New Hampshire Criminal Defense Lawyer
Serving Clients Throughout New Hampshire: Concord, Dover and Manchester
Shaheen & Gordon -
the best legal minds belong in your corner.
When our clients face criminal charges brought by the state and federal government, Shaheen & Gordon's criminal defense team prides itself on zealously defending them. Our criminal lawyers include former prosecutors at the county, state, and federal levels, as well as seasoned criminal defense attorneys. With a wealth of prosecution experience, our criminal defense attorneys have been trained to understand how the state builds cases, and they rely on that experience to defend clients.
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With principal offices in Concord, Dover, and Manchester and satellite offices in Nashua and Portsmouth, our criminal team is uniquely positioned to respond to a range of matters at all levels of the criminal justice system in New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. With equal energy, our criminal defense attorneys regularly defend major and minor matters alike - from felony homicide charges, to complicated white collar federal offenses, to district court misdemeanors and traffic violation cases. No matter the size and scope of the charge, our criminal attorneys focus on minimizing the frightening impact that a criminal case can have on our clients and their families.
To be effective in defending cases, our criminal law team knows that it must both prepare to try its cases and, at the same time, creatively explore the most responsible way to resolve them. Year in and year out, our criminal defense attorneys deliver victories to their clients after trial. At the same time, they boast a range of creative resolutions, even in the face of the most difficult and stigmatizing allegations of criminal wrongdoing. From district court misdemeanor bench trials to complicated felony jury trials, our track record demonstrates a willingness to wade in to the most controversial and difficult matters in a meaningful manner.
Our criminal attorneys apply a comprehensive approach to defending felony and misdemeanor cases. This means taking the time to know our clients, size up legal and factual issues, spot constitutional concerns, assess scientific and forensic questions, and enlist the assistance of forensic and mental health experts when necessary. We also understand the importance of building a strong attorney / client relationship in order for a criminal case to be successful.
The Lawyer-Client Relationship in Criminal Cases
No matter the complexity of a case, our criminal lawyers take the time to know our clients and their families in order to assess their goals and manage the case with those goals in mind. The penalties in criminal cases can be among the most significant in all of the justice system. Felony and misdemeanor cases may call for jail and prison time; result in stigmatizing registration obligations; and conclude with a criminal record. These penalties extend well beyond the case itself, having an impact on our clients' professional lives and family obligations.
Understanding the impact of a case on our client puts us in a better position to drive a case toward a result-oriented outcome. We insist on meeting our clients up front in order to discuss their background, family circumstances, and future plans. We then rely on this knowledge to inform negotiations with prosecutors and to shape our goals as we move forward. We view the attorney / client relationship in criminal cases as sacrosanct. In major matters, our firm offers the depth to assemble a team of criminal practitioners to engage in comprehensive pretrial litigation, trial preparation, and careful negotiation. Even in minor matters, our standing as one of New Hampshire's largest firms gives us a wealth of in house resources to attack the State's case.
Identifying Factual, Legal, and Constitutional Issues
Fundamental constitutional concerns are implicated in criminal cases. Our criminal defense attorneys take pride in spotting these issues and then incorporating them into negotiations, pre-trial motions and trial preparation. In our cases, search and seizure, Miranda rights, competency, confrontation, due process, and mental health matters routinely implicate fundamental constitutional concerns at the state and federal level. Our criminal defense lawyers stay abreast of the latest state and federal court decisions in order to understand these issues, blend them into our negotiations with prosecutors, and engage in pre-trial litigation. We take pride in our motion practice, in which we bring sophisticated legal writing and research skills to litigate important matters prior to trial. By contemplating motions to dismiss cases and suppress evidence, we find that we can improve our bargaining position prior to trial. When bargaining fails, our aggressive approach to pretrial litigation often positions us to narrow cases, improving our likelihood of success at trial.
Scientific and Expert Issues
Advances in technology have had an enormous impact on the prosecution and defense of criminal cases. Well-rounded work as a criminal defense attorney is no longer just about effective court room presentation, but also requires an understanding of the scientific underpinnings of a case. In any given case, DNA testing, blood stain pattern analysis, computer forensics, mental health issues, forensic auditing, polygraph examinations, chemical testing, fingerprint comparison, tool mark analysis and psycho-sexual evaluations may surface among a myriad of scientific issues. Our criminal lawyers have experience presenting and defending scientific evidence in court and have established trusted relationships with qualified experts in order to size up these issues, develop a plan of attack, and poke holes in the prosecution theory.
Criminal Cases We Handle
Effective criminal defense extends well beyond trial. Those convicted of a crime have appellate and collateral rights to further judicial review. Effective appellate advocacy can turn errors made by the prosecutor and trial court in to a reversal on appeal. The appeals process is complex in New Hampshire, requiring a knowledgeable and detail-oriented attorney to apply academic resources, legal research and effective written advocacy to vindicate client interests. Our criminal lawyers have experience before State and Federal courts of appeals, which operate differently than criminal trial courts.
We are proud to say that clients regularly turn to our firm to pursue appeals on behalf of defendants that were represented by other lawyers at trial. No matter the crime a client may have been convicted of committing, our legal team is regularly called upon to scour the trial record, reviewing the case for ineffective assistance of counsel, legal malpractice and errors made by the trial court. If the appellate court determines that they case was wrongly handled, the sentence could be reversed.
The criminal attorneys with our firm have successfully represented clients in appeals cases. Even an individual convicted of a serious crime -something as terrible as murder or rape - could have their conviction reversed if the Court of Appeals determines they were wrongfully treated by the prosecution, judge, and / or jury during their criminal trial. The appeals process can save an individual from a wrongful conviction and should be immediately requested with the aid of a New Hampshire criminal lawyer.
New Hampshire continues to aggressively prosecute drug cases at the state and federal level. Simple possession of marijuana remains a crime in New Hampshire. Over and over again, we are called up on to defend clients in simple roadside stops, which result in arrests for
drug possession. What may first appear as a minor matter quickly escalates to a major concern. Drug convictions can result in criminal records, as well as loss of federal financial aid for college students.
Understanding the range of available outcomes in such cases is critical, and these outcomes differ dramatically between different courts throughout the state. Our defense attorneys are well aware of the various diversionary results that are common in such cases and they frequently rely on that knowledge to broker outcomes for our clients which avoid criminal convictions. Where such results cannot be found, our criminal lawyers stand ready to take a case to trial, knowledgeable about the issues common to drug cases, including the nuances of search and seizure law.
Our criminal defense attorneys regularly defend more serious drug trafficking cases as well, which may arise in a variety of contexts. State and federal authorities often work in consort to investigate and prosecute these more serious drug offenses, which range from growing operations and drug sales to possession with intent to distribute as well as complicated conspiracies. The sophisticated nature of the law enforcement approach, as well as the complicated constitutional issues often implicated by such cases, require top-notch legal defense. Our regular involvement in defending drug dealing and drug trafficking cases makes our criminal defense team uniquely qualified to defend such matters.
No criminal case is too large or small for our criminal defense team. Whether it is a minor matter in a local district court or a complicated conspiracy in federal court, our attorneys are ready to rely on their combined experience to defend our criminal cases. Our firm finds its roots in both state and federal prosecution. Our founding partners, Steve Gordon and Bill Shaheen, met when they served together in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Concord, New Hampshire during the Carter Administration. Their experience in federal court made the defense of federal criminal cases a natural next step in private practice.
Today, several of our criminal defense attorneys regularly defend federal criminal cases, such as charges of tax fraud or of
public corruption. To do well in this area, means to understand the complicated rubric of federal offenses and the sentencing guideline. Unlike the state system, federal sentencing is defined still by a sentencing guideline, which categorizes criminal conduct and places it within a sentencing range. Though recent Supreme Court cases have removed the obligatory application of the sentencing guideline, it remains the driving force in sentencing analysis in New Hampshire. We understand the sentencing guideline inside and out, appreciate the application of downward and upward departures in sentencing in a variety of contexts and rely on a sophisticated sentencing analysis to size up the exposure in our cases. Our criminal defense lawyers have taken a leadership role in the federal defense bar, serving as a resource to the federal court on the Criminal Justice Act panel, a testament to their depth of experience defending federal criminal cases.
As the convenience, usefulness, and availability of the Internet continues to grow, so does the rate of computer and Internet crimes. The Internet allows an individual to contact other persons around the world with the click of a mouse, without physical contact or other means of verifying their identification. This is why the rate of identity theft, credit card fraud, scams, and other such offenses has continued to rise as the Internet has continued to grow.
Charges of an Internet crime can land a person in jail or federal prison. The attorneys with our firm understand the intricate state and federal laws regarding Internet crimes and can build a strong defense for any client facing charges of fraud, phishing, theft, and more. Hacking and wrongful access to another individual's data or programs is also a crime that can lead to serious penalties. Our firm is capable of providing the experienced and aggressive defense needed to avoid a criminal conviction.
In general, the State of New Hampshire addresses criminal offenses committed by minors in juvenile court, applying a different process and set of standards to adjudicate juvenile cases. . A range of sentencing options exist for juvenile offenders. Serious sentences may result in placement in a juvenile detention facility instead of jail. Garden variety cases are regularly dealt with through the assignment of a juvenile probation and parole officer who exercises wide discretion to develop a plan for supervision and programming, often including regular contact and drug and alcohol screening.
The Juvenile Court frequently joins the local school system as a party to the proceeding in order to blend case concerns with monitoring of academic progress and supervision. In certain instances, the Division of Child Youth and Families is notified and may become active in a case. The blend of participants in these cases, requires our lawyers to work well on all fronts, keeping an eye on result oriented outcomes that permit our youngest clients to productively move forward in their family and school settings.
In certain serious cases, New Hampshire has a system to certify a juvenile offender as an adult, accounting for a range of factors, from age to maturity to the nature of the crime involved. These cases generally involve serious violent and sexual crimes such as murder or aggravated felonious sexual assault, among others. In these and all other juvenile crime cases, it is vital to have the defense of a skilled criminal attorney to understand the complicated certification process. Our lawyers have the compassion needed to comfort and support a juvenile who is facing charges, as well as the aggression and determination to fight their charges and obtain a dismissal. These cases are sensitive and require a knowledgeable and insightful attorney, which our firm is able to provide.
There are few more stigmatizing allegations than claims of sexual wrongdoing. The stakes are high. Sexual assault convictions often result in significant jail and prison sentences, as well as onerous sex offender registration obligations, some of which last a lifetime. In New Hampshire, the state prison typically administers a difficult sex offender treatment program which can call for subjects to admit to sexual wrongdoing and to be subjected to polygraph examinations. Our criminal practitioners understand that these allegations arise out of varying and disputed circumstances.
Difficult domestic matters, custody disputes, and romantic encounters can routinely give rise to false allegations of sexual impropriety. Computer technology and the Internet have likewise given rise to a new genre of sexual offenses. Hard-hitting Internet solicitation, luring and possession of child pornography laws have placed a premium on a thorough defense. Our criminal attorneys have experience assessing victim statements, medical issues, and a range of technological issues that often surface in sex crime cases. They know when to call on the services of experts and how to integrate that expert analysis into negotiations, as well as trial.
In certain matters, our attorneys secure the services of private investigators to uncover discrepancies in victim statements, wrongful motivations to advance sexual allegations as well as a range of other issues that may impact the credibility of a case. We are active in the defense of aggravated felonious sexual assault, felonious sexual assault, rape, incest and sexual related Internet offenses. The aggressive representation of those facing the most difficult of sexual offenses is critical to our success.
Theft crime charges range from misdemeanors, such as retail theft of little value, to serious felonies like robbery and burglary. Conviction of such crimes can result in a jail or prison sentence and high fines, not to mention a black mark on the offender's criminal record. False accusations are not uncommon especially when the victim is flustered after being robbed or witnessing a theft crime. Many such cases involve mistaken identity, while other such accusations are altogether false. Theft offenses often arise within a context that is critical to understand -- drug and alcohol dependency, gambling addictions and financial hardship all can contribute to the motivations behind a theft. Sizing up these concerns and developing a creative approach to address to them, often assists our lawyers to broker better results with courts and prosecutors. We take the time to understand the circumstances surrounding a theft, not just the theft itself, address those circumstances and develop a plan to present a case in the most compelling manner.
In any of these cases, our firm can provide a criminal lawyer that is thoughtful, experienced and aggressive when necessary to build a strong defense. Our attorneys are detailed oriented, evaluate witness statements and financial records and determine when to involve additional investigative resources to secure witness statements and collect additional evidence all with a goal of improving bargaining position and securing not guilty verdicts in court. Our goal is to protect clients from facing penalties they do not deserve to suffer, and we have succeeded in this area on countless occasions.
Without a doubt, charges of violent crimes are some of the most serious that a person can face. These charges can include, simple assault, assault and battery. Violent crime may result in severe consequences, including a lifetime sentence in prison, not to mention thousands upon thousands of dollars in fines. Our criminal lawyers know full well the impact that incarceration has on a client - long term jail and prison sentences fracture family relationships, extinguish professional opportunities and label people with potential as convicts. We seek to zealously defend the crime and understand its impact on our clients and their families.
With the representation of a criminal attorney, anyone charged with a violent crime will have the best chance of obtaining a dismissal, or at least a reduction of their criminal charges. Without the defense of a skilled and determined lawyer, a person charged with a violent crime may serve time in jail or prison. The attorneys with our firm have extensive experience fighting charges for violent crimes and provide clients with the best chance for a successful defense.
White Collar Crimes
With recent threats both to our economy and once trusted financial institutions, State and federal authorities have focused in recent years on investigating and prosecuting "white collar" offenses, pursuing the type of lengthy jail and prison sentences that were once reserved for violent and sexual offenses. New Hampshire has been no stranger to these events. Our news has been littered with stories of public corruption, mortgage fraud and tax evasion. Our firm has played a direct role in many of these cases both by defending those accused and vindicating the rights of victims.
As federal crimes, white collar offenses will result in serious penalties upon conviction. These crimes generally involve fraudulent or deceitful crimes against the economic welfare of another person, a corporation, or the U.S. government. As such, they are also referred to as economic crimes and range from tax evasion to embezzlement, money laundering, and extortion. Our legal team understands the serious nature of such charges and can provide clients with peace of mind regarding their defense.
As one of the largest criminal law firms in the state of New Hampshire, we have the expertise and experience needed to fight such serious charges. We can fight to prove a client's ignorance in the commission of the offense, or that they never committed the crime at all. Even a reduction of criminal charges can protect a person from being sentenced to prison for decades. The criminal lawyers with our firm will stop at nothing to ensure that each client's case receives the best possible outcome due to focused and capable legal representation.
Contact a New Hampshire Criminal Defense Attorney
Contact the offices of Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. today to consult with a member of our criminal defense team. Our criminal defense attorneys bring dignity to the defense of difficult criminal cases, actively pursue positive outcomes and have a wealth of trial experience to apply to criminal cases no matter how large or how small. Contact an attorney from our firm today for effective defense. Click on each of the names below to learn more about our legal team.
View the firm's profile at FindaCriminalDefenseAttorney.com.