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DWI Felony Cases

If you have been accused of a crime, Shaheen & Gordon, P.A. is here to fight for your legal rights. Contact us to schedule an appointment with a New Hampshire Criminal Defense lawyer. Initial consultations are completely free and confidential.

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New Hampshire Felony DWI Lawyer

Arrested for a Felony Drunk Driving Offense in NH?

DWI cases resulting in serious injury or death can be devastating for everyone involved. These complex situations raise challenging scientific, legal, and emotional issues. At Shaheen & Gordon, we understand the weight you're carrying. Our experienced team will take a comprehensive approach to your defense, addressing not only the charges but also the emotional well-being of you and your family.

We'll work closely with you to navigate the legal process, including potential media inquiries, exploring treatment options, and dealing with the emotional aftermath. Our former prosecutors will leverage their experience to identify key legal and scientific issues, crafting a strategic defense both in and out of court. We're committed to zealous preparation, but we'll also explore all reasonable options for resolving the case without a trial. If court is necessary, our trial experience ensures we'll fight aggressively for the best possible outcome.

At Shaheen & Gordon, our team will fight aggressively to protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences:

  • Lengthy Prison Sentences
  • License Revocation
  • Steep Fines

If you've been arrested and charged with felony drunk driving, contact us today!

Serious Consequences for Felony DWI in New Hampshire

A DWI arrest can turn into a Felony charge in New Hampshire with severe penalties. Here's a breakdown of the two main situations:

  • Serious Bodily Injury or Death: This is considered a Class B Felony and could result in 3.5 to 7 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum of 35 days (potentially reduced to 21 days). Your driver's license could be suspended for 18 months to 2 years (with a potential 6-month reduction for completing a program). You'll also likely face significant fines and be required to use an ignition interlock device.
  • Fourth DWI Offense: Any DWI offense within 10 years of three prior convictions is a Felony. This carries a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 180 days (potentially reduced to 150 days). You'll also face an indefinite loss of your license, with the possibility of petitioning to regain driving privileges after 7 years.

Collateral Consequences of a Felony DUI in NH

A felony DUI conviction in New Hampshire can have serious consequences beyond the immediate court penalties like jail time, fines, and license suspension. These additional repercussions are known as collateral consequences and can impact various aspects of your life for years to come. Some collateral consequences to consider include:

  • Employment: Many employers conduct background checks, and a Felony DUI conviction can make it difficult to find or keep a job. Certain professions, like those requiring a commercial driver's license (CDL), may be completely off-limits.

  • Housing: Landlords often perform background checks on potential tenants, and a Felony DUI conviction could lead to difficulty securing housing.

  • Professional Licenses: Depending on your profession, a Felony DUI might lead to disciplinary action or even the loss of a professional license.

  • Education: Student loans and financial aid programs may be harder to obtain with a Felony DUI on your record.

  • Travel: Felony convictions can sometimes create difficulties crossing the US-Canada border or traveling to other countries.

  • Gun Ownership: Federal law prohibits owning or possessing firearms if you've been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than a year. A Felony DUI falls under this category.

  • Increased Insurance Rates: Car insurance premiums can skyrocket after a Felony DUI conviction.

  • Immigration Issues: Non-citizens with a Felony DUI conviction might face deportation proceedings or difficulty obtaining citizenship.

  • Social Stigma: A Felony DUI conviction can carry a social stigma that can impact your relationships and reputation in the community.

We Can Help Fight These Charges

These are serious consequences, and it's crucial to have an experienced New Hampshire felony DWI lawyer on your side. Our team at Shaheen & Gordon will explore all legal avenues and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.

Blood Test Challenges in Felony DWI Cases

A blood test after an accident might seem straightforward, but it can be challenged in court. New Hampshire law allows blood draws in serious injury or death cases, but our team has successfully argued against this law in certain situations.

Here's why having a felony DWI lawyer in NH is crucial:

  • Protecting Your Rights: We can challenge how law enforcement obtains blood test evidence, ensuring your rights are protected.
  • Challenging Blood Test Results: Blood tests only show the presence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the test, not the time of the accident. We can work with experts to analyze these results and potentially weaken the prosecution's case.

Blood Draw Legality

Law enforcement might use a warrant or subpoena to get your blood test results. These requests can involve your medical records, which can be protected by law. Our firm includes both criminal defense and healthcare attorneys, allowing us to explore all options to fight these requests.

Blood Test Accuracy

Over time, alcohol and drugs are processed by the body. A blood test result might not accurately reflect your impairment at the time of the accident. We can use expert witnesses to analyze this and potentially challenge the prosecution's claims.

Not All Accidents Are Caused by DWI

The prosecution must prove you caused the accident, not just that you were impaired. Many factors can cause accidents, including:

  • Road conditions: Potholes, uneven surfaces, or lack of shoulders can all play a role.
  • Weather: Snow, ice, rain, or fog can significantly impact driving conditions.
  • Vehicle malfunctions: Brake failure, tire blowouts, or steering problems can cause an accident even with a sober driver.

Our team fights for you by:

  • Hiring Accident Reconstruction Experts: These specialists analyze the scene, skid marks, and vehicle damage to determine the cause of the accident.
  • Investigating All Potential Causes: We leave no stone unturned, examining factors beyond just alcohol or drug impairment.
  • Demanding Vehicle Inspection Records: Mechanical problems might have contributed to the accident, and we'll fight to get this evidence.

By thoroughly investigating the cause of the accident, we can potentially weaken the prosecution's case and help you achieve a more favorable outcome.

Fighting "Serious Bodily Injury" Charges

The prosecution must prove the accident caused a serious injury, not just any injury. New Hampshire law defines "serious bodily injury" as severe, permanent, or long-lasting impairment to health or bodily function. We fight these charges by:

  • Challenging Injury Severity: Not all injuries qualify. We scrutinize the extent of the injuries to see if they meet the legal definition of "serious."
  • Protecting Your Medical Records: Medical privacy laws are complex. We ensure your records are only accessed legally and fight overbroad requests.

Medical Records and Your Privacy

The state may need your medical records for their case. However, we can help protect your privacy:

  • Questioning Medical Record Requests: We challenge unreasonable requests for medical information.
  • Understanding Medical Privacy Laws: We stay up-to-date on these laws to ensure your records are protected.

By carefully examining the injuries and fighting for your medical privacy, we can potentially weaken the state's case and defend your rights.

Protecting Your Medical Privacy in Felony DWI Cases

Facing a felony DWI charge can be overwhelming, especially when law enforcement seeks your medical records. At Shaheen & Gordon, we understand the complexities of medical privacy laws. Recent New Hampshire Supreme Court rulings clarify how law enforcement can obtain medical information.

Our experienced New Hampshire felony DWI lawyers will fight to ensure your medical records are only accessed legally. We'll analyze how the state obtained your records and identify any potential violations of your privacy. By carefully examining the details, we can potentially weaken the state's case and protect your rights.

Our team of exceptional New Hampshire DWI lawyers are up for the challenge. If you've been arrested and charged with felony drunk driving, contact us today.

FAQs About Felony DWI in New Hampshire

How many prior DWI convictions are needed for a DWI to be considered a felony in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, a fourth DWI offense within a 10-year period is considered a felony.

Can a felony DWI charge be reduced to a misdemeanor in New Hampshire?

It is possible for a felony DWI charge to be reduced to a misdemeanor through plea bargaining or other legal strategies. However, this would depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the discretion of the prosecuting attorney and the court.

Are there any aggravating factors that can increase the severity of a felony DWI charge in New Hampshire?

Yes, aggravating factors such as causing injury or death while driving under the influence, having a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC), or having minors in the vehicle can lead to enhanced penalties and consequences for a felony DWI conviction.

Can someone convicted of felony DWI in New Hampshire ever regain their driving privileges?

Yes, individuals convicted of felony DWI may eventually be eligible to have their driving privileges reinstated, typically after completing all required penalties, including license suspension, fines, and any mandated treatment programs. However, the process for reinstatement can be complex and may involve the installation of an ignition interlock device.

Can a felony DWI conviction affect someone's professional license or employment opportunities?

Yes, a felony DWI conviction can have significant consequences for professional licenses, particularly in fields such as healthcare, law, and transportation. Additionally, many employers conduct background checks, and a felony conviction could impact someone's ability to secure certain jobs.

Are there diversion programs available for felony DWI offenders in New Hampshire?

While New Hampshire does offer diversion programs for certain non-violent offenses, such as drug-related offenses, felony DWI cases typically do not qualify for these programs due to the seriousness of the offense.

How long does a felony DWI conviction stay on someone's record in New Hampshire?

A felony DWI conviction can stay on someone's criminal record indefinitely in New Hampshire. Unlike misdemeanors, which may be eligible for annulment after a certain period, felony convictions generally remain on record unless pardoned by the governor or through other legal mechanisms.

Can a felony DWI conviction be expunged from someone's record in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, felony convictions generally cannot be expunged from an individual's record. However, there may be certain circumstances under which a conviction could be annulled or pardoned, but these options are generally limited and depend on specific legal criteria.

Real Results for Real People

When You Need to Win, We Won’t Stop Fighting for You
  • ALS and DWI Victory Case Dismissed

    Keene District Court

  • ALS Hearings Won Multiple Victories
  • D.W.I./D.U.I./O.U.I. Not Guilty
  • D.W.I./D.U.I./O.U.I. Not Guilty
  • D.W.I./D.U.I./O.U.I. Charges Dropped
  • DWI Charges Dropped

    Goffstown District Court

  • DWI Charges Dropped

    Lancaster District Court

  • DWI Second Offense Victory Case Dismissed

    Manchester District Court

  • DWI Victory Not Guilty

    Concord District Court

  • DWI Victory Case Dismissed

    Hooksett District Court

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