When a person is convicted for driving while impaired or DWI in New Hampshire they can face a number of penalties. One such penalty is probation. A DWI offender can face up to 2 years of probation for a misdemeanor conviction and up to 5 years of probation for a felony conviction. Probation involves an offender being released from jail but still having to live under certain conditions. Common terms of probation include the following:
- Offender must report periodically to their probation officer
- Offender must refrain from associating with certain people
- Offender must be employed
- Offender must notify their probation officer before changing residences
- Offender must refrain from using drugs or consuming alcohol
The offender will be monitored by a probation officer who will periodically check in with them and may even require them to submit to random drug and alcohol tests to make sure that they are complying with the terms of their probation.
If an offender fails to comply with the terms of their probation or is accused of committing another criminal offense, they can be accused of violating their probation. When someone violates the terms of their probation, they will immediately have their probation revoked and will need to appear in court once again. A judge will then decide what penalties the offender will be subject to for the violation. In many cases, this means the termination of probation which will cause the offender to have to report back to jail and serve the rest of their probation term there.
A probation violation can occur in many ways. The New York Daily News reports the story of a woman who was found to have violated her probation because of a Facebook post. The article talks about a 22-year-old Michigan woman named Colleen Cudney who was on probation for a drunk driving conviction. One of the terms of her probation was that she must refrain from using drugs and alcohol and needed to report randomly to the police station for a breathalyzer test. Cudney was called in for testing in mid-March and was not found to have alcohol in her system. However, Cudney then went on Facebook and posted the following:
“Buzz killer for me, I had to breathalyze (sic) this morning and I drank yesterday but I passed thank god lol my dumba@@,”
A local police officer allegedly saw the post and notified the Michigan probation office. This caused Cudney's probation officer to contact her in order to schedule a urine test which can detect whether a person has consumed alcohol in the last 80 hours. Cudney was reportedly uncooperative and hung up on her probation officer. As a result, she was arrested for violating the terms of her probation.
This story is an example of how serious probation really is. Even an offhanded remark on a private social networking page could lead to accusations of probation violation. Additionally, failing to contact your probation officer or not returning their calls can also lead to a violation. In order to avoid probation and other negative consequences of DWI, anyone arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated in New Hampshire should contact a defense attorney right away. An experienced DUI lawyer from Russman Law can help you fight your charges and avoid the penalties of a conviction. Your attorney can also better explain the terms of your probation and assist you should you be accused of violating it.