What You Need to Know About Appealing New Hampshire DUI Convictions
The majority of our clients visit us seeking assistance in defending themselves against a DWI charge. However, other clients request our assistance after their conviction. DWIs are classified as criminal cases, and as such, specific circumstances can allow for this criminal conviction to be appealed. DWIs are also considered to be administrative matters because they affect the defendant’s right to operate a motor vehicle. If your license has been suspended at an administrative hearing, then this suspension can be appealed as well.
Not all motorists convicted of DWI charges will be entitled to appeal their conviction and subsequent license suspension. The grounds for an appeal must exist. Appeals for administrative license suspensions must be conducted through the Superior Court. DWI conviction appeals may be handled by either the Superior Court or the New Hampshire Supreme Court, although the latter option is rarely used.
What are the circumstances that enabled a defendant to appeal their criminal case? First and foremost, a judge may issue a bad ruling. The basis for this type of appeal is referred to as “assignments of error”. For example, the unethical actions of the prosecutor could result in an unfair trial. Likewise, a judge could deny a motion to suppress evidence that should not have been introduced into the courtroom. Rarely, unprofessional conduct on the part of the defense lawyer can result in an unfair conviction. If a defense lawyer fails to meet their professional obligations to their client, then their actions could provide the grounds for appeal.
In New Hampshire, a DWI conviction cannot be appealed until the final judgment has been entered into. For criminal cases involving DWIs, the final judgment generally consists of a guilty verdict for the DWI charge, as well as the imposing of a sentence that could include community restitution, mandatory jail time, and monetary fines. For administrative DWI cases, the sentence can include the installation of an ignition interlock device, required alcohol rehabilitation, and the revocation or suspension of one’s license.
If your sentence for a DWI conviction included jail time, then it might be possible for you to remain free on bail until your appeal has been heard in a court of law. However, this privilege is generally granted only in misdemeanor cases. If you are convicted of a DWI charge that was prosecuted as a felony, then fail may be denied, or the set amount of bail may be too expensive to afford.
Each New Hampshire DWI case is unique. One defendant’s appeal could be successful, while another defendant’s appeal is denied, even if the elements of their cases were similar. The ramifications of an NH DWI conviction can be severe. To find out more about your right to appeal a New Hampshire DWI conviction and if this is a viable option in your case, do not hesitate to contact our experienced NH DWI attorneys today. Your initial consultation is 100% free.