DUI Law in New Hampshire

What is a DUI?

Are you facing a costly DUI in New Hampshire? 

DUI, which refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is a criminal offense that can lead to weighty consequences. Also known as DWI, the process of going to court to face either conviction or exoneration can change the course of your life forever.

Learn more about your DUI law defense options below, and then talk to a local attorney who will help you in this delicate situation. You don’t have to stare down consequences alone. You can take wise steps today to protect your interests.

Possible Consequences of a New Hampshire DUI Conviction

Where you live, the severity of the incident, and your criminal record determine the sentencing for a DUI. The punishments can drastically increase if you have had previous DUIs, so be mindful of that. If this is your first DUI, do not go at it alone and risk costly mistakes. Get a New Hampshire law firm on your side to fight for you and your rights.

Here are some of the possible high costs and common punishments you may experience if convicted following a DUI arrest.

Paying Fines

If convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in New Hampshire, you can count on fines being a part of your sentencing. New Hampshire law sets the fines for a DUI at a minimum of $500 for a first offense, and $2,000 for a third. However, other factors can drastically increase the amount you must pay, including:

  • Any damage to property while driving under the influence
  • If someone suffered injuries as a result of your intoxicated driving
  • Cases that include child endangerment
  • Any court costs associated with your case

The fines you owe following a conviction can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on your case. Will you face costly jail time?

Jail Time

In several states, jail time is mandatory, even for first-time offenders. If this is your first DUI offense, you may only have to face a day or two in jail. But if you have previous convictions for DUIs, you can receive a sentence of several months to over a year in prison. Know that some circumstances can add even more time in a cell, including injury to other people while driving under the influence.

Your first DUI offense in New Hampshire does not come with mandatory jail time. However it does carry a minimum $500 fine and a potential nine-month license suspension may apply. A second offense can carry a minimum jail sentence of 17 days, a $750 fine, and up to a three-year loss of your driving privileges. You can lose your license for life with a third offense, as well as spend 180 days in jail and pay up to $2,000. The New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles also provides details on how the law handles penalties for underage DUI or DWI.

Probation

If you do not face jail time, you will likely be on probation, with the sentencing judge determining the duration. You will pay monthly fees, and you cannot commit any more criminal offenses, including traffic violations. If you violate the terms of your probation, count on facing time behind bars.

New Hampshire law requires that you follow a strict set of instructions from a probation officer. You must report on time, submit to drug testing, and attend mandatory counseling sessions. Failure to complete even the smallest of responsibilities may result in the loss of your probation privileges. If you’re found guilty of violating your parole, the judge can impose the maximum sentence for your original conviction.

Drug and Alcohol Education Program

Following a New Hampshire DUI sentencing, the law states you must complete a drug and alcohol education program. This will teach you about the dangers of driving under the influence. These programs cost more fees besides the legal costs you already have to pay.

The education programs also include a DUI evaluation. An evaluator asks you questions about how alcohol and drugs affect your life. If they believe that you are dependent, you may have to enter a substance abuse treatment program before reinstating your license.

Suspension or Loss of License

No matter where you may face a DUI conviction, you have to undergo a license suspension period, at the very least. If it is your first DUI, you may have a license suspension for a few months while you go through probation and the drug and alcohol education program.

If this is not your first DUI, you may have your license suspended for much longer, or you could have it taken from you permanently.

What Should You Do When Charged With a DUI in New Hampshire?

If you’re facing a felony DUI charge, you must take the following steps to protect yourself:

Step 1: Contact an Attorney Familiar With New Hampshire DUI Law

Immediately following your DUI arrest, you need to contact an experienced New Hampshire  DUI attorney. Your attorney can help prepare for your arraignment and prepare a defense to vindicate yourself or reduce the sentencing.

Step 2: Learn About Your State’s DUI Laws

Each state, including New Hampshire, has unique laws for DUI or DWI charges. Your lawyer will work with you to help you better understand your state’s laws on driving while intoxicated. It is critical to understand what charges you face and the potential outcomes of your case. 

Step 3: Request a DMV Hearing

In New Hampshire, you have a short amount of time to ask for a DMV hearing to keep your license leading up to your court appearance. If you do not request a hearing, prepare for a license suspension. You or your attorney should request a hearing as soon as possible following your arrest.

You have thirty days from the date you were served with a license suspension to request a hearing with the DMV. The New Hampshire Department of Safety provides an online form that goes directly to the state for faster review.

Step 4: Prepare for Court Appearance

You and your attorney will prepare for your court appearance and arraignment. If you plead “not guilty,” your DUI defense attorney represents you in court, and a judge and jury oversee the DUI law case.

Step 5: Receive Sentencing or Exoneration

You will either be “not guilty” of the charges brought against you and walk free, or you will receive sentencing for a guilty verdict.

Work with an Experienced Local DUI Lawyer in New Hampshire

Should you ever find yourself charged with a DUI, you need to work with an experienced New Hampshire lawyer who can stand up for you in court. You cannot clear your name of the charges or reduce the consequences without help. Your life and future depend on having great legal representation during your DUI case. Contact an attorney near you in New Hampshire today. We can even help you connect with legal help across New Hampshire state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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