New Hampshire & Maine Drug Crime Attorney
Begin Mounting Your Defense Today!
New Hampshire continues to aggressively investigate and prosecute drug
related crimes, from simple possession of marijuana to serious allegations
of drug dealing. Even as our neighboring states relax criminal penalties
for drug offenses, New Hampshire has intensified its approach to the prosecution
of drug crimes. Drug offenses in New Hampshire are set out in the Controlled
Drug Act, RSA
318-B, which identifies a number of drug related criminal offenses arising out of the
possession, manufacture, cultivation, sale, distribution and/or trafficking of various
drugs. The New Hampshire Department of Health & Human Services has
established a schedule of drugs that are considered illegal based on their
level of danger and potential for abuse.
Drug cases come to our office in all shapes and sizes. Very often, a drug
case begins with a simple roadside motor vehicle stop where police suspect
drug use or possession and escalate the stop, seeking to search the motor
vehicle, discovering marijuana,
cocaine, hallucinogens and other controlled substances, including unauthorized
prescription drugs inside a motor vehicle.
Analyzing the legality of the search is critical to the defense. Search
warrants are required to search a vehicle. However, there are a number
of recognized exceptions to the search warrant requirement, including
consent, plain view and, in New Hampshire, a tow inventory search. In
New Hampshire, even a passenger alleged to be in possession of drugs has
standing to contest the search.
Other drug cases surface through more deliberate criminal investigation
where police rely on informants, collect recordings and engage in controlled
drug buys in order to collect evidence to support a drug charge. These
cases often result in the execution of search warrants in private homes
and apartments. Our team analyses these cases from all angles, evaluating
constitutional concerns implicated by controlled drug buys and the searches
and seizures that often flow from them.
We further work with our clients to improve our bargaining positions by
recommending counseling and drug treatment as a way to assist our clients
struggling with issues that relate to drug abuse while improving our bargaining position.
Prohibited Acts Involving Controlled Drugs
New Hampshire state law prohibits possession, manufacturing, purchasing,
administering and transporting controlled drugs without legal authorization.
Responding to the pressure of the opioid, heroine and methamphetamine
crisis, law enforcement has been particularly aggressive when pursuing
drug cases both in New Hampshire’s cities such as Nashua, Manchester,
Concord, Portsmouth and Dover, but also throughout rural regions in Cheshire,
Grafton, Coos and Carroll Counties. Unlike our neighboring states, New
Hampshire has yet to “legalize” the possession of marijuana.
New Hampshire took a step toward that end in September of 2017 when it
“decriminalized” the possession of a small amount of marijuana,
which means that it is no longer a “crime” for any person
to possess less than ¾ if an ounce of marijuana or, for people
over 21, to possess “marijuana infused products” such as edibles.
However, it remains a Misdemeanor, which is a crime, to possess more than
¾ of an ounce of marijuana. Likewise, New Hampshire continues to
aggressively investigate and prosecute the manufacture and sale of marijuana,
treating such conduct as a Felony offense. In addition to being treated
as crimes, possessory drug offenses may result in the loss of federal
financial aid for college students convicted of a drug offense during
a period of enrollment for which the student is receiving financial aid.
Our attorneys appreciate the rapidly changing culture surrounding marijuana
and, at the same time, the severe penalties that continue to apply in
New Hampshire. Our criminal defense attorneys regularly craft creative
solutions to avoid convictions, pursuing available diversionary programs
to avoid criminal sanctions where possible. Where such negotiations falter,
our attorneys are prepared to fight drug possession cases, regularly asserting
factual, constitutional and common sense defenses during trial. We take
pride in our trial victories and regularly deliver positive outcomes to
More and more, our criminal defense team defends allegations of prescription
drug abuse that surface in a number of settings. Powerful prescription
drugs are increasingly available on the street. In other cases, prescription
drug fraud leads to criminal charges. Such offenses arise in a variety
of settings, including hospitals and doctors' offices where those
with access to prescription medications gain unauthorized control over
prescription medications. Drug crimes can lead to misdemeanor and felony
charges at the state and federal level, may result in exposure to jail
and prison sentences and can reshape the professional lives of our clients,
so don't take chances if you've been arrested for a drug crime.
Contact a New Hampshire criminal lawyer right away.
Why You Should Call Our Firm
At Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. we aggressively defend criminal cases, taking
the time to know our clients, identify legal and factual issues, recommend
counseling and other alternatives to harsh criminal sentences and regularly
take our cases to trial. We are fiercely proud of our track record of
success both through creative negotiations and earning acquittals after
trial in large cases and small ones. Members of our criminal defense team
have served as prosecutors at the federal, state and county level, have
been included among
Best Lawyers In America, andNew Hampshire Magazine in the area of criminal defense, white collar criminal defense and DWI
/ DUI / OUI defense. Call today to speak with a member of our team regarding
your defense. We are proud to be one of the largest
criminal law firms in the state, so call now to hire the right attorney for you!