Friday, May 24, 2013

Avoid a Police Encounter in NH - Memorial Day Safety Tips 2013

Memorial Day Events and Safety Tips in New Hampshire May 27, 2013

New Hampshire Patrols will be on high alert this Memorial Day weekend. They will be patrolling for any drivers who could be impaired and behind the wheel.

This includes not only alcohol related incidents but some new DWI Laws that came out in New Hampshire this year which now includes drug related impairment, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, chemical substances, natural or synthetic, which impairs a person’s ability to drive.

State troopers updated the public this week on what measures will be taken over the holiday weekend. They sent a strong message (Arrive Alive) and that their goal is to make safety a top priority.

Police and troopers are trained and will be looking for a number of things.

Things to Be Aware of Are:

•    Sobriety checkpoint
•    Seat belt enforcement
•    Cell phone use
•    Illegal street racing
•    Underage drinking
•    Alcohol use at state parks and beaches
•    Unmarked vehicles
•    Aircraft patrol

Enjoy the holiday responsibly so, please keep these tips in mind as you venture out on this festive day.

Driving Tips for Memorial Day:

If You Are Planning on Drinking
•    Drink responsibly
•    Make sure you eat before your drink
•    Have a designated driver (you might even consider being a designated driver and hold off on drinking until you get home)
•    Stay home
•    Know your limit BEFORE you start drinking – this is not the day to be doing a test run
•    Have the numbers of a few taxi companies in your wallet or purse (the cost of a taxi ride is much cheaper than the attorney’s fees you will be paying if you get arrested for dwi, in addition to the court fines, higher insurance premiums, towing fees, bail, etc.)

In fact when you add it all up, it’s cheaper to hire a helicopter to fly you home than it is to deal with DWI charges!
To Summarize follow these simple precautions - Buckle Up - Don’t mix alcohol and drugs - Don’t drive distracted and don’t speed – Be courteous and use good common sense.

Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!

By Shepherd and Osborne

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Should I Plea Bargain or Go To Trial in NH?


The answer is “it depends.”  Before an intelligent decision can be made about whether to take a plea bargain, one should consult an experienced New Hampshire criminal defense attorney.  One of the first things a good attorney will do is to listen carefully to their client’s version of events as “every story has two sides”.   Often, your version of events may be markedly different from that of the responding police officers, or may be similar but with added details.  It’s not unusual for a person to remember significant key events in hindsight long after a stressful event.   Similarly, it is not unusual for the police to leave out important key details in their report or to neglect to speak with key witnesses.  We will often have a private investigator track down missing witnesses; take pictures of the crime scene, etc.  All in an attempt to paint a complete picture as to what transpired.  You cannot be fully informed until we have gathered all the facts and evidence and weighed the strengths and weaknesses of the State’s case.


Once armed with all the necessary information you can now make an intelligent decision whether to take a plea deal.    In most cases, the prosecutor will approach us with a “plea offer” on a case.  We then review the potential offer with you and oftentimes will make a “counter-offer”.    As with most plea bargains, the person charged pleads guilty or “no contest” (sometimes to a lesser charge) in exchange for a sentence that has been negotiated ahead of time with the prosecutor.  Sometimes a person will plead guilty to one offense and, in return, the prosecutor will drop several other, more serious charges in return for the guilty plea.  Sometimes a person will plead guilty to a less serious offense and have a more serious offense dropped.  Do not enter into a plea agreement until you fully understand all the terms and conditions of your sentence and the “collateral consequences.” 
It is important to note that even if all sides come to a plea agreement this does not mean the Judge must accept the plea agreement.  Sometimes a court needs to understand the rational and justification for a plea agreement that the court deems to lenient.  Sometimes the court wants to know the precise justification for a certain agreement. 

We would much rather be fighting before a jury than to have our clients plead guilty to anything at all.  However, every case is unique and different.  Sometimes the result achieved by way of a plea bargain is much better than a potential sentence handed down by the court.   Plea bargaining is an essential part of the criminal justice system that needs to be tackled by an experienced criminal defense attorney in NH.


Experience matters.  Your life and liberty are in jeopardy.  Mark and Justin are experience criminal defense lawyers with negotiation experience.  Mark and Justin are former prosecutors who understand what the State must prove in your case and are not afraid to fight on your behalf.  It’s important that you consult with an experienced criminal lawyer.  You wouldn’t go see a foot doctor for a brain aneurism; likewise, don’t go see the family practitioner for a complex criminal problem.  We want our clients to be fully informed and to be secure in the decisions they make.

Please contact our office for a no cost consultation to discuss the facts of your case. 

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