For most of the people who come to me who were arrested for DUI in New Hampshire, it is their first offense, and the first time they were arrested. Many people do not understand the court system or the serious consequences they are facing for a first offense DWI. DWI is not just a small traffic violation. It is a criminal offense. If you are found guilty, you will have a criminal record. For certain professions such as teachers, people in the medical field such as nurses and RNs, and those in certain government positions, a criminal record can cost you your job. To be found guilty, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your ability to drive was impaired due to alcohol or drugs. If you refused a breath test, the prosecutor will try and use that against you.
Besides having a criminal record, if you are found guilty of DUI, you will lose your license for a minimum of 9 months (in certain cases you can get it back after 90 days). The judge can not give you less of a license loss than that, no matter how compelling your reasons. It doesn't matter if you are a single mother, drive hours to work, need to go to doctor appointments, etc. Making matters even worse, New Hampshire does not have any hardship license/work license/or Cinderella license. People often ask me how they are supposed to get to work and support their family. My advice is with so much at stake you need a good DWI lawyer to present the best defenses and get you the best outcome possible.
DWI cases are complicated and involved science, the rules of evidence, and pseudo-science (field sobriety tests). You need someone who is an expert in these things to know all of the potential defenses you have. Attorney Dan Hynes wrote a few books on DWI. He gives them to his clients so they can know some of the many defenses they have (such as 100 medical defenses). Additionally, Attorney Hynes has training as a field sobriety test instructor (the training used to teach officers on how to administer field sobriety tests).
If you are found guilty of DWI, before you get your license back you need to do an alcohol and drug screening, a full evaluation if needed, including potential AA meetings of to see a counselor for months, and to do a 20 hour alcohol class. You also have to pay fines, and need SR-22 insurance for 3 years, which will raise your insurance costs. Also, DWI is a major offense toward the habitual offender law in NH. With as few as 2 other offenses, you can be deemed a habitual offender and lose your license for minimum 1-4 years. If you drive while under suspension for DWI you will go to jail for a minimum of 7 days, and have an additional year license loss. If you drive while a habitual offender, it is a felony and you will go to jail for a minimum of 1 year.
With so much at stake can you afford not to put forth your best defense? Give our DUI Attorneys a call to discuss how we can help you
License loss Minimum 9 months up to 2 years (Any license loss for refusing a breath test must run in addition to these license losses)
Fines: $620 to $1200 + Penalty assessment
Major offense toward habitual offender law