New Hampshire Criminal Defense Lawyer
Serving Clients Throughout New Hampshire: Concord, Dover and Manchester
Shaheen & Gordon, P.A.-
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
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
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
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.
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