DUI Rights Help in New Hampshire – NH DUI Laws
Manchester, Concord, Portsmouth, Dover, and all other cities in New Hampshire have the same laws when it comes to Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Considering that over 30 percent of all traffic related deaths are caused by drunk drivers, the state of New Hampshire is not very lenient when it comes to penalizing those convicted of DWI – New Hampshire is one of the very few states who actually enforces a minimum amount of jail time for first time DUI offenders, which is a 10-day minimum.
Aggravated DWI in New Hampshire
In addition to the standard DWI laws, New Hampshire has also adopted what is known as “aggravated DWI.” An aggravated DWI charge occurs when:
- The individual is driving 30 MPH over the speed limit
- Their behavior causes an accident or collision that results in a serious injury
- The individual attempts to elude law enforcement
- The individual has a passenger in the vehicle who is under the age of 16
- The individual has a Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) of over 0.16 percent
Those who are charged with aggravated DWI face much harsher penalties, even for first time offenders, than those individuals who are charged with first time traditional DWI charges.
Knowing Your Rights to Fight Your Case
For those individuals who wish to plead to a lesser charge or have their case dismissed, it is important for them to understand their DUI rights. Unbeknownst to many, an individual’s rights are most often violated during a DUI investigation and arrest, which is evidence that can be used against the prosecutor’s case. In order to get a better understanding of what occurred during the traffic stop, testing, and arrest, an individual’s attorney will likely ask the following questions:
- Why was a traffic stop conducted? What driving violations were observed by the law enforcement officer?
- Did the law enforcement officer witness you behind the wheel/driving the vehicle? Was the vehicle in operation when the officer made the traffic stop?
- Did the law enforcement officer have the same observations as other witnesses?
- Did the law enforcement officer administer any field sobriety testing? What testing did you receive and how was it administered? Did any outside forces effect the outcome of this testing?
- Was a Breathalyzer test administered? How long after your last alcoholic drink did you take the test?
Did the officer recite to you your Miranda Rights? Did he/she ensure you understood those rights?
Protect your rights and learn how to get your New Hampshire DUI charges dismissed. Get Started Now by filling out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form to get the answers you need.
No matter how guilty you may think you were at the time of the arrest, we want you to know one important thing: There is ALWAYS an aggressive and effective defense that will help you fight for the best possible outcome. In our experience, many officers do not follow proper field sobriety test procedures. In fact, challenging probable cause and the way field sobriety tests, blood tests and breath tests were administered is often a successful strategy to reduce or drop the charges. Also, many people plead guilty prematurely based on a breath test with a result above the legal limit. This is a common and costly mistake, as there are a variety of ways in having the breath test suppressed as we will show you how to do.
If you rely solely on a public defender to help you, your chances will be limited in preserving financial security and effectively winning your case. With our help, we will show you the easy to understand steps needed to get your New Hampshire DUI charges dismissed effectively and take back the control of your situation by being equipped with the real information and representation you need to win your case.
DUI Laws in New Hampshire
In New Hampshire, a DUI is also known as a DWI, or driving while intoxicated. The state does not take DUI/DWI cases lightly offering stern minimal jail sentence and license suspensions as well as the potential for thousands of dollars in monetary fines. The state also has “aggravated DWI” circumstances to consider that will lead to more significant fines and penalties.
Consequences for Refusing to Take Chemical Tests
If you are arrested and charged with a DUI/DWI in New Hampshire, you will be required to take chemical tests. Because the state is an implied consent state, you will automatically have your license suspended and be subject to additional fines:
- First offense – 180-day suspension
- Second offense – two-year suspension
- Third offense – two-year suspension
Challenging BAC Levels in Court
All blood alcohol content (BAC) levels for DUI in New Hampshire are consistent with those in other states:
- Drivers that are under the age of 21, .02 percent
- Drivers 21 years of age and older, .08 percent
- Commercial drivers, .04 percent
Aggravated DUI/DWI in New Hampshire
New Hampshire does have specific circumstances for an aggravated DUI/DWI. These circumstances are:
- BAC of .16+
- Child under the age of 16 in the car
- Speed of 30mph+ over speed limit
- Serious injury caused by collision
- Alluding law enforcement
Is There Mandatory Jail Time Required for a DUI in New Hampshire?
New Hampshire is falling in line with other states in offering a minimum sentence with the maximum sentence being left up to the judge:
- First offense – minimum of 10 days in jail, no maximum
- Second offense – minimum of 30 days in jail, no maximum
- Third offense – minimum of 180 days in jail, no maximum
The lookback period in Nevada for sentencing purposes is 10 years.
Monetary Fines and Penalties for DUI in New Hampshire
First time offenders face a higher fine than a significant amount of states, but repeat offenders may see fines amongst the highest in the country:
- First offense – fines ranging from $500 to $750
- Second offense – minimum fine of $750 with no maximum set
- Third offense – minimum fine of $750 with no maximum set
License Suspension for DUI in New Hampshire
As in all other areas, New Hampshire does not define the maximum period of license suspension for repeat offenders:
- First offense – between nine and 18 months suspension
- Second offense – three-year minimum suspension with no maximum listed
- Third offense – indefinite at the discretion of the judge
In New Hampshire, an ignition interlock device (IID) is not required on the first violation, but repeat offenders may have to have one installed.
Finding a DUI Lawyer in New Hampshire
A charge of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offense in the state of New Hampshire can carry some serious penalties. In these cases, a first time offense can carry punishments that include a license suspension of six months, one year or three years which will begin at the time the offended is arrested. Additionally, alcohol educations classes, substance abuse assessments, and possible treatment as well as needing to use an ignition interlock device can be added penalties.
Why You Should Hire a New Hampshire DUI Attorney
Because the licenses suspension associated with a first time DUI or DWI offense begins immediately upon arrest, it is important for offenders to act quickly when it comes to securing legal representation. There is only a short amount of time available for an offender to file and request an administrative hearing in order to deal with the license suspension. In these court hearings, a judge will either decide to uphold or dismiss the suspension. The DUI or DWI charge itself will be handled in a separate hearing.
It is very important to have legal representation present at both of these hearings. A knowledgeable, professional DUI attorney will take a close look at the case, making sure to evaluate all the evidence presented including the offender’s and officer’s accounts of the events that took place at the time or arrest. These attorneys will be able to identify and present evidence if the offender’s rights were violated in any way, which may be a crucial aspect to having the charges reduced or dismissed.
Depending on the offender’s economic circumstances and ability to retain his or her own counsel, a public defender may be available to represent him or her at no charge. Although free counsel may be appealing, it is important to note although these individuals are knowledgeable, few public defenders are well-versed in the ins and outs of DUI and DWI law. In many cases, these public defenders simply wish to settle the case, which may mean that the offender will have to take on punishments that they do not deserve.
New Hampshire DUI attorneys, although more expensive to hire, are generally the better choice when it comes to handling these types of charges. DUI attorneys know the local laws surrounding these types of arrests very well and are often able to easily spot and present problems with the case or arrest that may help lessen or eliminate the offender’s penalties and punishments. Retaining the right representation for a DUI or DWI charge is important and more information can be found at DUIrights.com
With high minimum penalties and fines and often no limit on the maximum, being arrested in New Hampshire for a DUI can be quite costly. If you are arrested and charged and would like to fight the charges, you are going to need a skilled attorney. For more information or to find a licensed, local attorney, please fill out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Now!