Criminal Law/DWI

What are the penalties for DWI/DUI in New Hampshire?
If convicted of a first offense,

  • You will have a class B misdemeanor criminal conviction on your record
  • You will have to pay a minimum mandatory $500 fine and usually a 24% penalty assessment
  • You have to participate in the Impaired Driver Care Management Program (IDCMP) and, if a first-time offender, be required to submit to an alcohol and drug abuse screening within 14 days of conviction, and, if testing demonstrates the likelihood of a substance use disorder, to submit to a full substance use disorder evaluation within thirty days of conviction, to be administered by a service provider indicated by the IDCMP, and, thereafter, to follow the service plan developed from that substance use disorder evaluation by the IDCMP
  • You have to complete a department of health and human services approved impaired driver education program before getting your license back with the privilege to drive, unless you can prove you previously completed such a program within the past five years
  • You will have to pay all the fees arising from services provided by the IDCMP and its referrals for the service plan
  • Your driver’s license or privilege to drive will be revoked for not less than nine months and, at the discretion of the court, could be extended for up to two years. The court may suspend this sentence up to six months, provided you have been screened within fourteen days and, if required, have completed the substance use disorder evaluation within thirty days with a service provider indicated by an IDCMP, and you comply with the service plan produced thereafter, and you complete a department of health and human services approved impaired driver education program. The court may, in its discretion, require that you install an interlock device during the period of sentence reduction, and may re-impose the longer suspension period if you don’t comply with the treatment recommendations at any time during the suspension period
  • The sentencing court may require you to submit to random urinalysis or such other tests as the court may deem appropriate

These are simply the statutory penalties. There are many other negative collateral consequences of a DWI conviction. Good legal advice may help you avoid those. Contact us today to talk to an experienced DWI defense attorney to develop a strategy to maximize the odds of avoiding a DWI conviction and its tragic consequences.

Should I annul my criminal conviction?
Yes. Annulment of your New Hampshire criminal record or arrest or conviction could help you keep your job or to find a job. In New Hampshire an annulment is very powerful. With limited exceptions, when your criminal record is annulled, you are treated in all respects as if you had never been arrested, convicted or sentenced. Properly processing and arguing for the annulment is crucially important because if the court denies your petition you will have to wait at least three years before you can try again to annul the record. Contact us to learn more.

Can I annul my record?
Under New Hampshire law, you may petition the court to annul a criminal record of arrest, conviction and sentence if you satisfy all of the conditions set forth in RSA 651:5, and/or if in the opinion of the court, the annulment will assist in your rehabilitation and will be consistent with the public welfare.

Generally, you may file a petition to annul violation level offenses one year after the terms of your sentence have been completed; for misdemeanors, you have to wait three years. Certain offenses require different waiting periods, and no annulment will be granted in the case of violent crime, obstruction of justice, or any other offense in which you were sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment under RSA 651:6. If a charge was dismissed, not prosecuted, or resulted in a not guilty finding after trial, you may petition the court for annulment immediately. RSA 651:5 and Circuit Court-District Division Rule 2.18 provide more detail regarding eligibility, timeframes, and the annulment process.

How can I find out if my record can be annulled?
Contact us to find out if your record can be annulled. You will need to provide us with some basic information to begin the analysis. In addition to your personal information, we will need to know the charged offense, date of conviction, court, the sentence, and the docket number if known. To ensure accuracy of this information, we may need to access your New Hampshire criminal record. We will assist you in that process.

If I am eligible, what is the process for annulling my criminal record?
With the necessary and relevant information we will prepare and complete the Petition to Annul pleading, the Petition to Annul Forms, and an Affidavit for you to sign (“Annulment Package”). We will file the Annulment Package with the appropriate court(s). Within seven days after the Annulment Package is filed with the court, the court clerk will issue a copy of it to the County Attorney’s Office for the county where the application is filed, and to the arresting law enforcement agency. The Clerk will also send a copy of the application to the Department of Corrections, together with a request for the report that the statute requires from the Department of Corrections.

The County Attorney’s Office and/or the arresting law enforcement agency is required within thirty days of the notice date to file a statement describing position regarding the Annulment Package, specifying reasons for any objection, and stating whether or not they wish to be heard by the court. The court may schedule a hearing that requires your attendance; however, the court may, in its discretion, choose to grant the application without a hearing if there is no opposition. Either way, the court will mail its decision to us on your behalf.

The annulment process takes time and you should not expect an immediate answer. It may take several months for the court to consider whether to grant or to deny your petition. To keep the process moving as quickly as possible be sure to complete the Department of Corrections’ questionnaire when it is received. The Court will not take action on the petition to annul until the Department of Corrections files its report. Therefore, plan ahead if you are relying on the annulment in connection with any educational or employment considerations.

How much will it cost?
We charge a flat rate fee and there are court costs and administrative fees. It cost $25.00 to obtain your New Hampshire criminal record. The court charges a flat rate filing fee of $100.00, regardless of how many petitions are filed in that court. If you have charges in multiple courts that you seek to annul then each court will charge a separate $100.00 fee. The Department of Corrections charges a $100.00 fee to perform a criminal investigation. This fee is paid directly to them, not to the court. They will notify you by letter when it is due. Finally, the Department of Safety will charge a fee of $100.00 to research and to correct the criminal history if the Petition to Annul is granted. This fee is paid by you directly to them, not the court.

The flat rate fee we charge for our services covers our gathering of the information, processing the petition, and attending any necessary court hearing. Contact us to find out more information.