Monday, February 8, 2016

New Hampshire Criminal Laws - What's New in 2016

Criminal Lawyers in New HampshireIt is every private citizen’s concern to be protected against heinous crimes of any sort. Local governments also have the primary responsibility of maintaining peace and order, and preventing crime in their areas of jurisdiction. 
Even in very peaceful and rural states like New Hampshire, one never knows when a crime can happen.  As with other states, New Hampshire is on its feet when it comes to crime prevention.  Some of the state’s laws are considered stricter compared to other states. 

Here are some New Hampshire criminal laws updated as of the year 2016. Some are enhancements of laws that have been in place decades ago.  You may even find some of them unusual and even amusing.

Marijuana Use

It may just be a little weed in your pocket, but watch out!   Compared to some states like Colorado and Alaska, New Hampshire takes a tougher stance on marijuana or cannabis use in the state.  As of mid-2015, the state has recognized marijuana use for medicinal purposes but still prohibits street possession in any amount and considers it a Class A misdemeanor which leads to jail terms of at least one year and up to $2,000 in fines. Sales or trafficking of even just one ounce can get you behind bars for up to 3 years or fines as high as $25,000.  Fines are doubled for possession and use within 1,000 feet of a school zone.  You must have a written doctor’s recommendation to show that you use marijuana for medical purposes.

Driving under Influence (DWI / DUI)

This is a dire threat to fellow drivers and pedestrians, and often causes fatalities and heavy property damage.  Driving under influence of alcohol or other substances is an absolute no-no in New Hampshire.  Guilty drivers may also face felony charges if their drunk driving had caused death or serious injury to the other party.  A recent change has to do with license restriction after the DUI occurrence.  As of 2016, DUI-charged drivers who are first-time offenders may, under certain circumstances, be allowed to drive on a limited basis, especially if they needed to do so for livelihood or medical service to a family member (ex. driving a disabled family member to a hospital facility). 

Vehicle assault statute

This crime involves the intentional or negligent use of a vehicle (car, vessel, bike, etc.) in order to cause injury or death to another person.  It is considered a Class A misdemeanor.  A bill approved last year removes the jury’s function of having to weigh evidence before convicting the defendant and automatically shifts the burden of proof to him or her.  There is also no need to have to name a traffic violation just to convict the defendant. 

Indecent exposure or lewdness

Anyone who exposes genitals or performs lewd acts in front of a minor (under age 16) will be charged a Class B felony which involves a stiff $2,000 fine and jail terms of up to seven years.

Sexual assault


This is of course punishable by law.  Here’s an interesting addition.  Those guilty of sexual assault while undergoing an outdoor sport like hunting or fishing will not only be charged for the crime, but will also have their hunting or fishing licenses revoked. License suspension varies from five years to life.
 
Drone used for surveillance

The recent drone craze has sparked controversies about its legality in surveillance activities.  In New Hampshire, no one can use a drone to conduct video or photo surveillance of people who are engaged in lawful hunting or fishing without obtaining written consent from those people.  For the purpose of monitoring illegal activities, the surveilling party must obtain a warrant. 



By Shepherd and Osborne


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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

New Hampshire Veterans Day Events - Manchester - Nashua NH

Veterans Day is a day where we can celebrate those who have served our country in the armed forces. It is a very important holiday. Without the service of these men and women, our country would not be what it is today. Free. Because of their love of our country, they put their lives on the line fighting for it. On November 11th, it is our duty to honor these men and women who have done so much for us and for America. Because Veterans Day is such a big day for our veterans and our country, many states hold Veterans Day festivities. If you are in New Hampshire, there are a few things to attend.
  
Veterans Day Breakfast 

On November 11, 2015, the Derryfield Country Club and Restaurant is holding a Veterans Day Breakfast. It is located at 625 Mammoth Road, Manchester, New Hampshire. This breakfast is to support the veterans transitioning from homelessness at Liberty House. Breakfast will be a buffet, and coffee and tea will be served at the tables by a local celebrity wait staff. Even Manchester's own Mayor Gatsas is pitching in. Tickets are $25 at the door and the cost for veterans is $20. The breakfast is held from 8am to 9:15am, giving you a chance to have a hot breakfast and help local veterans before you head to the parade.
 
Veterans Day Parade 

 
Manchester, New Hampshire's annual Veterans Day parade will be held on Wednesday, November 11, 2015 at 10:30am. The parade will start on Elm Street and end at Veteran's Park on Elm Street in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Veterans Day Appreciation Program 
 
This event is being held in Colebrook, New Hampshire on November 10, 2015. It is a free event for everyone who wants to show their appreciation to the veterans who have risked their lives to fight for our country.

Veteran's Special  
 
This is a special boating excursion on Squam Lake in Holderness, New Hampshire to honor veterans. The day consists of a two hour tour of Squam Lake, visiting the site where the movie On Golden Pond was filmed.


Help for Struggling Veterans 

 
The transition from serving our country to coming home back to normal life is difficult for some veterans. Some come home with physical injuries and some come home with mental issues. Whatever the problem, there are places that war veterans can turn for help. 

Veterans Services: Located at 275 Chestnut Street, Room 517 Manchester, New Hampshire.
This is a state office that assists veterans and their families to obtain all of the benefits they are entitled to under federal law and regulations. The staff is made up of retired veterans from different branches of the United States Armed Forces. All of the services at this agency are free of charge.
Liberty House: Located at 75 West Baker Street, Manchester, New Hampshire.

Liberty House provides a safe, supportive, drug free community for all veterans who are transitioning out of homelessness. Since the doors opened in 2004, Liberty House's dedicated staff has helped over 200 homeless veterans rejoin the community and live full and independent lives. Thank you to all of our veterans and all who are currently serving.


By The Law Office of Shepherd and Osborne


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Friday, July 3, 2015

Keeping Safe and Avoiding DUI on The Fourth of July in New Hampshire


Anywhere in the USA is celebration time during the Fourth of July.  It is a day for picnics, parades, parties, and fireworks.  All states, big or small, have their own traditions of celebrating Independence Day.   The state of New Hampshire is no exception, with its own array of fireworks displays, lively concerts, colorful parades, baseball matches, and activity-filled fairs. 

In many New Hampshire homes, families and friends get together to either do fireworks or watch these at parks, stadiums, or schoolyards.  Parties come with loads of food and drinks.  People get stuffed not just with delicious food but also alcohol.  And that’s just where the trouble starts.

The Fact is Anyone Can Get Arrested for DUI


Many Americans either couldn’t hold their own on drinks, or get carried away by all the drinking sprees during this holiday.  But many are not aware that even just two glasses of beer or wine can already elevate one’s BAC to over .08% or the “intoxicated” level.  Intoxication affects your alertness and judgment during driving.  This already doubles your risks of getting into an accident.  Moreover, you may be pulled over if officers notice something amiss with your driving (such as over speeding or improper lane switching) and be charged with DUI.   In fact, most DUI cases in New Hampshire as well as other states reach their peak during the Fourth of July holiday. 

New Hampshire laws on DUI are severe.  When you are given a New Hampshire driver’s license, you also granted implied consent that you are willing to subject yourself to sobriety tests anytime you are stopped by a New Hampshire officer.  Refusal to undergo tests will cause suspension of your driver’s license for 180 days. 

Being charged with DUI is expensive as well as troublesome.  Even a first offense DUI will result in license revocation for up to two years.  Fees are high, especially if injury or death resulted from an accident due to drunk driving.  Even the reinstatement fee is $100.  In repeat offenses, your vehicle will be rendered unavailable for driving and you face not only longer license suspensions but also jail terms.

Firework Safety

During this year’s Independence Day, make “Safety First” your tenet.  Teach your family to handle fireworks safely.  Don’t drink alcohol if you are the designated driver.  If it’s inevitable that you drink during the celebration, do assign someone reliable to be your designated driver, or spend the night at your host’s or a friend’s place.  Never assume that your drunken state can be relieved by coffee or will wear off in a couple of hours, because these are misconceptions.  Remember that once alcohol is in your bloodstream, it takes a few hours to wear off. 
If you do get stopped at a checkpoint, cooperate with the authorities.  You do have the right to refuse any sobriety tests or car searches on the road.  You also have the right to remain silent and to seek legal help for your case.


There are many competent lawyers in New Hampshire who are more than willing and qualified to handle your DUI case.  They can advise you on how best to respond to authorities when you are stopped or arrested for DUI.  They can also negotiate on your behalf when you need to be bailed out, as well as appeal for shorter jail terms and license suspensions.  As he is well-versed with the DUI laws of the state, let your New Hampshire criminal lawyer do the legwork and talking for you in court. 

By Shepherd and Osborne

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Hand Held Electronic Device Laws for New Hampshire July 1st 2015


In an age when nearly everyone has a cell phone in possession at all times, it is no surprise New Hampshire and other states have enacted laws pertaining to the use of electronic devices, namely cell phones, while operating a motor vehicle. New Hampshire joined 43 states and the District of Columbia be passing a law banning texting and driving. The Granite State now joins 12 other states and the District of Columbia by passing legislation prohibiting the use of any hand held devices while in control of a vehicle. The law takes effect July 1, 2015.

The state has already taken measures to educate the public in order to ensure New Hampshire residents are readily aware of the law before it takes effect. The marketing campaign designed to raise awareness includes adoption of a slogan: Hands Free, a Better Way to Be.

The Hand Held Device Laws Defined

The law is naturally explicit in what constitutes ‘use’ and what falls under the category of a hand held device. The definition of ‘use’ outlines actions including reading and composing electronic messages. The posting of messages or viewing of messages is also considered ‘use’ of a device. According to the law, receiving and engaging in a conversation on a hand held device is included. The act of inputting information into any global positioning system or similar navigation device falls into the category of ‘use’ of a hand held device. These prohibited acts apply when the vehicle is in motion. It is important for New Hampshire residents to realize utilizing these devices while stopped in traffic is also a violation of the new law. The one outlined exception is if an adult driver is using a hand held device to call 911, law enforcement personnel, a fire department, or similar emergency personnel. More on the New Hampshire hands free laws go here.


Age Restrictions

Adults can use a hands-free system to communicate via cell phone while driving. However, drivers who are under 18 are prohibited from that option. A minor using a hand held device in any capacity while driving will be subject to possible license revocation or suspension.

Penalties and Punishments


Violation of the law by adults will result in fines which escalate with each infraction. This new law includes cell phones, GPS, tablets, iPods, iPads or any other device that requires data entry. A first offense will result in a $100 fine. A second offense can lead to a $250 fine. A subsequent offense can result in a $500 fine if the offenses are within a 12 month period.
Distracted driving incidents have led to sweeping legislation across the country dictating actions of drivers. According to the National Safety Council, one in every four accidents is estimated to be the result of cell phone use.

Resource: You’re Cell Phone Rights in New Hampshire

What to Do If Charged

Anyone pulled over for violation of the new law should be aware of the possible criminal consequences. He or she should also be aware of his or her rights and the defense options that may be possible with the assistance from a New Hampshire criminal defense attorney. As with any traffic violation, there are incidents when a person is wrongfully pulled over or innocent of the infraction which led to police involvement. With the possibility of high fines and/or loss of a driver’s license, each citizen should act to secure legal representation. No case, regardless of the circumstances is a cut and dry conviction. If an accident was involved and injuries incurred, the stakes may be even higher. With help from a New Hampshire criminal defense attorney well-versed in the new laws regarding hand held devices, citizens can rest assured their rights are protected. No one should face any charge or citation alone.


By Shepherd and Osborne

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Avoid DUI this Memorial Day in New Hampshire


Memorial Day weekend is a much-anticipated holiday weekend everywhere, but nowhere as much as in the beautiful New England states. It heralds the beginning of warmer weather, cookouts, bonfires, drinking and having a great time with family and friends.

Drink Responsibly

Unfortunately, sometimes the good times get taken a little too far and inevitable someone ends up with a DUI charge after an especially good time over the holiday weekend. This is when it is important to find a competent DUI attorney in the area who is well-versed in New Hampshire DUI law. Of course the best and safest decision is to make certain you are not drinking and driving at all, so please make sure to be responsible and limit your alcohol consumption or make certain you have a designated driver. However, since things do happen, make sure you have a plan of action and the name of a few good DUI attorneys in the New Hampshire area. Events such as the Memorial Day Weekend Craft Festival in Meredith NH or one of the various fireworks events celebrating the official beginning of summer make it easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holiday and spending time with good friends.

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is optimum, making certain you keep a clear head and don't overindulge before getting behind the wheel, but should you run into trouble, there are many experienced attorneys available to help you avoid the worst of the iron fist of the law in "The Granite State"!

To clarify, this is by no means a suggestion or a free pass to behave irresponsibly and then turn to a lawyer in an attempt to avoid the consequences of bad decisions; whether you are celebrating close to home or traveling some distance, it is still your responsibility first and foremost to ensure your safety as well as that of the other drivers you are sharing the road with. Should you fail to do so, a DUI attorney can help you circumnavigate the legal process only in order to reduce the legal consequences to yourself, not to eliminate them entirely. These attorneys are experienced in the specific processes involved with drinking-and-driving laws and how the local courts deal with such matters, what can and cannot be done to lessen the ramifications to the offender, and how best to assure that the offense will not be committed again. These situations require a win-win outcome, and by working out a compromise with the court system while at the same time seeing to it that the offender does learn a lesson that will guarantee no repeat offenses, the seasoned DUI attorney negotiates a conclusion to the matter that is satisfactory to everyone.

Don’t Go It Alone

It is imperative that you not attempt to handle such a serious matter in court alone, as the consequences can be severe and can affect you far into the future. Having an experienced and knowledgeable attorney at your side is a necessity in order to lessen the damage to yourself and your record, which can have far-reaching, long-term effects. Again, the best plan of action is to behave responsible and avoid these problems altogether, but should things get out of hand, make certain you contact a competent, reputable New Hampshire DUI attorney.



By Shepherd and Osborne

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney To Fight My Case?-NH Criminal Lawyers

HEY MR. LAWYER, WHAT EXACTLY AM I PAYING YOU FOR?

I imagine that anyone who has ever hired a lawyer has asked themselves (or their lawyer) the same question.  “Hey, I’m smart.  I can read.  I can write.  I can speak.  What exactly can an attorney do for me that I cannot do for myself?”
This is a fair question that all clients should ask themselves before and after they hire an attorney.  There very well may be plenty of circumstances where you don’t need to hire a lawyer.  But, rarely, in the realm of CRIMINAL LAW is that likely to be true. 

How do you know if you need a defense attorney to help you with your CRIMINAL case?  Try answering these questions.  If you are able to discern the answers, you may not need a lawyer after all.

QUESTION 1:

-    You have been arrested for having drugs in your car.
-    Did the police officer have reasonable suspicion to stop or detain you?
-    What is reasonable suspicion?
-    Was it proper of the police officer to search your car?
-    Should he have gotten a warrant?
-    Should the police officer have read you your Miranda rights?
-    What are Miranda Rights?
-    When exactly are they supposed to be read?
-    If the police officer did something wrong, what do I do?
-    How do I suppress the drugs?
-    What does it mean to suppress evidence?
-    Where do I start?
-    What is a motion?
-    What case law do I cite?
-    What is case law?


QUESTION 2:


-    You attend your first court appearance.  The prosecutor makes you a plea offer.
-    Is this a fair offer?
-    What is normally offered with other defendants?
-    What is normally offered in other courts by other prosecutors?
-    Is the judge more likely to say guilty or not guilty after trial?
-    How will your plea of guilty affect your driving record, your job, or your military or educational opportunities?

QUESTION 3:

At trial, the prosecutor wants the police officer to testify as to your background and some things he has heard about you on the street.
Is this testimony proper?
Are there rules of evidence that prohibit such testimony?
What are the rules of evidence?
Can you name one rule of evidence?
Are you able to argue an objection in front of the mirror without stammering or stopping?   

QUESTION 4:

It’s the night before trial.  It’s 3AM.  You have trial tomorrow at 9 am.  You ask yourself:

DO I HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THE HELL I AM DOING?


If you answered these questions honestly, you may very well have concluded that your best chance for success in court requires you to hire an attorney.
Let’s jump ahead.  Let’s say you have hired an attorney to help you deal with a CRIMINAL accusation.  What does your lawyer do?


Every lawyer has his/her own strategy.  Here is what I like to do, and the order in which I do it:
1)    I tell the court and the prosecutor that we represent you.
2)    I tell the court to send any scheduling concerns about your case to me.
3)    I ask for the police reports.
4)    I read through the police reports very carefully – line by line – and see if the police officer/detective made any mistakes.
5)    I see if those mistakes give us a legal argument to either get your case dismissed or resolved by way of a really good plea offer.
6)    I look to see if the facts are good or bad for you.
7)    If the facts are good, I see if there is a factual argument that will either get your case dismissed, or resolved in a way that id more favorable to you (i.e. a nice plea offer).
8)    If the facts are bad for you and there are no mistakes to be found, then you and I have a very important discussion as to what your best options are.
9)    At every stage of your case, I make sure that your rights are protected and that you are treated as fairly as possible by the prosecutor, the judge, the jury, and anyone else who thinks they are going to try to deprive you of your freedom and treasure.

A lawyer’s job is to make sure that you are treated fairly by the judicial process.  Meaning, it is your lawyer’s job to make sure that the police didn’t take any illegal shortcuts when they investigated your case.  It means making sure that the prosecutor’s evidence at trial falls in line with what is permissible under the constitutional protections, as well as under New Hampshire’s Rules of Evidence.  It means making sure the judge presides over your trial and related hearings in a manner that is fair, impartial, and consistent with equal protection and due process under the law.  It is your lawyer’s job to take emotion out of the case and insist that reason and rule of law reign supreme.  It is your lawyer’s job to make sure you don’t’ become a whipping boy or scapegoat for all of society’s ills simply because you are seated at the defense table as an accused.

Lawyers are not mind readers; soothsayers; or miracle workers.  Thus, it is not your lawyer’s job to guarantee you will be acquitted; declared not guilty; found innocent.  Simply put, there is a lot more to lawyering than simply trying to “get a client off.”

That is not to say lawyers don’t try with all their might to defend you zealously.  That is not to say that your lawyer will hold back on saying what needs to be said to try to get you the most favorable result possible.  But, in a courtroom, as in life, reality rains.  In some cases, it downpours.
 
So, if you drank too much, ran over your neighbor’s cat, crashed into a parked police cruiser,  failed the field sobriety tests, failed the breath test, confessed to drinking 6 beers in 2 hours all while smoking marijuana – do not expect that your lawyer will simply waive a wand and make all of your problems disappear.

If you sell drugs to an undercover police officer on video who was previously honored as citizen of the year, do not expect that your case is open and shut in your favor.
If you decide to engage in relations with someone who is not old enough to drive, let alone go to the movies by themselves, do not expect that the your evidence, your explicit texts, your graphic emails or hand written letters will somehow be overlooked by a jury on account that you have never been in arrested before and you have a good job.
  
Of course every criminal defense lawyer dreams about and strives for a NOT GUILTY verdict on behalf of all his clients in every case just as all professional athletes dream about winning the big game.  But as you already know, not every swing is a home run, not every shot makes the basket, and not every team makes it to the Super Bowl.

At the end of the day, you are paying your lawyer to help you where he can; to intensely study your case and the accusations made; to find the facts that help you; to minimize the evidence that hurts you; and to give you an honest opinion as to what you’re best options are.

Every case and every lawyer is different.  But, after reading this article, Justin and I hope that you have a better idea about what exactly you are paying your lawyer to do once you hand over the check and say, “I am in trouble.  Can you please help me?”

By

Shepherd and Osborne

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Resisting Arrest Laws in New Hampshire - Save It For The Ring!

SAVE IT FOR THE RING  (i.e. – Don’t Resist Arrest!)

Let me say it at the outset – DO NOT RESIST ARREST!

Harken back with me to the 1980’s where action movies dispensed more life lessons in two hours than you could find during an entire season of Dr. Phil.

When Rocky Balboa had problems with Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang (AKA - Mr. T), or the big Russian, did he challenge them to a street fight?  No of course not.  He saved it for the ring –with Coach Mickey in his corner. (And yes,  I am purposely ignoring Rocky’s street fight with Tommy Morrison in Rocky 5.  True Rocky fans don’t acknowledge that that move ever existed.  Besides – Rocky 5 came out in 1990, so we’re good.)

In the first Karate Kid, did Daniel LoRusso succeed by fighting the gang of menacing Cobra Kai karate fighters at the high school dance?  No – he saved it for the ring at the big karate tournament – with Coach Mr. Miyagi in his corner.  

Do you see a common theme here? Good! Now stay with me on how all of this applies to getting arrested.

All year long I have seen on the news people either getting shot, injured, beaten, or “escorted” to the ground in police related encounters. After which, I have heard two divergent stories:  The police say the suspect was resisting arrest.  The suspect says (if he is still able to speak) that he was brutalized.  Guess what?  It doesn’t really matter who started to conflict – the law is clear: WHEN POLICE SAY STOP –YOU STOP!  WHEN POLICE SAY YOU ARE UNDER ARREST – YOU ARE UNDER ARREST.

In the Ferguson, Missouri case, Michael Brown was shot by Officer Darren Wilson after resisting arrest on August 9, 2014. What can we learn from this case?

If you are told you are under arrest by a person you recognize to be a police officer, just do the following:

1)    Say thank you or I understand

2)    Turn around if told to do so

3)    Make your hands visible - either out in
front of you, or on top of your head

4)    Drop to your knees if you have to.  Keep your hands visible

5)    Do anything that lets the police officer know that you are not going to interfere with his right to go home to his family at the end of his shift.

Do not:

1)    Argue 

2)    Try to convince him you are innocent

3)    Start reciting the Constitution 

4)    Quote Perry Mason or Thomas Jefferson

Just be quiet and let the officer put his handcuffs on you.

Mark, you are a lawyer!  Why are you telling me to cooperate with police?

Hold on there, Chief! 

I didn’t say “cooperate” by turning State’s evidence. I didn’t say take a breath test (good God don’t do that); I didn’t say to do field sobriety tests (don’t do those either); I didn’t say consent to a search of your car (never do that);  I didn’t say for you to confess; I didn’t say for you to “dime out” your accomplices; I didn’t say for you to forget about your right to remain silent. 

I said do not resist arrest.

Besides, anyone who has ever been declared not guilty by a judge or jury first had to be arrested and eventually taken to a courtroom. An arrest is not the end of the road, rather it is the beginning of your legal journey. Accept the arrest, be a good detainee, and call a lawyer once you get to the police station.

To find a dedicated criminal lawyer in New Hampshire - Call 595-5525
 
You mean even if I don’t think I should be arrested, I should just go willingly?


Yes.  Exactly.  If you go quietly, you will be taken to the police station.  You will eventually be bailed out or brought to court where a judge can decide what happens to you.  If you resist arrest by running away, fighting with the officer, or preventing him from putting his handcuffs on you, you will either:

1)    End up in court with a “Resisting Arrest” charge (which I guarantee will be more difficult to get dropped than whatever you were being arrested for in the first place);

2)    End up in the hospital due to having been:

a.     “escorted to the pavement” or

b.    “escorted across the hood of a police car”
or

c.    “escorted” to some other unfortunate fate by way of mace, a baton (formally known as a “billy club”), or a K-9 unit (formally known as a sharp toothed, snarling mammal that looks like Rin Tin Tin and bites like Cujo); or           

3)    The morgue.

So where do I get to air my grievances and stand up for my rights?

Save it for the ring – which in your case is COURT.  Think of it as the “ring of justice”.  Remember the examples of Rocky and Karate Kid?  Both movies had our protagonists resolving their disputes in a formal competition, with rules, and procedures, and fair play.  They had coaches on their side and in their corners.  They had referees to make sure a fair fight happened.

That is what court is all about – resolving your case is a structured setting with rules and fair play. Instead of a referee you have a judge.  Instead of a coach, you have a lawyer in your corner – whose only job is to look out for you.
I am not saying that you have to be happy about being arrested.  No one expects you to smile about the fact that you are being handcuffed and booked and put in a cell for a few hours with a dirty toilet.  

But I am saying that no matter how awful it is to be arrested – it only gets worse when you resist arrest.  And like I said before, a “Resisting Arrest” charge is almost impossible to negotiate away with police, prosecutors, or judges. No one likes to see a “Resisting Arrest” charge. 

Why? Because anyone who has anything to do with the American criminal justice system (including yours truly) believes that legal disputes must be fought in courtrooms between lawyers and not on the streets with police.

Final thoughts

Do not resist arrest.  What is resisting? Damn near anything other than turning around, giving the officer your hands, and letting him handcuff you.

Every day (and especially on Monday mornings) I see “Resisting Arrest” cases where my clients thought it would be helpful to run from police, refuse to turn around to be cuffed (“No – wait officer! I wasn’t done telling you about my rights!”), or refuse to get into the police car, etc.

Now – if you are unsure of whether you are under arrest – JUST ASK!  If you are, then OBEY.  If you are not under arrest, then politely decline to answer any questions that will incriminate you and ask to be on your way.  But don’t leave or go anywhere until the officer says you can go.  That’s resisting detention – which is a crime just like resisting arrest. (I know, I know – but hey, I didn’t say you have to like it).

Lastly, if you have a medical emergency or a non-obvious injury that compromises your ability to be comfortably handcuffed or enclosed in the back of a police cruiser, TELL THE OFFICER RIGHT AWAY – and KEEP YOUR HANDS WHERE HE CAN SEE THEM. 

Remember, the bottom line is that the officer doesn’t care as much about your case or what happens in court as much as he does about going home safely to his family at the end of his shift. 

So, on the street you need to take every measure you can to let your arresting officer know that it is not your intent to harm him.

Again, I am not saying confess.  No one is saying that police always behave either, but the burden of compliance is on YOU.

So – don’t resist arrest.  Save your legal battle for the ring.  Justin and I will be in your corner.

Call us at 603-595-5525  

By Shepherd and Osborne

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Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year's 2014 in New Hampshire - Avoid DUI - Driver Safety Tips

Ways to Stay Safe and on the Right Side of the Law This New Year’s Eve 2014

New Year’s Eve is a time of celebration all over the world. It is traditional to have a few drinks to ring in the New Year and it is the biggest party night of the year for both bars and house parties. Between the presence of alcohol and potential bad winter weather, New Year’s Eve is also a dangerous time to be on the road. Not only is there an increase in the likelihood of being in an accident, but there is an increased chance of being charged with a DUI. With a few helpful tips you can stay safe and also stay out of trouble with the police as you start off 2015.
 
New Year’s Driving Fatalities 

The statistics may be surprising to some. Nearly 42% of all fatalities on New Year’s Eve are related to drunk driving. This includes both drivers under the influence, their passengers, innocent drivers, and pedestrians. In fact, it is the most dangerous night to be out walking on the roadways due to the increased presence of drivers under the influence and weather conditions. On average, there are roughly 140 deaths on the roads on this one night alone.
The greatest tip a driver or pedestrian can utilize to avoid being involved in an accident is to be prepared and alert. Staying on your game and focused on the road and other drivers can help you stay safe. You should ensure that everything works properly on your car also, particularly headlights and brake lights. Staying off the roads if the weather is bad and staying on routes you are familiar with can help keep you and others safe while the world is ringing in the New Year.

Do Not Drink and Drive


To avoid getting a DUI or being involved in a drunk driving accident, the first and foremost piece of advice is to not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. Finding a designated driver, calling a cab, or using public transportation can keep you out of jail and from starting out the New Year with a criminal record. If you do drink, do so responsibly and know your limit. Give yourself time to sober up before heading home and make sure you take a familiar route that has the least amount of traffic. This is for your safety and the safety of others. If you do get pulled over, the best way to avoid a DUI charge is to be polite and respectful, yet know your rights. You do not have to submit to a field sobriety test and can state that you would like to contact a lawyer before speaking.

The New Year is a time of reflection on the year that is passing and a time of excitement for the possibilities of what 2015 can bring to you and your loved ones. Start 2015 out with your own safety and the safety of others in mind by avoiding an accident and avoiding a DUI incident. If you do become an accident victim or end up facing a DUI, having an experienced DUI attorney explain your rights and options can be the best way to put the incident behind you as soon as possible.

By Shepherd and Osborne

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Celebration in New Hampshire 2014 - Avoid DUI


Don’t Let a DUI Ruin Your Halloween Celebration

Halloween is no longer just about hordes of children running the streets dressed like ghouls and goblins looking for sweets. Halloween is becoming an adult holiday just as much as remaining a traditional holiday for kids. It isn’t uncommon to see bars and other adult establishments advertise ‘best costume’ contests and devilish mixed drink specials. This year, Halloween falls on a Friday night, which means there may be a likely increase in the number of costumed revelers enjoying adult beverages. When Halloween and a Friday night combine, there can be an increase in DUI arrests. It is important to learn how to avoid getting a DUI so you can enjoy the party and costumes without facing harsh legal consequences or putting yourself and others in danger.

Designate a Driver

The first and foremost tip for Halloween partiers is to either rely on a cab or a designated driver to help you get to the parties and then home safely. However, this isn’t always an option as some people may unexpectedly find themselves behind the wheel after drinking. While this is never ideal, there are ways avoid getting arrested and posing for a mug shot rather than a costumed selfie.

It can be helpful to be aware that it is a Friday night and police will be patrolling after bars close. You can consciously avoid where police will logically be located. Also, be sure your car is in legally working condition. Police can’t just pull you over for no reason or based on a hunch that you may have left a party or bar. However, if your taillight is out or your registration is outdated, they can and will pull you over regardless of how cautious you may be driving.
  
If Pulled Over – Keep Cool

If avoidance and a perfectly legal and safe car still leads to being pulled over, your attitude and behavior can play a large role in whether you are charged or not, or even how severe the evidence may be against you. It is important to always be polite and respectful to the officer. You can comply with requests to hand over your license and registration without risking your rights. You can state that you do not wish to take a field sobriety test if you feel it would only increase suspicion. There may be a perfectly logical reason you can’t take one, such as health issues or weather that would make it difficult to perform the test. It is within your rights to explain the reason for declining or you can simply choose to not give a reason. Far too many people assume they have to take the test even though the results are subjective and count against them.

Aside from declining a field sobriety test, declining to answer any questions about drinking can help you avoid a DUI. You can politely state that you wish to speak to an attorney rather than discuss anything further. While this doesn’t absolve you from being arrested, it can greatly minimize evidence and also decrease your chances of being convicted if charged.

Statistics

Keep in mind that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says nearly half of motor vehicle fatalities on Halloween are alcohol related. The best way to stay safe is to avoid the possibility of having to drive drunk. However, if you do find yourself in that situation, knowing your rights and knowing how beneficial having a skilled DUI attorney on the case can be is vital to avoiding the repercussions of a DUI arrest.

By

Shepherd & Osborne

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

New Cell Phone Law Coming To New Hampshire July 2015


Hang Up and Drive Law in NH

Driving while talking on a cell phone has been known to cause serious accidents, so a number of jurisdictions have made it illegal for motorists to engage in that kind of behavior. It’s not surprising that new regulatory laws in the United States have placed a certain number of restrictions on the use of cell phones by motorists.

Thankfully, the federal government has allowed each state to create its own laws regarding the use of cell phones in moving vehicles. Individual states have jurisdictional discretion over the use of cell phones by drivers on their roads.


States That Prohibit Hand Held Devices

Currently, only 13 states prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving. That is, until July of 2015, which is when the new cell phone law goes into effect in the state of New Hampshire. The Law Office of Shepherd and Osborne in Nashua NH are advising its clients of the new cell phone ban. The popular firm employs the top motor vehicle offense attorneys in the Granite State.

Drivers in New Hampshire will be allowed to use Bluetooth devices and devices that are built into vehicles, but they will be restricted from using any hand-held phone. Drivers will not be allowed to use a cell phone even if they are at a stop light or a stop sign.

When the law goes into effect, it will be the most comprehensive distracted driving bill in the nation, according to legislative testimony from Earl Sweeney who is an assistant commissioner of public safety. New Hampshire joins the ranks of the other 13 states that prohibit cell phone use while driving. Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia also prohibit drivers from using hand-held devices to make or receive calls, send text messages, or search the Internet.

The Details of the Law

New Hampshire’s new hands free law has a “primary enforcement” provision which means any police officer in the state can write a citation to any motorist that’s caught talking or texting on a cell phone while driving. Violators will be fined $100 for the first offense and $250 for the second offense. Drivers that continue to violate the law will be charged $500 for subsequent violations within a 24-month period.

According to the attorneys at Shepherd & Osborne there are two exceptions to the law. Drivers are allowed to make an emergency call to 911, and drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from talking on a cell phone, regardless if they are using a hands-free device or not. The emergency call provision allows drivers to dial 911 and speak to an emergency operator while they are still in motion.
 
For a Complete List of States That Have Banned Cell Phone Use Visit
: http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html

By Shepherd and Osborne



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