Facing an arrest when you live in a small town can be embarrassing on top of the fear you’ll face of the possible consequences of a conviction. When you’re facing a DWI or DUI arrest in a small town, you may also face damage to your personal and professional reputation. So, let’s examine the possible consequences of a DWI or DUI conviction in New Hampshire and what you can do to retain your good reputation.
DWI and DUI Penalties
In New Hampshire, both DWI and DUI are used interchangeably for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There are several penalty possibilities depending on whether this is your first offense and aggravating factors.
The first offense in New Hampshire is a Class B misdemeanor and can result in a license suspension of nine months to two years and up to a $1,200 fine. In addition, you’ll need to take an impaired driver intervention program to reinstate your license. You’ll also need an SR-22 proof of financial responsibility for three years, which can increase your insurance costs dramatically.
A second DWI can result in mandatory jail time. You’ll receive a fine between $750 and $2,000, as well as a three-year license suspension. A second DWI is punishable with at least ten days in jail and up to 12 months. If you receive a second DWI conviction within two years of your first conviction, it results in a 30-day minimum jail sentence. With a third DUI conviction within ten years, you can lose your license for five years and face jail for 180 days minimum, as well as a residential 28-day inpatient alcohol or drug treatment program.
An aggravated DWI is one involving:
- High rates of speed,
- Trying to elude the police,
- Causing serious bodily injury,
- Having a minor under 16 in the car, or
- Having a BAC of .16 or higher.
The police may charge an aggravated DWI as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances. Penalties involve:
· Fines of up to $2,000.
- License suspension of up to 24 months.
- A jail sentence of ten days up to 12 months.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
In the end, it’s important to remember that an arrest for DWI/DUI doesn’t mean that a court will convict you. An arrest in a small town can be more awkward. You may know the prosecutor, the judge, people on the jury, or even the police officers who arrest you. It can be tempting to plead guilty and hope it all goes away. But if you have an experienced DWI attorney, you may be able to fight the charges successfully. A criminal defense attorney skilled in DUI defense can examine the facts of your case and determine your best options, which may include:
- Challenging reasonable suspicion for your initial traffic stop,
- Challenging probable cause for your arrest,
- Challenging the results or accuracy of breath or blood alcohol tests, or
- Making another constitutional challenge.
If your reputation in town is important to you, you should speak with a DUI/DWI attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.
Hire an Experienced New Hampshire DWI Attorney
If you’re facing a DWI/DUI in a small town in New Hampshire, you need experienced legal guidance. Don’t try to fight a DWI on your own. At Tenn And Tenn, P.A., our experienced New Hampshire DUI lawyers may be able to help. Our skilled attorneys have helped hundreds of people fight DWIs in New Hampshire. Give us a call at (603) 624-3700 or contact us online for a free consultation.