New Hampshire DWI laws impose strict regulations to deter drivers from operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
If convicted, a DWI offender could face serious legal consequences which include payment of fines, imprisonment and suspension of license. For this reason, Attorney Russman will be prepared to use all possible defenses that could lead to a discharge or at least reduction of charges.
New Hampshire DWI law requires the prosecution to provide proof that 1) the defendant operated the vehicle and 2) he was impaired due to alcohol and or drug consumption at a degree prohibited by law.
Drunk-Driving Defenses Relating to the Evidence
As attorney for a suspected NH drunk-driving offender, we would aggressively move to invalidate the evidence presented by the prosecutors, which include the enforcement officer's testimonies and BAC level reading. Attorney Russman will build a case to discredit the presented evidence or have the court declare the evidence “inadmissible”.
Most of the time, the prosecution will base its case on the testimony of the arresting officer. His testimony could include observations on the behavior of the suspect while driving, such as delayed response to a red or green light, inconsistent speed or weaving. The outward appearance of the suspect could also play an important role (red eyes, impaired speech, inability to keep balance).
By presenting evidence that discredits at least some of the officer's observations, we can lessen the sentence or possibly even cause the court to discharge the case against the suspected DWI offender.
Attorney Russman could argue, for instance, that the officer used a kit that was expired or the test was not administered properly. He could also present testimonies of witnesses depicting the suspect as being sober when he was driving and that he only ran through a red light because of other distractions.
Attorney Russman could also use the following arguments: 1) the suspect's lack of sleep or tiredness caused the redness in his eyes, 2) he failed the sobriety tests because of physical limitations (disability or sickness), 3) he took medications which can affect his speech and/or 4) the officer was not able to give clear instructions pertaining to the sobriety tests.
NH DWI Defenses Related to Driving
Under New Hampshire DWI laws, there has to be proof showing that the suspect was driving the vehicle. For example, if an officer merely approached an idle car in a parking lot, it will be easier for the defense to argue that the defendant was not operating the vehicle even though he might have been intoxicated.
DUI Defenses Related to the Arrest
In general, a police officer needs a legal justification to ask someone to pull over or to make an arrest. If he did not comply with the rules pertaining to the arrest, any evidence that he collected from the incident will not be admitted by the court.
If the prosecution is based on the evidence such as breathalyzer results that were declared “inadmissible”, it could weaken the case of the prosecution significantly and could lead to the discharge of the defendant.
In DWI cases in New Hampshire, both NH drunk-driving laws and procedural laws need to be applied. For this reason, a police officer is required to provide the suspect with so-called Miranda warnings before making an arrest. If the officer fails to recite the Miranda warnings correctly or forgets to mention them, it could be a valid ground for the inadmissibility of the evidence collected during the arrest.