Getting pulled over and arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) can lead to a lot of stress and complications for your daily life. You will probably have to spend at least one night in jail while you wait for an arraignment. You will then have to navigate the criminal justice system in the hope of minimizing the impact of those charges on your family, your finances and your future.
New Hampshire applies multiple different penalties to impaired driving charges. Potential penalties include prison time, probation and participation in an impaired driving program. The exact penalties will vary depending on the circumstances of your arrest and previous criminal record.
However, almost everyone who gets arrested for a DWI in New Hampshire will have to deal with the suspension of their license.
You probably won’t be able to drive home from court after your arraignment
While there’s a presumption of innocence for everyone accused of a criminal offense, sometimes the state errs on the side of caution when it comes to protecting the public. DWI cases are a scenario that could lead to penalties before a conviction.
There’s typically an administrative suspension of your license that takes effect 30 days after your arrest and lasts until you go to court, although an officer could take your license at the time of your arrest in certain situations.
If you successfully defend against the charges, you will possibly be able to drive away from court after the judge declares you not guilty. If you plead guilty or get convicted, you will likely have to deal with a longer suspension of your license.
How long will the suspension of your license last?
Depending on your driving record and the judge who hears your case, a suspension after a first conviction could last anywhere from nine months to two years. Those with previous DWI offenses on their record could face a longer suspension, although the judge has some discretion when making a decision regarding how long suspension will last.
Losing your license can be very hard on you and the rest of your family. Defending against charges instead of entering a guilty plea is one way to avoid suspension of your license. You may also need to seek a reinstatement if you have already experienced an administrative suspension.