population of nearly 860,000 people – and it sees its fair share of car accidents. The busy traffic on just I-95 alone carries commuters, tourists, and a heavy trucking transport industry.
New Haven consistently ranks second in the top 10 Connecticut counties in terms of traffic crash fatalities, though that ranking drops to seventh place when the population size is accounted for in reports.
Common Causes and Types of Accidents
There are numerous factors that play into whether a motor vehicle collision occurs. Some factors, like weather conditions, may be outside of a driver’s control, however, even these types of unavoidable conditions may require drivers to operate with extra caution under the circumstances.
An experienced New Haven traffic attorney can help drivers who have been involved in car accidents stemming from all types of situations. Some of the most common causes and types of traffic collisions in the New Haven area include but are not limited to:
- Following too closely or tailgating
- Drowsy or distracted driving including cell phone use
- Speeding and aggressive driving
- Refusing to yield the right-of-way
- Driving dangerously for the weather or road conditions
- Not obeying posted construction zone warnings
- Unsafe road conditions or poorly maintained roadways
- Drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs or other controlled substances
- Large truck or tractor-trailer accidents
- Rollovers and jackknife accidents
- Roadway departures
- Intersection accidents
- Collisions with motorcyclists, pedestrians or bicyclists
Penalties for Traffic Infractions
A traffic infraction is any offense that does not carry the possibility of incarceration and the maximum penalty is a fine. The vast majority of traffic infractions carry the maximum of a fine. In addition to a fine, there is a possibility that a conviction will lead to various points on the individual’s license. If a person racked up enough points, the person’s license is suspended and they can require the person to then do driver retraining, have the person’s license suspended for typically 30 days or even more. There is both the fine as a penalty, as well as the overall points that can lead to a suspension of an individual’s license.
In terms of an infraction being considered a misdemeanor, there is a process by which the prosecutor can change a charge from a motor vehicle infraction to an actual crime. That is done through what is called substitute information, that is a document that the prosecutor files with the court and changes the actual offense.
This is often seen in the situation where someone is given a speeding ticket, but the ticket reflects that the individual is going faster than 85 miles per hour. Under those circumstances, that does meet the statutory definition of reckless driving and certainly, prosecutors have often filed substitute information changing the charge from just the charge of speeding to the more serious criminal offense, criminal misdemeanor of reckless driving.
How an Attorney Can Help
A traffic lawyer in New Haven can advise a person immediately following their motor vehicle collision regarding the next steps that they should take.
They can use their investigation tools to find out the circumstances of the collision and what role each party played in it. A lawyer can then use the information they find to build a robust defense for the alleged at-fault party. In some cases, an attorney can find pieces of the case that were overlooked that can make a difference in how a defense is built.
Additionally, an attorney can use their experience in similar cases and their knowledge of the New Haven area to prepare a robust defense unique to a particular case and to New Haven traffic laws. By doing so, the defendant has the opportunity to fight the charges against them and to attempt to minimize the penalties they are facing as much as possible.