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
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
Phone: 603-595-5525
Fax: 603-595-5533