Motor Vehicle Hearings in New Hampshire
Lothstein Guerriero, PLLC's attorneys routinely handle several types of motor vehicle hearings at the Department of Safety, Bureau of Hearings in Concord, NH. Some hearings may also be held at a “substation” such as the DMV office at Dover Point.
First, we handle Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearings that are associated with a DWI prosecution.
Habitual Offender Certification and Decertification Hearings
In NH, a driver who accumulates three major motor vehicle convictions, or twelve minor major motor vehicle convictions, or a combination of major and minor motor vehicle convictions, in a 5 year period, will be certified as an habitual offender. The penalty for driving after certification as an habitual offender, with certain exceptions, is at least a year in jail and up to five years in prison.
The status of being an habitual offender continues beyond the express period of certification … it continues until the person is officially decertified in writing after a hearing. We handle both habitual offender certification hearings, and habitual offender decertification hearings.
Original License Suspension Hearings
Drivers under 20 who are convicted of just one moving violation face an original license suspension hearing with a potential 20 day suspension, even if the court of record did not suspend the person’s license. On a second conviction for a moving violation, under 20 drivers face a 45 day suspension. On a third conviction, 90 day suspension.
However, NH Department of Safety regulations allow a driver, or her lawyer, to present evidence regarding several specific mitigating factors that may justify holding the suspension in abeyance for a period of time. This can save a young person’s driver’s license. Without a driver’s license, it can be difficult to get to school, to after-school and weekend jobs, to college interviews, to doctors’ appointments, etc. This can put a huge burden on a family already stretched thin due to parents’ jobs and other responsibilities.
Entitlement to Hearing – Extenuating / Mitigating Circumstances
The New Hampshire Department of Safety regulations allow the driver, or her lawyer, to present evidence regarding the following “extenuating or mitigating circumstances”:
- The impact a suspension would have on driver’s education or employment
- The length of time that driver has held a license without prior motor vehicle violations
- Driver’s lack of prior motor vehicle violations
- The lack of seriousness of the violation for which the driver has been convicted.
Our lawyers, if hired at the time that a citation is issued, will represent a young, juvenile driver in Court and attempt to avoid a conviction, or attempt to secure a plea to a less serious conviction, either through identifying defenses to the charge, or by presenting positive character evidence regarding the driver and presenting an alternative to conviction such as community service, additional driver education, etc.
If a driver is convicted, our lawyers will represent the driver in the ensuing administrative hearing and present evidence and testimony regarding extenuating or mitigating circumstances, in an effort to avoid an administrative license suspension.
Contact an Attorney for New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Hearings
Contact Lothstein Guerriero for experienced advice and representation regarding your NH motor vehicle hearing. We welcome you to complete our online information form, chat now with a representative by clicking on the live chat button, or call our offices in Keene (603) 352-5000 or Concord (603) 513-1919.
We offer a free, confidential consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available.