Search Site

What To Do When You’re Charged With A DWI

What to do when you’re charged with a DWI

Facing a DWI (driving while intoxicated) offense can drastically alter your life. Depending on the circumstances, a DWI offense can range from a class B misdemeanor to a felony offense. These are not simple traffic tickets, which you can effectively pay and promptly forgotten. You need to take the DWI charges as seriously as the state of New Hampshire will. You don’t want to simply plead guilty or accept a public defender for your counsel. In order to protect yourself and your future, you need to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands DWI laws.

Failing to take a breathalyzer can have consequences, too

If police stop your car either due to an individual traffic stop or a road block set up to search for those driving under the influence, you may consider refusing sobriety tests. These typically include balance tests, a breathalyzer, a urine test or a blood test. Most commonly, it will be a combination of balance tests and a breathalyzer. You are legally allowed to refuse a test, but you agreed to them when you received your license. As such, refusing a roadside test for any reason results in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for one hundred and eighty days.

Penalties for a DWI in New Hampshire are steep

Even if you are a first time offender with no criminal record, a DWI carries real penalties. While first time offenders don’t face jail time, there is a fine of between $500 and $1,200, along with mandatory alcohol counseling/education and a six-month suspension of your driver’s license. Second time offenders face at least 30 days in jail, along with an increased fine of at least $750 and a three-year suspension of your driver’s license. You will also potentially face a requirement to install an interlock ignition device when you regain your driver’s license that will check your alcohol level before driving.

Third time offenders face really steep penalties. There is a minimum jail stay of one hundred and eighty days, along with a $750 or more fine, an indefinite suspension of your license. If you are able to get your license reinstated, the courts may require you to install an ignition interlock system in your car at your own expense. These repercussions can impact your work, your family life and you financial stability.

An experienced defense attorney can offer you options

One of the most important things to remember when you are facing a DWI is to not confess or plead guilty. Working with an experienced defense attorney can help you in a number of ways. From requesting a hearing with the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regarding your license suspension to contesting evidence illegally collected, an attorney can help you when you’re facing a DWI charge in New Hampshire. Don’t risk losing your mobility, your money and your freedom. Speak with an attorney as soon as you know about your pending charges.

Contact us

Please fill out the form below and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Quick Contact Form

Harry N. Starbranch
Harry Starbranch
Our Office
  • Portsmouth Office
    Nathaniel Walker House
    171 Middle Street
    Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801
    Phone: 603-436-5566
    Fax: 603-373-8421