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Aggravated DWI Penalties
If you are charged with aggravated DWI in NH, you are facing serious consequences. For even a first offense it has mandatory jail time and a minimum 12 month loss of license, as well as a required interlock device. The maximum penalty is 12 months in jail, 2 year loss of license, and 2 year interlock device. If found guilty, the judge must sentence you to jail. It does not matter how compelling a reason you have for why you can't go to jail. Such as having to take care of a child, or elderly, or anyone else who relies on you. The only way to not go to jail or lose your license for a minimum of one year after being charged with Aggravated DWI is to not be convicted of aggravated DWI. An arrest is not a conviction. I am able to win many aggravated DWI cases at trial, and I have had countless aggravated DWI charges reduced. If you cannot afford to go to jail or lose your license for a year and are facing aggravated DWI in New Hampshire, give me a call so we can discuss putting together your best defenses.
Types of Aggravated DWI
Under N.H. RSA 265-A:3, there are numerous types of ways a standard DWI becomes aggravated DWI. The most common one is:
Having a breath or blood test .16 or higher
There are numerous defenses to this charge depending on if you gave a breath test or blood test. Both tests are not 100% accurate and have a margin of error. No matter which test you gave, you will want to have the test independelty tested by a lab to corroborate or see if there is an issue with the test. Other defenses include that the test was higher at the time the chemical sample was obtained as compared to the time of driving. Also, both tests must be administered pursuant to certain regulations. A good DWI lawyer fully understands the process the officer must use as well as the crime lab, and phlebotomist (if a blood test was given). Also, the officer must have lawfully obtained the test pursuant to the implied consent statute.
Driving in excess of 30+ above the speed limit
If you are charged with DWI and were going more than 30 miles above a posted speed limit you can be charged with DWI. Fortunately, speeding is not a sign of impairment, and the best defense to this chage is that your ability to drive was not impaired to alcohol or drugs, which is a complete defense to the underlying DWI charge.
Causing a motor vehicle accident that results in serious bodily injury
This is the worst type of DWI you can face. It is a felony and has even more harsh penalties than the misdemeanor aggravated DWI charges. For this charge, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt you committed the crime of DWI and that you caused serious bodily injury to anyone, including yourself. One of the best defenses to this charge is that no serious injury was caused.
Attempting to elude the officer
If you were charged with DWI and disoberying an officer for fleeing or eluding them, you will probably also face an aggravated DWI charge. A good defense to this charge is often that the person did not know they were being stopped by the police officer.
Having a passenger under 16 in the vehicle
If you had anyone under the age of 16 in the vehicle while committing DWI, your charge can be enhanced to aggravated DWI. Having a child in the vehicle is also in itself not a sign of impairment. Accordingly, the best defense is to win he underlying DWI charge. There is also a good argument to make that the driver would not have put their child or passenger in harm, and can sometimes produce additional evidence of non-impairment.
If you are facing an aggravated DWI charge, contact us as soon as possible. It is almost always best for your case to have an experienced DWI attorney representing you as soon as possible. Call us now to learn how we can help you: 603-384-3264