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Criminal Law FAQ

In New Hampshire, a record can be expunged (annulled) immediately if the case was dismissed or not prosecuted. For cases that result in a conviction, you must wait a certain period of time after the end of the penalty (sentence, suspension period...) before applying to the court for an annulment. Although this process can be done without an attorney, there are some traps for those who file an application before they are eligible. As a prosecutor, I saw criminal records dating back to the 1970s. If your record is more than a few years old, you may want to consult with an attorney about getting it sealed or annulled. In New Hampshire, the term "domestic violence" is often added to criminal complaints where there is a current or former relationship to alleged victim. A conviction for an offense that includes the term "domestic violence" has several (potentially lifelong) severe consequences that are not always clear for the unrepresented defendant. Depending on the reason for your license suspension and your driving history, the penalties can vary widely in New Hampshire from a suspended fine to a lengthy jail sentence. DUI related suspensions carry minimum mandatory jail time. Driving after suspension as a result of a Habitual Offender certification can result in years in the state prison. However, a first time operating after suspension for non-payment of fines will probably result in a $250.00 fine plus court fees. In New Hampshire, when the police take blood in a DUI case, they can have it "screened" for the full spectrum of drugs and alcohol. If the screen indicates a possible positive for a particular drug, then the lab may conduct further tests for that particular substance. There are several different types and levels of DUI. Please refer to a more detailed description at is the wrong question for a New Hampshire DUI. In the typical case, the primary concern after being charged with DUI is the administrative process. There are strict time limits for requesting hearings and contesting evidence. The court process is relatively slow compared to the administrative process. First, make sure you know all of the deadlines for administrative review and evidence preservation. New Hampshire courts begin with an arraignment and usually scheduled some type of settlement conference that goes by a variety of names depending on the court. If the case remains unresolved after the settlement conference, the court will schedule the matter for trial. Failure of police to inform suspects who are IN CUSTODY of their Miranda rights may result in the RESPONSES TO QUESTIONING being excluded from use at trial against that suspect. The clerk of your local court may provide you with enough information to request a restraining order. Many law enforcement agencies have "victim's advocates" who may assist in the process. A felony in New Hampshire is any offense punishable by more than one year in jail. There are a variety of felonies with different penalties. The two most common are the Class B felony punishable by 3 1/2 - 7 years in the state prison and a $4,000.00 fine and the Class A felony punishable by 7 1/2 - 15 years in prison. There may also be many other consequences to felonies depending on the particulars of your case.In New Hampshire, parole is the status of a person who is sentenced to the state prison and has not completed his/her entire sentence, but has been released after serving at least his/her minimum sentence. Probation is supervision over a person by the Department of Corrections. The same agency supervise parolees and probationers in New Hampshire, but the process for ending up back in jail after an incident is different. Click on the tab at my website for DUI penalties. This can be a particularly complex area of law where there are some unintended consequences and collateral penalties depending on the particular facts of your case. An experienced DUI lawyer is essential to protecting your rights. Speak with a lawyer first. When police are talking to you after an arrest, they are gathering evidence against you. Anything you show or say will strengthen their case and may increase the severity of the charges against you. Experienced police officers and detectives are professionals at what they do. You need a professional on your side. Be polite and respectful, but firm.Without a criminal defense attorney, it is very difficult to tell what you need. Criminal defense attorneys routinely provide some insight during the first meeting that changes the client's mind about questions of guilty or not guilty.

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