Thursday, December 13, 2012

WHEN CAN THE NH POLICE PULL ME OVER?

What is an Investigatory Stop?

Oftentimes our clients will ask when, and under what circumstances, can a police officer pull me over?  If you are facing a NH Motor Vehicle Offense it is advisable to speak with an experienced attorney. Since many cases begin with the motor vehicle stop, the legality of the motor vehicle stop is one of the first issues we examine. If the stop was illegal chances are that anything found during the course of the stop will be suppressed (thrown out).

An “investigatory stop” occurs when the blue lights come on and, in response, you pull over to the side of the road.  An “investigatory stop” is considered a limited seizure permitted under the New Hampshire Constitution.

A police officer may undertake an investigatory stop if the “police officer has reasonable suspicion, based upon specific, articulable facts taken together with rational inferences from those facts, that the particular person stopped has been, is, or is about to be engaged in criminal activity.”  Further, a police officer may conduct an investigatory stop based on a traffic violation.  While the police cannot exceed the scope of the motor vehicle stop, the need not ignore what they see or smell once they make a valid stop.

If you have been pulled over and given a summons, or placed under arrest, give us a call. It does not cost anything to sit down with us and talk to us about your case.
 Our telephone number is: 603-595-5525

The Law Office of Shepherd & Osborne
351 Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060
www.shepherdandosborne.net
Phone: 603-595-5525
Fax: 603-595-5533




Sunday, September 16, 2012

Not Happy With Your NH Criminal Attorney?



Get a Second Opinion from an Experienced Criminal Lawyer

What happens when you just can’t stand your lawyer?

A recent New Hampshire Supreme Court Case illustrated the following facts.  On the morning of trial the defendant told his lawyer that he was fired.  

Specifically, the defendant complained to the Judge that his lawyer failed to conduct a proper investigation and failed to subpoena important witnesses to testify.  The Judge told the defendant that he would not make the defendant be represented by his lawyer.  Rather, the defendant could represent himself.
 
Remember the phrase he who represents himself has a fool for a client?  Needless to say, the defendant represented himself, was convicted of three felony counts of Stalking and received a whopper of a sentence.

On appeal the defendant argued, in part, that the trial court made a mistake by requiring the defendant to choose between self-representation and representation by the lawyer he sought to dismiss.

The appellate court denied the defendant’s request for a new trial:

“When a defendant voices objections to counsel, the trial court should inquire into the reasons for the dissatisfaction.  In evaluating whether a trial court’s denial of a motion for substitution of counsel constituted an unsustainable exercise of discretion, we consider the following factors: the timeliness of the motion, the adequacy of the court’s inquiry into the defendant’s complaint, and whether the conflict between the defendant and his counsel was so great that it resulted in a total lack of communication preventing an adequate defense.”

The remedy sought, new counsel, essentially amounted for a request for a last minute continuance. Further, the trial court adequately inquired into the defendant’s reasons behind wanting to fire his lawyer.  Lastly, the appellate court did not find that the trial lawyer’s representation amounted to the ineffective assistance of counsel.  Rather, under Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668 (1984) the court noted “the high degree of deference with which we review counsel’s performance.”

The Lesson to be learned:

If my Doctor told me I was dying I would get a second opinion as quickly as possible and before the grim reaper was lurching back to swing his scythe.  If you have questions or concerns about your legal predicament, get a second opinion before it’s too late.  If your lawyer is acting squirreled or you have a pit in your stomach, just call.  We’ll give a second opinion free of charge.


Criminal Defense is all we do!


The Law Office of Shepherd & Osborne
351 Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060
www.shepherdandosborne.net
Phone: 603-595-5525
Fax: 603-595-5533



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bill To Ban Sobriety Checkpoints in NH



Bill banning sobriety checkpoints in New Hampshire struck down by House

Sobriety checkpoints were voted down by the house. Several NH police chiefs also voted against the ban.

 Read More from The Nashua Telegraph: NH Sobriety Checkpoint Article

What if I get pulled over at a Sobriety Checkpoint?

Of course, we have all heard stories about the friend or the crazy uncle who passed the FST's with flying colors, got a high-five from the officer, and was sent on his way.

Well, we don't see those cases. Instead, we see cases where normal everyday people get arrested because they couldn't stand on one foot for 30 seconds or touch their nose to an officer's satisfaction.

Our advice is simple: if you have not been drinking and you are certain that there is no alcohol in your system then POLITELY say "No thank you" to FST's and insist on a breath test.

If you know that you do have alcohol in your system and you are not sure how you'll do on the FST's, then don't leave it to chance.

Lastly, consider this: Many (if not most) people cannot perform the field sobriety tests when they are sober and have not touched a drink. Then, WHY would you even attempt these acrobatic tests on the side of the road when you HAVE been drinking. More about NH Field Sobriety Tests.

 For questions, please call or e-mail us.

 For legal questions pertaining to NH sobriety check points and how to avoid them call us.

Our telephone number is: 603-595-5525

The Law Office of Shepherd & Osborne
351 Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060
www.shepherdandosborne.net
Phone: 603-595-5525
Fax: 603-595-5533


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Back To School Tips by NH - Defense Lawyers Shepherd and Osborne


Back To School Safety Tips for NH - From The Law Office of Shepherd and Osborne NH

New Hampshire schools open for the 2012-2013 school year the week of 8/27/12.  Here at the Law Office of Shepherd and Osborne in Nashua NH we wanted to share some tips and insight regarding back to school preparations. I have a child that is getting ready to go back to school and I thought it would be good to share what I have learned to prepare him for school.


As your child becomes a young adult it is important to encourage them to say "YES" to a healthy lifestyle and "NO" to underage drinking! Back-To-School is the perfect time to remind kids about the importance of healthy lifestyle choices. The Century Council and The General Services Administration's Federal Citizen Information Center offers some free publications.


School Bus Safety

School buses are a fun time for kids to mingle with friends on their way to and from school. There are approximately 24 million students in the United States riding buses to school.

Rule #1 is to be ready early to avoid stress from rushing around and forgetting things. Children should not be in the street when waiting for the bus. There should not be any playing in the street while waiting for the bus to arrive. Look at your surroundings for any other potential issues (where is the safest place to stand). If on the opposite side of the street you should WAIT until the bus driver gives you the thumbs up to cross as he or she can see farther down the road for motorists and that the bus is completely stopped.

Know what bus number your child is on and what route the bus takes every day. Let your child know to move to their seats quickly and orderly. Buckle up if applicable and face forward, keep voices down so you can hear and obey any commands the bus driver gives. Stay in your seats at all times while the bus is moving and always wait until the bus comes to a complete stop before getting out of your seat.

All passengers should also know where the emergency exits are. On most buses, there are 4 exits. The front (main entrance and exit) 2 side exits through the windows on either side of the bus and the windows are usually larger in size and lastly the rear door. When leaving the bus, children should wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before exiting.

Bike Riding and Walking To School

Walking to school is necessity for many kids. It is good form of exercise and allows them to get out and reflect on their day.  If your child is walking to and from school each day they should walk the same route and use the buddy system if possible. Its safer to have a friend or neighbor that you can walk with. Always take the safest route. Try to stay in the public eye and not through the woods or back country roads. It may be a little longer to get home but it will be much safer.  As a parent you should know what route they are taking and what time they should arrive home. Remind your child about how to properly cross the street.

Crossing The Street Rule: Remember to look right, then left and then right again.

Use crosswalks and listen to crossing guards. When riding a bike these rules also apply. When riding a bike remind children to stop at all intersections and look both ways using the crossing the street rule. Know the laws and what side of the street you should be riding on. Make sure their bikes are road worthy and the tires are inflated, brakes are in good working order, have a good place to safely attach and secure their books or backpack and that they have a good bike lock. Does your bike have a horn? A horn can save your life when trying to alert someone who cannot see you. Have bike  reflectors on your bike and always use good common sense. LAST BUT NOT LEAST THEY SHOULD ALWAYS BE WEARING A BIKE HELMET WHEN RIDING.

Backpack Safety – Don’t Overload

Backpacks are very popular and convenient for kids to carry books in. Often times I see them way overloaded with heavy books, folders, lunch boxes etc…

This can cause unnecessary back strain and shoulder strain on a young person. After looking in my child’s backpack I noticed many of the books could have been left in his locker. The only books that should be coming home are the once needed for homework or reading.

If you perform a regular inventory of your child’s backpack you will most certainly find things that are not needed and can lighten the load. Make sure your backpack has shoulder straps that are good and wide and are cushioned. Many kids have to walk miles to school. I have seen rolling backpacks around that may be a good choice if your child is has a lot of needed books and has difficulty with a regular backpack.


For more info go to National Safety Council

Have a Safe and Fun School Year


By Shepherd and Osborne

Justin@shepherdandosborne.net

http://www.shepherdandosborne.net/index.html





Thursday, August 9, 2012

New Hampshire Defense Attorneys Going For Gold

New Hampshire Defense Lawyers Go For Gold


At The law Office of Shepherd and Osborne we want to take the time to congratulate all of the Olympians. Michael Phelps has changed the way we think about competition and preparation to be the best. Here at the law office of Shepherd and Osborne we are always going for Gold for our clients regarding Criminal Defense in NH. Whether you’re facing DWI, drug possession or jay walking charges. We are dedicated to fighting for the rights of the accused.

With the 2012 Olympics upon us it reminds us that being the best is what we all strive to do every day in our lives. It takes years if hard work and preparation to be successful at achieving our goals. Take time to watch the US Olympians as they dominate the Gold this year! Let them inspire you to work hard, get up when you fall and never stop believing. This is our philosophy at Shepherd and Osborne.

 History of the Olympics

According to historical records, the first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC. They were dedicated to the Olympian gods and were staged on the ancient plains of Olympia. They continued for nearly 12 centuries, until Emperor Theodosius decreed in 393 A.D. that all such "pagan cults" be banned.

Olympia

Olympia, the site of the ancient Olympic Games, is in the western part of the Peloponnese which, according to Greek mythology, is the island of "Pelops", the founder of the Olympic Games. Imposing temples, votive buildings, elaborate shrines and ancient sporting facilities were combined in a site of unique natural and mystical beauty. Olympia functioned as a meeting place for worship and other religious and political practices as early as the 10th century B.C. The central part of Olympia was dominated by the majestic temple of Zeus, with the temple of Hera parallel to it.

The Games and Religion

The Olympic Games were closely linked to the religious festivals of the cult of Zeus, but were not an integral part of a rite. Indeed, they had a secular character and aimed to show the physical qualities and evolution of the performances accomplished by young people, as well as encouraging good relations between the cities of Greece. According to specialists, the Olympic Games owed their purity and importance to religion.

 Victory Ceremonies

The Olympic victor received his first awards immediately after the competition. Following the announcement of the winner's name by the herald, a Hellanodikis (Greek judge) would place a palm branch in his hands, while the spectators cheered and threw flowers to him. Red ribbons were tied on his head and hands as a mark of victory.

The official award ceremony would take place on the last day of the Games, at the elevated vestibule of the temple of Zeus. In a loud voice, the herald would announce the name of the Olympic winner, his father's name, and his homeland. Then, the Hellanodikis placed the sacred olive tree wreath, or kotinos, on the winner's head.

Free Consultations!

The Law Office of Shepherd & Osborne
351 Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060
www.shepherdandosborne.net
Phone: 603-595-5525
Fax: 603-595-5533
Emails:
Mark@shepherdandosborne.net






Wednesday, August 1, 2012

NH Criminal Attorney Justin Shepherd


 NH Criminal Attorney Justin Shepherd  
                          “Top 40 under 40” Lawyer"                                    


Attorney Justin Shepherd has been selected by the National Trial Lawyers as a “Top 40 under 40” lawyer.  This award is based on Attorney Shepherd’s superior qualifications, trial results, and leadership as a young lawyer under the age of 40.

Attorney Justin Shepherd has been named by the National Trial Lawyers as a "Top 40 under 40" lawyer for his superior qualifications, trial results and leadership.

Education:

Justin graduated Cum Laude from Suffolk University in 1997 with a major in American History. Justin graduated with honors from Suffolk University and was a member of the Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society for academic achievement. Justin graduated from Suffolk Law School in May of 2000 with honors. Justin has guest lectured at Curry College, Rivier College and teaches trial techniques for the International Association of Arson Investigators.

Background:

Justin Shepherd has been fighting for defendants, victims, and the wrongfully accused ever since his first day as a lawyer back in October of 2000. Justin began his legal career as a criminal defense attorney with the New Hampshire Public Defender's Office. During his four years as a public defender, Justin zealously fought for and compassionately stood by all of his clients in criminal courts throughout southern New Hampshire. Justin's steadfast dedication to serving the most underprivileged of our society taught him that there is always something more a lawyer can do to help his client. By working with investigators and other talented lawyers, Justin learned that there are always two sides to every story.


With a heart for public service, Justin decided that in order to grow as a lawyer, he became a prosecutor with the Rockingham County Attorney's Office. It was there that he met his friend and law partner, Mark Osborne. During this time Justin worked diligently to find fair and just resolutions to every felony, misdemeanor and DWI case for which he was responsible. Justin's legal talent and trial skills brought him to the attention of the Hillsborough County Attorney's Office, where he was offered a position prosecuting serious felonies such as rape, arson, child molestations, robberies and other violent crimes.

In July of 2007, Justin and Mark decided that the time had come for them to find new ways to help people. They also decided that the satisfaction in working for themselves on their own terms would make them better lawyers and more available to the community. On June 8, 2007 Justin and Mark opened the doors to the Law Office of Shepherd & Osborne, PLLC. Since that day, Justin and Mark have been working together, effectively fighting for their clients all over New Hampshire and Massachusetts.


Justin C. ShepherdEsquire

Emails:


Shepherd and Osborne, PLLC

351 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Nashua, NH 03060
Tel: 603-595-5525 
Fax: 603-595-5533



Tuesday, July 31, 2012

NH Defense Attorney Wins Civil Case

Attorney Justin Shepherd prevails in a CIVIL case.  Attorney Justin Shepherd represented the defendant Nelson Street Realty Trust in the Northeast Housing Court Department, Lawrence Massachusetts.

 A tenant filed suit in the Housing Court seeking thousands of dollars in monetary damages after he was allegedly harassed and purportedly constructively evicted from his apartment. The tenant sought triple damages under the Massachusetts consumer protection statute MGLA c.93A.

Attorney Shepherd’s client vigorously denied the tenant’s allegations and presented considerable evidence to refute all the claims, including testimony from a licensed plumber, members of the Lawrence Police and Fire Departments and the City’s Code Enforcement Division.

Following the trial the court ruled that the tenant failed to prove any of his claims raised in the action and even ordered that the plaintiff pay back rent!  Needless to say, Attorney Shepherd’s clients, having done nothing wrong, were ecstatic to finally be vindicated after trial. 

Justin C. ShepherdEsquire

Shepherd and Osborne, PLLC
351 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Nashua, NH 03060
Tel: 603-595-5525 
Fax: 603-595-5533 
www.shepherdandosborne.net

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fourth of July Laws and Safety Tips in New Hampshire (NH)

The Do's and Don'ts for the Fourth of July in New Hampshire (NH)

At Shepherd and Osborne Law Office we want to keep people informed regarding Firework safety and simple common sense. Some things to think about before you celebrate and plan your 4th of July in NH.

The 4th of July is a National Holiday and is intended to celebrate and commemorate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence from The Kingdom of Great Britain on July 4th 1776.

Often this Holiday involves fun in the sun, cookouts, firework displays, and of course the refreshing taste of an ice cold beer, glass(s) of wine or mixed drink. Shooting off fireworks is fun and exciting, but when drinking is involved can turn into some unwanted behavior and unwanted encounters with local authorities.

Avoid being arrested for Public Drunkenness and unlawful use of fireworks.

Follow These Firework and Alcohol Safety Tips:

•    Don't Drink and Light Off Fireworks

•    Read and Follow The Fireworks Label and Directions.

•    Heed The Laws In Your State

•    Always Have An Adult Present When Lighting Off Fireworks.

•    Use Fireworks Outdoors Only.

•    If The Firework Does Not Light, Douse With Water And Move Away from It

•    Do Not Light More Than One At A Time.

•    Never Throw Fireworks Into A Fire Pit

•    Keep Away From Heat And Fire When Being Stored

•    Do Not Shoot Fireworks At Another Person.

•    Never Put Anything On Top Of An Explosive Firework.

•    Have a Water Hose or Bucket of Water Near By

•    Clean Up All Debris Left Behind From The Fireworks

Be considerate if celebrating in A public place, e.g. beach, park etc…We see a lot of Disorderly Conduct cases around this Holiday and summer celebrations.

Disorderly Conduct Violations in NH Consists of:

1) Creating a condition in public that is hazardous and serves no legitimate purpose,

2) Fighting in public,

3) Engaging in violent or tumultuous behavior in public;

4) Engaging in threatening behavior in public;

5) Being obscene in public;

6) Acting in a way that can evoke a violent reaction in public;

7) Saying or yelling things in a public place that could offend someone;

8) Saying or yelling offensive things in a private place that could be heard in a public place;

If Encountered By Police You Should:

•    When the officer walks up to you, be polite

•    Have someone who has NOT been drinking talk to Police

•    Do not admit to having had more than one drink

•    Do NOT take any field sobriety tests

•    Assume that you are being recorded

Firework Laws in NH

Firework FAQ’s

Mark and Justin will be standing by!  Please call us if you have any questions or immediate needs.

603-595-5525

Make your 4th of July Holiday Free from Accidents and Police
Happy 4th of July!

The Law Office of Shepherd & Osborne
351 Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060
www.shepherdandosborne.net
Phone: 603-595-5525
Fax: 603-595-5533
Emails:
Mark@shepherdandosborne.net
Justin@shepherdandosborne.net

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Response to The Nashua Telegraphs Criminal Statistics Article, Nashua NH


Dear Ms. Gill,

I am not usually one to comment on the news articles.  Like most people, I enjoy reading the paper and then I go on with my day and do everything I can to keep my own name out of it.  I wanted to commend you on your article covering the increase in Nashua’s crime statistics.  I thought it was well written, well investigated, and entirely objective.

I have been practicing criminal law in Nashua, New Hampshire for approximately 7 years (as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney).  I am in the criminal courts almost every day and I can tell you that the crowds are not going down.  I don’t pretend to have any idea as to what the solution is for deterring criminal behavior. But, I would like to suggest a few concepts that may have evaded the mayor and the police hierarchy.



First, I was struck by how the reported use of drug crime has risen, but no one with whom you spoke mentioned the need for more rehabilitative drug clinics or an increase in health and human services funding.  Having more police on the street does not PREVENT the use of illegal drugs given that most people use drugs in the privacy of their own homes.  Unless the city plans on placing its police officers in the homes of its residents, the simple hiring of more police officers will not PREVENT the use of drugs in our fair city.  This may be an important consideration when one considers that drug use tends to foster other crimes such as theft, home invasions, shoplifting, and other behavior that stems from addictive/drug habit supporting behavior.

I also wonder if there has been any substantive discussions between city hall and the Nashua Police about the strategic placement of police units that are already available.  Some neighborhoods have more crime than others, and routine patrol grids should reflect that reality if they don’t all ready.  I only raise this point because it was not mentioned by any of the officials who are calling for more money to throw at the problem.

As far as vandalism and destruction is concerned, I wonder why no one has suggested the organizing of neighborhood watches, an increase in well-lit streets, and programs that give young people something to do on Friday or Saturday nights.  I am not suggesting that the city should act as babysitter or a rich uncle to all of its inhabitants.  I am suggesting, however, that bigger and bigger police departments do not PREVENT crime, they only detect criminal behavior after it has occurred.

I was also surprised that none of the officials even mentioned the fact that this city (and country) is still in the midst of a recession.  History and common sense tell us that poor economic conditions tend to breed temporary increases in criminal activity.  If the increase in crime is temporary, then there may not be a need to permanently grow the police department.

Let’s be honest, as one drives around Nashua, the words “there aren’t enough police in this city” do not come to mind.  Nashua is not known for its lack of police presence.  The city may, however, be regarded as short-sighted if it continues to think that crime can be solved simply by throwing more green at a single blue solution.


Respectfully,                                                                           

Mark A. Osborne
Attorney at Law

Shepherd and Osborne, PLLC
351 Main Street, 2nd Floor
Nashua, NH 03060
Tel: 603-595-5525
Fax: 603-595-5533
www.shepherdandosborne.net