Manchester, New Hampshire DWI Lawyers
Driving While Intoxicated charges in Manchester, New Hampshire can be a serious criminal offense with far-reaching consequences. Finding a top-rated DWI lawyer in Manchester offers numerous benefits. Benefits include legal advice and understanding New Hampshire DUI law for an effective criminal defense strategy. This can help you keep your driver’s license and can minimize or even eliminate the penalties you face.
DWI vs DUI in Manchester, NH
In Manchester, New Hampshire, the term used for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is DWI. This is an acronym for Driving While Intoxicated. New Hampshire mainly uses the term DWI in its laws, instead of using both DWI DUI like in other places.
People use both terms commonly in legal discussions across the United States. If you’ve been charged with drunk driving in Manchester, it’s crucial to understand the terms used in this jurisdiction.
DWI in Manchester
In Manchester, an impaired driver may be charged with a DWI if they operate a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or more. The legal limit for an adult is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%. RSA 265-A is a law that also covers drugs and driving as a habitual offender.
The penalties for a DWI in New Hampshire vary based on the offense’s circumstances and any prior DWI convictions. Penalties can range from monetary fines and license suspension to imprisonment. Having prior DWIs or drug-related criminal records may increase these penalties.
DUI in Manchester
The term DUI is used more broadly across the United States. It is the term most often used by law enforcement when discussing cases where drugs are involved in the impairment, not just alcohol.
However, the statutes in New Hampshire do not specifically distinguish the term DUI. Due to this, there is no legal charge for a Manchester DUI. DWI is the comprehensive term used to denote all forms of impaired driving, including impairment by drugs other than alcohol.
Finding A DWI Lawyer in Manchester
If you face an arrest for a DWI in Manchester, you should make finding a Manchester DWI attorney your first move. The question then is, how do I find a DWI lawyer in Manchester? There are a few things to look for when searching for your criminal defense lawyer in Manchester. The first of which is membership in professional law associations.
Some of the professional legal associations in Manchester, NH include:
- New Hampshire Bar Association
- New Hampshire Women’s Bar Association
- New Hampshire Legal Aid
- Paralegal Association of New Hampshire
- New Hampshire Public Defenders
The top-rated DWI lawyers in Manchester will oftentimes be members of professional law organizations such as these. That being said, just because a DWI defense attorney in Manchester is a member does not mean they are a top-rated criminal defense attorney. These types of organizations can be a good place to start when searching for your DWI lawyer in Manchester.
How A Manchester DWI Lawyer Can Help
If you find yourself arrested for a DWI in Manchester, retaining an experienced DWI lawyer is not just advisable but essential. This is especially true if you’ve had prior DWI convictions. A top-rated lawyer and their DWI law firm in Manchester can make the difference between acquittal and conviction. Learn how a top-rated Manchester DWI lawyer can help you throughout the legal process, from arrest to appeals and more.
Immediately After A DWI Arrest in Manchester
The immediate aftermath is crucial, as decisions made here will impact the entire legal proceeding. A DWI lawyer will provide immediate guidance on your rights and obligations. Their early involvement can often deter potential police procedural errors. This includes unlawful detention or improperly conducted field sobriety tests, which can later be crucial in dismissing or reducing charges.
Under New Hampshire RSA 265-A:4, you have the right to consult with a lawyer before submitting to any further testing once arrested. This includes DWI breath tests and DWI blood tests. Legal counsel can advise you on how to proceed, reducing the risk of self-incrimination.
Additionally, you have 30 days from the date of your arrest to appeal an administrative license suspension. Your Manchester DWI attorney can help you file an administrative license suspension appeal quickly.
Before the trial begins, several critical events occur. Your first court appearance is the DWI arraignment where they will inform you of the charges against you. A Manchester DWI lawyer can help you understand the charges and potentially negotiate bail conditions.
During the “discovery” stage, the state must produce all evidence against you. A skilled DWI lawyer will carefully examine the evidence, looking for problems that can help you. A DWI lawyer can file motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the case if there are weaknesses in the state’s case.
Often, the state will offer a plea deal. A skilled DWI lawyer in Manchester can negotiate better terms or advise you on whether accepting the offer is in your best interest.
If your case goes to trial, an experienced DWI lawyer will know how to effectively attack the prosecution’s case. Depending on your charges and your plea, you may have a DUI bench trial or a DUI jury trial. Regardless of the trial type, a DWI lawyer will be invaluable.
A top-rated Manchester criminal defense lawyer will scrutinize the state’s evidence for weaknesses. This usually means questioning the arresting officers, disputing the state’s evidence, and making a strong argument to the jury or judge. This may also include procedural errors in arrest, failure to properly calibrate breathalyzers, and the improper administration of field sobriety tests.
These inconsistencies can be crucial in negotiations with the prosecutor or even result in the dismissal of charges. A top-rated lawyer’s courtroom skills can make the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.
If you are convicted, the journey may not end there. If convicted, a sentencing hearing will determine your penalties. Sentencing is a separate phase where your Manchester legal counsel can advocate for minimum penalties or alternative sentencing.
Here, a Manchester DWI lawyer can present mitigating factors to minimize the sentence. For instance, showing a commitment to rehabilitation could lead to less severe sanctions. Hillsborough County has a Drug Court Program that can reduce the penalties associated with a guilty DWI verdict.
Appeals and Onward
If you’re convicted and believe that legal errors affected the outcome, filing an appeal is the next step. Navigating appellate law is complicated and involves drafting a DWI appeal brief and presenting an argument. An experienced DWI attorney in Manchester can identify issues that have the best chance of success on appeal.
A top-rated DWI lawyer can find these problems and has the knowledge to argue effectively in higher courts. You can also apply for a criminal annulment of your DWI. The timeline for an annulment may vary depending on the specific charges. Your Manchester DWI lawyer and their law firm can guide you through this complicated process.
DWI Arrests in Manchester
The number of DWI arrests in Manchester has been difficult to determine. The Manchester Police Department does not make DWI arrests publicly available in an easily accessible form. Due to this, the latest numbers we have been able to find are third-party and may not be completely accurate.
According to CrimeMapping.com, there have been 48 DWI arrests in Manchester between March 11th and September 1st of 2023. These arrests all took place within the 5×5 mile area of downtown Manchester. As mentioned above, these numbers are from a third-party source and not Manchester PD.
Given the number of DWI arrests in other, similarly sized cities across the country, this is shockingly low. We will try to contact the Manchester Police department to get more accurate and up-to-date numbers.
Manchester DWI Courthouses
As of 2021, there are just over 115,000 people living in the city of Manchester. Due to this relatively small population, there are only a few DWI courthouses that hear DWI cases in Manchester. These courthouses include:
More New Hampshire DWI Resources
If you don’t need a DWI lawyer in Manchester, we also have pages for DWI lawyers near Manchester, NH. Read our helpful and informative articles below to find a DWI lawyer near you. Also, you can call 1-888-839-4384 anytime for a free consultation.