New Hampshire is one of the strictest states when it comes to repeat DWI
offenders. In fact, New Hampshire license suspensions are among the most
severe in the nation, even implementing mandatory jail time. Because the
consequences of being labeled a "habitual offender" are severe,
it is incredibly important that your attorney understands the statutes.
Shaheen & Gordon's
New Hampshire DWI lawyers have extensive experience dealing with driving while intoxicated cases
and can fight to help you avoid habitual offender status.
Who exactly is considered a habitual offender? Is everyone who is arrested
for their second or subsequent DWI given this title? New Hampshire has
a five-year look back period when it comes to motor vehicle offenses that
involve drugs or alcohol. The following circumstances, should they take
place within a five-year time span, could warrant habitual offender status:
- Three severe moving violations, or;
- Two severe and four minor, or;
- One severe and eight minor, or;
- 12 severe violations.
Here, it is important to note the distinction between severe/major motor
vehicle offenses and minor ones. New Hampshire has categorized them as follows:
- Any DWI offense
- Reckless Driving
- Negligent Driving
- Operating a motor vehicle while license suspended
- Disobeying the orders of a police officer
- Driving without a license
- Failure to yield, and offenses of a similar nature.
Once a person is labeled as a habitual offender, then they face the penalty
of prolonged driver's license suspension. Habitual offender status
is handled by the New Hampshire Department of Safety (DPS). DPS will notify
an individual after their qualifying subsequent offense to say that there
is an opportunity to dispute the habitual offender status. If the individual
so chooses, they can contest this status with DPS. While it is not necessary
to hire an attorney at this point, it can be exceedingly helpful.
Whether you are trying to get your driving privileges restored or attempting
to appeal habitual offender status, Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. can guide
you through the process so that you can see the best possible outcome
for your case. We understand that being labeled a habitual offender can
be tremendously difficult. New Hampshire is one of the few states that
does not allow an individual to petition for a hardship license or some
other type of restricted license. This leaves the person with few options
when it comes to getting from point A to point B. Not only can this be
inconvenient, it can also be costly when you factor in the cost of public
transportation. If you would like to learn more about habitual offender
status in New Hampshire and how our DWI attorneys may be able to assist,
please contact our firm today.