Daniel Hynes

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An experienced DWI Attorney will review your case to check if you have any defenses. There are many defenses to a New Hampshire DUI charge.  DUI Attorney will consider the following while developing a defense plan:

·    Whether this is your first offence?

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In New Hampshire, to be convicted of dwi the prosecutor must show you were on a public way (usually a road), operating a motor vehicle (car, atv. etc.) and that you were under the influence or above the legal limit. Some states do not have all of these requirements. In Colorado, someone was charged while riding a horse.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/10/colorado-man-accused-drunken-horseback-ride/?goback=.gde_1642217_member_272574964#!

"University of Colorado police have arrested a 45-year-old man suspected of going on a drunken horseback ride through the city of Boulder.

Police say he had a small pug named Bufford in his backpack, as well as beer cans and a black-powder pistol in his saddlebag. Officers say he told them he was traveling from Larkspur, Colo., to his brother's wedding in Bryce, Utah, and that he had to make the 600-mile journey by horse because he lost his driver's license."

In Pennsylvania, someone was charged with DWI on a riding lawn mower.
http://news.findlaw.com/ap_stories/other/features/1120/09-19-2013/20130919070501_13.html?DCMP=NWL-cons_legalgrounds
"A western Pennsylvania man has been charged with driving drunk while carrying an open can of beer - on a riding lawn mower." "Police say Marrone smelled of alcohol and had an open can of Coors Light beer in the mower's storage compartment. They say he told them he was driving to his Murrysville home - some 6.4 miles away."
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If you are convicted of aggravated DWI or second/subsequent DWI in New Hampshire, you will be ordered to install an interlock device in your car before you can drive again. This costs around $100 a month and you will need it for 1-2 years. You need it on any car you drive. The machines are presently not smart enough to know who is driving, so anyone who uses the car/vehicle will have to blow into it. If the machine determines you drove with alcohol in your system, it will flag it and the car will not start/ will shut down. You can be called in to the DMV for a hearing regarding a positive result. Even though the machine has false positives, especially things like cologne, you can still lose your license for testing above the low limit. (Also, you will have been on probationary license and your legal limit is well below .08).

Even if you are found guilty of a first offense DWI, the judge has discretion to order you to install the interlock before you get your license back. If you manage to not have the judge order an interlock, under the new laws the DMV can still call you in for an interlock hearing. They are particularly likely to do this if you have a previous alcohol related offense, if your aggravated dwi was reduced to a standard dwi, or if you had a second offense reduced to a standard dwi. If you get invited to one of those DMV hearings, you have the right to hire a lawyer to represent you. I have been told that the DMV has been ordering interlocks in around 50% of the hearings where people show up and can demonstrate the public would not be safer with one. (If you ignore the hearing, you are probably close to a 100% likely to get the interlock ordered and required before you can get your license back. )

Pretty much the only sure way to not get an interlock device is to not be found guilty of driving while intoxicated.

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Its summer time, and that means DUI checkpoints are on the rise in New Hampshire. In order to do a DWI checkpoint in NH, the police must apply to the superior court and lay out how the checkpoint will be conducted. Such as, will every car be stopped, etc. The police must also give warning about the checkpoint. Some police websites notify that they will be doing them, and some newspapers mention it. Certain police departments tent to do them more than others. Some of the ones I have seen recently include the State police, Concord, Hudson, and Manchester.

If you were arrested at a DUI checkpoint and are going to fight your case, you must be prepared to argue the sobriety checkpoint did not meet constitutional requirements. A motion to suppress should be filed prior to trial and you must get the application that was made to the Superior Court to see if the checkpoint exceeded its parameters.

If if the checkpoint was valid, there usually is not bad driving at a checkpoint. To obtain a DWI conviction, the state will want to show your ability to drive was impaired due to alcohol. By showing your driving was normal, you can build up your best defense to obtain a not guilty verdict. If you were stopped at a checkpoint and are going to fight your case, give one of our NH DUI Lawyers a call to discuss your defenses.

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If you are charged with DUI in New Hampshire, one of your highest priorities is probably to keep your license. The only way to keep your license is to not be found guilty of DWI. Besides going to trial and being found not guilty, certain plea bargains could avoid a license loss. One such charge is negligent driving. Negligent driving does not have to have a license suspension associated with it in NH. If the DWI gets dismissed for negligent driving, you can walk out of court with your license.

However, it is incredibly difficult to get a DWI reduced to negligent driving. You are probably more likely to be found not guilty after trial with a good lawyer. I have received many not guilty verdicts. But, out of hundreds of cases I can probably count the number of negligent driving pleas on one hand. If you have a good case, most prosecutors would rather just go to trial than to offer something with no license loss. It really takes a lot to get an offer of negligent driving such as a breath test below the legal limit, a problem with the breath/blood test, passing field sobriety tests, or a problem with the prosecutor proving you were driving. Even if the prosecutor offers a negligent driving, the judge still must accept the plea. Judges are often hesitant to accept this plea, and you must explain why it is a fair outcome. This past week I had a DWI reduced to negligent driving, and the judge asked the prosecutor if it was a fair outcome to not have a license suspension. After the prosecutor and I explained the reasons behind it, thankfully the judge accepted the plea bargain, and the client got to drive home.

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Sometimes, people plead guilty to DWI without an experienced lawyer and later have buyers remorse. Unfortunately, at that point, it is almost impossible to undo what you have done. (However, a plea has to be knowing, intelligent, and voluntary, and I have set aside a guilty plea before, but it is incredibly difficult to do). Before you plead guilty, you should at a minimum know what the penalties are. If you plead guilty to a first offense DWI in NH, you will lose your license. There is no work permit or hardship license. You will have to pay a fine and you will have to complete an alcohol program, and any recommended counseling before you get your license back. You will have a criminal record and if there is another dwi, the consequences include mandatory jail time and a minimum 3 year license loss.

Once you know what you are facing, you should speak with a New Hampshire dui lawyer to see what defenses you have. Many cases that seem difficult can be won with the right defense. If you gave a breath test, you need to get the breath tubes independently tested. If you gave a blood test you need to see if it was done properly or if alcohol could have fermented in the blood.

In many cases a plea could be in your best interest. This is particularly true where you are facing an aggravated dwi or second offense dwi and your lawyer is able to get the charge reduced to a first offense dwi. Having an experienced dui attorney who has handled hundreds of cases can help you get an idea of what the penalties will likely be if you are found guilty versus pleading guilty, or your chance of winning at trial. An experienced lawyer and one who is willing to go go trial and has a record of getting not guilty verdicts will often get better pleas than someone who just pleas every case, or worse yet, when someone is representing themselves. With so much at stake, can you afford not to hire a good dwi lawyer?

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For most people charged with DWI, it is their first arrest, and I understand you worry about all the potential consequences. If you are charged with only a standard first offense DWI in New Hampshire, the good news is you cannot go to jail (unless you don't pay the fines in which case you can go to jail at the rate of $50 per day to serve off the fine). The bad news is, you cannot have a public defender, and you will have a criminal record if you are convicted (besides losing your license, having to pay fines, and completing alcohol programs before you get your license back).

If you are charged with any type of DWI other than a standard first offense DWI, there is mandatory jailtime if you are found guilty. The other types of dwi with mandatory jail time include aggravated DWI, second offense/subsequent offense, and felony DWI. If does not matter how compelling your reason is to not go to jail (such as a disability, taking care of children/parents, or that you have never been to jail before). If you are found guilty, the judge must send you to jail. The only question is will you be going for 5 days or a year or more.

The best way to not go to jail is to not be found guilty of any of the dwi charges that have jail time. This could include being found not guilty at trial, or having the dwi reduced to something that does not have jail time associated with it. Hiring an experienced New Hampshire DUI lawyer will give you the strongest chance of staying out of jail. Attorney Hynes has had many not guilty verdicts and has had many jailable offenses reduced to non-jailable convictions. Please note, each case is different, and it is impossible to get every case reduced.

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What You Need to Know About Appealing New Hampshire DUI Convictions

The majority of our clients visit us seeking assistance in defending themselves against a DWI charge. However, other clients request our assistance after their conviction. DWIs are classified as criminal cases, and as such, specific circumstances can allow for this criminal conviction to be appealed. DWIs are also considered to be administrative matters because they affect the defendant’s right to operate a motor vehicle. If your license has been suspended at an administrative hearing, then this suspension can be appealed as well.

Not all motorists convicted of DWI charges will be entitled to appeal their conviction and subsequent license suspension. The grounds for an appeal must exist. Appeals for administrative license suspensions must be conducted through the Superior Court. DWI conviction appeals may be handled by either the Superior Court or the New Hampshire Supreme Court, although the latter option is rarely used.

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For a New Hampshire motorist convicted of a DWI, the ramifications can be severe. New Hampshire maintains a reputation for possessing some of the strictest DWI laws in the United States. Significant monetary fines, loss of one’s license, loss of employment, and mandatory jail sentences are just a few of the penalties a conviction can result in.

In April 2013, former prosecutor Peter Heed, confessed to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. On January 10, 2013, he was arrested for suspicion of drunk driving. Because Heed, who resigned as acting attorney general in 2004, maintained close ties to the state judiciary, the arraignment for his charges had to be delayed until a neutral judge could be found to preside over Heed’s case.

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Just about every one who contacts me after being arrested for DWI wants to keep their license. This is very difficult to do, but not impossible. In order to keep your license, the first step if you refused a breath or blood test, or tested above the legal limit, is to request an administrative license suspension hearing. If you do not do that within 30 days you will lose your license for 6 months or 2 years, even if you are found not guilty of DWI.

Requesting the hearing is the easy part. Winning the hearing is more difficult. The cop basically has to show it is more likely than not that you refused the test or tested above the legal limit. The police do not have to show you were drunk or under the influence.

However, there are some other things the state must prove. I have won these license suspension hearings by showing: the driver was not on a public way, lack of jurisdiction, the officer gave improper legal advice, the blood test was not above the legal limit, the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to believe the driver was impaired, the officer or intoxilyzer were not properly certified, a proper 20 minute observation period was not followed, the person did not actually refuse the requested test, the driver was confused regarding the consequences of the refusal due in part to conduct by the officer, and the officer did not properly advise of ALS rights.

If we are able to win the administrative license suspension hearing, the next step to keep your license is to win the criminal case. Even if we win the administrative hearing, the prosecutor will still go forward with the criminal charge. Sometimes the charge can be reduced to reckless driving, which avoids a DWI conviction, but it still has a 60 day loss of license. Even more rare is a plea offer to something less, such as negligent driving, a non driving offense, or a flat out dismissal.  You are much more likely to be found not guilty at trial with a good dwi lawyer than you are to be offered a plea that has no license loss.

Assuming there is no plea offer with a license loss, you will have to go to trial and be found not guilty in order to keep your license.

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If you are convicted of DWI in New Hampshire, there is presently no hardship license, work permit, cinderella license, etc. It does not matter how compelling your reason to drive is, you will fully lose your license during the suspension period. NH is finally considering to amend the statute to allow for a hardship license under certain conditions.

For New Hampshire First Time DWI Offenders, Restricted Use Licenses Could Become a Possibility

New legislation has been introduced in New Hampshire that could allow first-time DWI offenders to become eligible for restricted use licenses. New Hampshire is one of a handful of states in the United States that does not bestow limited driving privileges to motorists who have been convicted of DWI offenses.

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It is summer time and that means more sobriety checkpoints. Last week the State police held them as well as Manchester police department. While I sometimes see the posting on their website ahead of time, I usually find out about them afterwards as I get a call from someone frequently after a sobriety checkpoint is used. In order to do a sobriety checkpoint, the police need to obtain permission from superior court, and perform the checkpoints in certain ways.

The first defense to attacking a sobriety checkpoint is to show the police did not do the checkpoint as approved, or in some other way violated your rights. If you were pulled over for trying to avoid a checkpoint, this may be a valid defense as well. The police are supposed to notify the public before doing the checkpoints. If you are stopped at a checkpoint you have the right to not answer questions such as if you were drinking. Just give the police your license and registration and choose to be silent or tell them you want a lawyer. If you are asked to step out of the car, ask the officer if he is asking you to step out or if he is ordering you. Also ask the cop if you are free to leave. The less evidence you give them, the more defenses you probably have.

If you are asked to do field sobriety tests, you are probably going to fail no matter how hard you try and how little alcohol you had. If you were arrested hire a good dui attorney immediately.

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If you take the prescription drug ambien, and you drive a car, you are at risk of driving under the influence of drugs in New Hampshire. It does not matter if you have a valid prescription. The issue is did the ambien impair your ability to drive to any degree. One of the problems with ambien is it can cause people to basically sleep walk. People have been known to take the drug before going to sleep, not remember getting up or driving, and later become coherent after they are already arrested. Combining alcohol with ambien can affect how much it affects you, as well as stress and other factors. If you take ambien you really need to be careful, especially when you first start off taking it. Also,do  not exceed what a doctor recommends.

If you are charged with DWI ambien, to present the best defense you are going to need an expert witness to speak of the effects of ambien (as well as a really good DUI Attorney to question everything else). the state crime lab analyst will testify that the ambien in your blood was enough to impair you if you gave a blood test.

Additionally, some cops are drug recognition experts and do a 12 step DRE exam on you. It is necessary to know how the evaluation is supposed to be done, and have an expert testify as to the limitations of the exam.

Finally, it might be a defense that you did not know what you were doing. While voluntary intoxication is never a defense to DWI, it does require a voluntary act. Sleepwalking could be a defense  While there is not presently any law on this defenss in NH, recently the Oregon Supreme Court held that sleep driving is a defense in State v. Newman, No. SC S060182. "The trial judge must permit him to put on expert testimony that his driving was not a volitional act because it occurred during an episode of somnambulistic automatism -- sleepwalking (which led to "sleep driving")" "regardless of whether a person has a culpable mental state, that at minimum the person must engage in a volitional act before that act can be considered criminal. Thus, if a person commits the act in his sleep, the act is not volitional and does not subject the actor to criminal liability." - http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?view=&srchtype=discussedNews&gid=2365795&item=245874999&type=member&trk=eml-anet_dig-b_pd-ttl-cn&ut=0RBh9IbSz3YBM1

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In New Hampshire, if you have a previous conviction within the last 10 years, you will be charged with a subsequent offense DWI.  If you are found guilty of a second offense DWI, you will go to jail and have a minimum 3 year license loss. The jail time is up to one year for a second or third offense, but a fourth offense felony dwi has up to 7 years in prison.

If you are charged with DUI or DWI while you have already been charged with dwi, but not yet convicted, the good news is you won't be facing second offense penalties. The bad news is if you are found guilty of both charges, there is a very good chance the judge gives you an increased sentence. Additionally, it is a criminal offense to commit a crime, including DWI, while you are out on bail. The jail time on that offense will run in addition to any other jail time.

Remember, an arrest for a dwi is not a conviction. Make the state prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt by raising your best defenses. Sometimes, a good dwi lawyer can get the prosecutor to reduce a second offense to a fake first offense. This will keep you out of jail, and often has a much less loss of license. A good attorney can often point out all the potential issues with a case and have the prosecutor make better offers. Also, a lawyer who goes to trial, and often wins, will have a good reputation. If a lawyer has too many cases, or just settles every case, there likely won't be as good plea offers. Or, a lawyer who has to try a case who doesn't have a lot of trial experience, may miss certain things. Attorney Hynes has handled more than 100 combined DWI trials and DWI hearings at the DMV.

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I hope you all had a good bike week if you went up to ride in Laconia New Hampshire this week.

The police were out in force as usual. I have already received a couple of calls from people who were charged with DWI. If you have been charged with DWI on a motorcycle, give me a call to discuss your defense. Defending motorcycle DWI cases is different than regular DWI cases. As a rider, and someone who successfully received not guilty verdicts on motorcycle cases, I will help you present your best defense.

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A Comprehensive Guide to New Hampshire DUIs

One of the most serious traffic violations a New Hampshire motorist can be convicted of is driving while intoxicated. The New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles, Department of Safety, and other law enforcement agencies enact severe consequences for NH motorists convicted of a DWI. Although different types of tests may be used to ascertain a motorist’s DWI condition, the ensuing disciplinary measures and consequences remain unchanged.

Defining DWI Under NH State Law

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For most of the people who come to me who were arrested for DUI in New Hampshire, it is their first offense, and the first time they were arrested. Many people do not understand the court system or the serious consequences they are facing for a first offense DWI. DWI is not just a small traffic violation. It is a criminal offense. If you are found guilty, you will have a criminal record. For certain professions such as teachers, people in the medical field such as nurses and RNs, and those in certain government positions, a criminal record can cost you your job. To be found guilty, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your ability to drive was impaired due to alcohol or drugs. If you refused a breath test, the prosecutor will try and use that against you.

Besides having a criminal record, if you are found guilty of DUI, you will lose your license for a minimum of 9 months (in certain cases you can get it back after 90 days). The judge can not give you less of a license loss than that, no matter how compelling your reasons. It doesn't matter if you are a single mother, drive hours to work, need to go to doctor appointments, etc. Making matters even worse, New Hampshire does not have any hardship license/work license/or Cinderella license. People often ask me how they are supposed to get to work and support their family. My advice is with so much at stake you need a good DWI lawyer to present the best defenses and get you the best outcome possible.

DWI cases are complicated and involved science, the rules of evidence, and pseudo-science (field sobriety tests). You need someone who is an expert in these things to know all of the potential defenses you have. Attorney Dan Hynes wrote a few books on DWI. He gives them to his clients so they can know some of the many defenses they have (such as 100 medical defenses). Additionally, Attorney Hynes has training as a field sobriety test instructor (the training used to teach officers on how to administer field sobriety tests).

If you are found guilty of DWI, before you get your license back you need to do an alcohol and drug screening, a full evaluation if needed, including potential AA meetings of to see a counselor for months, and to do a 20 hour alcohol class. You also have to pay fines, and need SR-22 insurance for 3 years, which will raise your insurance costs. Also, DWI is a major offense toward the habitual offender law in NH. With as few as 2 other offenses, you can be deemed a habitual offender and lose your license for minimum 1-4 years. If you drive while under suspension for DWI you will go to jail for a minimum of 7 days, and have an additional year license loss. If you drive while a habitual offender, it is a felony and you will go to jail for a minimum of 1 year.

With so much at stake can you afford not to put forth your best defense? Give our DUI Attorneys a call to discuss how we can help you

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Many people ask me what happens if they refuse a breath test after being arrested for DWI in New Hampshire. There are a couple major consequences of refusing a chemical test (breath, blood, urine, or physical tests). The first is that you will lose your license. The license loss is for 6 months for a first offense. If you have a previous DWI conviction, or previously refused the breath test, the license loss will be for 2 years. This license loss runs in addition (consecutively) to every other license loss, such as habitual offender, or a DWI conviction, or a plea to a lesser offense. The DMV has zero discretion to change the license loss. You can not explain to them how it will create a hardship for you or that you need your license to drive. In fact, New Hampshire does not even have any hardship license provisions, or work permits, or any other temporary permits to let you drive while under suspension for refusing.

If you do nothing, this license loss is automatic. However, you are entitled to an administrative license suspension (ALS) hearing regarding the refusal. You must request this hearing within 30 days of the date of refusal. You cannot request the hearing after 30 days. Also, the hearing is not just automatically given to you after you are arrested, you do have to request it in writing, and otherwise comply with the rules. Once you hire a DWI lawyer, have him or her request the hearing. Some people put too little information in their hearing request, and some people put too much information into it. Also, it is a mistake to not require the officer's presence at the hearing.

Once you request the hearing, the DMV will schedule you a hearing in roughly a couple of weeks. Because it takes a few weeks to get the hearing, you should not wait until the last possible day to request the hearing. Just by requesting the hearing, you do not get to extend your temporary license, or otherwise not lose your license. The only way to not go under suspension 30 days after the date of arrest for refusing is to win at an ALS hearing.

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Have you been charged with a second offense DWI in New Hampshire?

The penalties for a second offense are a lot worse than a first offense. If you are found guilty of 2nd offense there is Mandatory jail time. It does not matter how compelling your life situation is. The judge's only discretion is whether it is the minimum 5 days in jail, or whether it is up to a year. If you had a previous DWI within two years of when you were arrested on the new charge the minimum jail time is 30 days.

The minimum license loss on a second offense is 3 years. If you refused the breath test, that 2 year license loss will run in addition to the 3 years.

Additionally, second offense requires an interlock device on your vehicle for 1-2 years once you get your license back, and the minimum fine is $930.

To get these enhanced penalties, you have to be found guilty of DWI. An arrest is not a conviction. The best way to avoid jail time is to be found not guilty, or be able to get the charge reduced.

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I showed up to court at 8 am this morning for trial. The prosecutor asked me if I received a phone call from my client. Puzzled, I asked him why. He informed me the client was arrested the night before. Thankfully, the police department was kind enough to transport the client to the courthouse so that he wouldn't miss the trial.

However, besides the trial, the client now had to deal with an arraignment on new charges. It can be difficult to argue someone is not a danger if there is an arrest while you are already out on bail. Additionally, committing an offense while out on bail can bring a class A misdemeanor of bail jumping. Part of the conditions of personal recognizance bail is to be on good behavior. An arrest for a crime, is generally a violation of those terms and the judge can revoke bail on the underlying offense. If you are out on bail, do not commit new offenses. If you are arrested, call your lawyer as soon as possible so that he can be ready to argue bail at the arraignment which is usually the next day court is in session, if the bail commissioner does not give you a bail in the amount that you can post in order to be released from the police station/jail.

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