» DWI

How much will my legal fees be?

The DWI / DUI defense lawyers at Lothstein Guerriero, PLLC do not have any "set pricing" or "one size fits all" policies. We treat every case as a unique case, we focus on each client's unique needs, and the fees we charge will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. That being said, we charge "flat fees" in all DWI cases, except for certain felony DWIs. A "flat fee" means that you pay one fee to the firm and it covers the defense of the court case, defense of the administrative license suspension hearing, and if you do lose your license, even if you are not convicted of DWI, our staff continues to work with you until your license or operating privilege is restored. With flat fees, you don't have to worry about "how much is this phone call costing me," "will my lawyer's guess as to how much this cost me turn out to be accurate," and other such worries associated with the hourly fees charged by many lawyers in NH.

Will I get a jury trial?

NH law does not provide for a jury trial for those charged with DWI as a first offense. If you are charged with Aggravated DWI, or Subsequent Offense DWI, or Felony DWI, you do have the right to a jury trial.

If I am from out of State, what will happen to my home State license?

We work with many clients who come to NH on business, or on vacation, or to visit family, a second home, etc. In particular, we have worked with many clients who have driver's licenses from Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, and New York. Based on these experiences, and based on our close connections with lawyers in these States, we can accurately advise you as to the impact that different potential case outcomes will have on your home State license. For other States, we will take affirmative steps to make sure that our clients are provided accurate and timely information about their local laws, procedures, and administrative consequences. Every State is different. If a lawyer that you consult with simply tells you, if you get suspended in NH, you will be suspended in your home State as well — they are probably wrong. It's much more complicated than that.

Do most people charged with DWI in NH, end up getting convicted of DWI?

We don't know the numbers for the entire system, but we do know that many of our clients are not convicted of DWI. Read more here.

The cop didn't read me my rights. Does that mean I win?

In popular culture, every time a police officer makes an arrest, the officer immediately reads the defendant his "Miranda rights" - you have the right to remain silent, everything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, you have the right to an attorney, if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you upon request.

However, neither the Federal Constitution, nor the New Hampshire Constitution, requires police officers to routinely read these rights immediately upon arrest. Rather, officers must only ask these questions, after arrest, if the officer intends to engage in "custodial interrogation" - questioning of the defendant, or comments intended to elicit an incriminating response, while the defendant is in custody.

Up until the point of arrest, in the typical case where there is a motor vehicle stop and roadside investigation, the officer can ask questions, including questions that are designed to get the driver to incriminate herself like "how much have you had to drink tonight?", without reading Miranda rights.

If the officer interrogates a person who is in custody, without reading Miranda rights, the typical remedy is to "suppress" (eliminate from evidence at trial) the defendant's incriminating statements, and also, potentially, suppress any evidence obtained as a fruit of those statements. Suppression of evidence, not outright dismissal of the case, is the remedy.

I submitted to a blood test. When will I get the results, and should I see a lawyer now, or wait until I get the results in the mail?

The NH Forensic Laboratory has been backlogged for years and sometimes takes as long as six weeks to report the results of blood tests in DWI cases. However, you should not wait until you get the results — you should consult with a lawyer now. In some cases, we have saved clients from mandatory jail time by acting quickly in blood test cases.

I heard in the news or read online that a number of police officers in NH were wrongly certified to administer breath tests. Will this help my case?

It might, if your case involves breath test evidence. The issue only affects breath tests conducted on the Intoxilyzer 5000EN, the large machine at the police department. It does not necessarily affect portable breath tests administered at the scene of the motor vehicle stop or accident investigation. Read more about this issue with the Intoxilyzer 5000EN.

Can I get my case "CWOFd" - continued without a finding, filed without a finding, etc, so there is not a conviction on my record?

Unlike our neighbor, Massachusetts, NH law does not allow even a first offense DWI to be continued without a finding. However, our attorneys frequently obtain an even better outcome, a reduced charge such as Reckless Operation that is not a crime like DWI, and is not an alcohol-related conviction. Read more about our DWI Victories.

Can I keep driving on a restricted license, or an interlock?

For decades, NH, unlike many other States, has not allowed drivers convicted of DWI to drive on a restricted license or an interlock. No "Cinderella" licenses, no "work permit" licenses, no "medical hardship" licenses, etc. However, effective January 1, 2016, a new law will allow some people convicted of DWI as a first offense to apply to a Court for a restricted license, after first serving 45 days of the suspension. Read more about the new law.

Will I go to jail?

Most DWI first offenders in NH do not face potential jail time. If your first offense DWI is an Aggravated DWI, or a Felony DWI, then jail time is mandatory — if you are convicted. Read more about NH DWI Penalties.

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