New Connecticut Law May Increase Penalties for Street Takeovers

 Posted on May 16,2024 in Reckless Driving

Hartford, CT criminal defense lawyerOver the past few years, people in Connecticut have become concerned about “street takeovers,” which involve gatherings by large groups of people on public streets and parking lots that impede traffic, potentially putting others at risk of harm. In an attempt to crack down on these activities, the state’s lawmakers are considering legislation that would increase the penalties that may apply to people who organize, participate in, or even observe street takeovers.

Because of the effects that these cases may have on people who are accused of participating in street takeovers, anyone who has been arrested, charged with a violation, or had a vehicle seized will need to understand their options for defense. An attorney with experience defending clients against motor vehicle offenses can provide effective representation in these situations, helping to limit the fines that may apply, prevent license suspensions or revocations, and recover seized vehicles.

Connecticut House and Senate Both Consider Street Takeover Bills

Street takeovers often involve the use of motorcycles, dirt bikes, and ATVs, which may weave in and out of traffic or even completely block roadways. People who are involved in these activities may be accused of engaging in street racing, disorderly conduct, or impeding police officers. Some local officials have struggled to address these issues and protect public safety, and to address these concerns, the Connecticut legislature may pass new laws that will provide them with more options.

The Connecticut House of Representatives recently passed House Bill 5413, which would allow municipalities to impose fines against people who participate in street takeovers. These would include organizers and promoters of these events or activities, participants, and even people who gather to observe street takeovers. The maximum fines that municipalities can impose are $1,000 for a first offense, $1,500 for a second offense, and $2,000 for a third offense. Municipalities will also be allowed to destroy dirt bikes, ATVs, and mini-motorcycles that have been seized, as opposed to the current requirement to sell these vehicles at auction. Finally, a first or second violation will result in a 45-day driver’s license suspension, and a third offense will result in a lifetime license revocation.

The Connecticut Senate is also considering a similar bill, Senate Bill 337. This bill would also allow for the destruction of vehicles seized by local law enforcement, and it would impose fines and license suspensions for people who participate in street takeovers. Due to the support of lawmakers, it seems likely that these bills will be passed and become law.

While lawmakers and public officials have supported these laws, others have raised concerns about how they may be implemented. Young people who are charged with these violations could potentially face a lifetime driver’s license revocation, limiting their employment opportunities. Because the law also applies to observers, it is possible that people who were nearby at the time of street takeovers could face penalties even if they did not intend to participate. These issues highlight the importance of legal representation for anyone who has been charged with these types of violations.

Contact Our Hartford, CT Motor Vehicle Offenses Lawyer

While Connecticut has not yet passed the law that will increase penalties for street takeovers, people who are accused of participating in these activities, such as engaging in street racing, blocking traffic, or disturbing the peace, may still be charged with violations. At Woolf Law Firm, LLC, our Connecticut traffic violation defense attorney can help determine the best ways to respond to these charges, minimize potential fines, avoid a license suspension, and recover a seized vehicle. To get the legal representation you need in these situations, contact our office at 860-290-8690 and schedule a free consultation.

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