Original License Suspension in NH

Suspension for Drivers Under Age 20

The conviction of a simple motor vehicle violation for drivers under 20 years old often results in unintended license losses. The reaction of most drivers when issued a motor vehicle moving violation is to simply pay the ticket by mail. For drivers under the age of 20, this common response leads to a further administrative license suspension. The Department of Safety will suspend driving privileges when it learns that an “original license holder under the age of 20 has been convicted” of a driving offense even for something as simple as speed. A 20 day license suspension period follows a first offense, 45 days for a second offense and 90 days for a third or subsequent conviction.

Very often, license losses for such minor offenses result hardship to the driver as well as his or her parents and loved ones as families scramble to rearrange schedules in order to address employment and academic obligations. Our defense attorneys regularly step in to defend younger drivers with the goal of avoiding license losses.

We often recommend entering a plea of not guilty to the ticket itself, advising our clients to mail it into the address provided. This will set up an arraignment in court and then a trial date down the road. These court hearings provide our team with an opportunity to either contest the case or negotiate an appropriate outcome. In many circumstances, our lawyers urge the State and the court to resolve the case without a conviction, even if that effort calls for modest community service, driver education or other diversionary programming. If we succeed in avoiding a conviction, than the Department of Safety then has no ground up on which to suspend the driving privilege for a driver under 20 years old.

Where there is a conviction for a driving offense, the Department of Safety permits a hearing, supplying a notice to the driver where he or she may appear to show just cause why his or her license should not be suspended. We regularly appear at such hearings, prepared to supply mitigating information with the goal of minimizing or avoiding the otherwise required license loss following a conviction to a motor vehicle offense.

The Department of Safety has issued regulations describing the information it will consider in such circumstances, including: the impact a suspension would have on the driver’s education or employment; the length of time the driver has held an original license without prior motor vehicle violations; the driver’s lack of prior motor vehicle convictions; and the lack of seriousness of the violation for which the driver has been convicted.

Enlist NH DWI Lawyers for Your Case

Our NH DWI attorneys work with our younger clients and their families to collect information effectively addressing these various considerations. Based on our experience, administrative hearings officers often hold in abeyance suspensions based on consideration of this information.

At Shaheen & Gordon, there is no case too small, especially where it may have an impact on driving privileges — our defense attorneys are knowledgeable about the administrative suspension process, have a depth of experience in administrative hearings and are always happy to assist in these difficult situations.

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