Those who have been accused of drunk driving in New Hampshire might face multiple penalties, including jail time and a suspension of their driver’s license. A first-time driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense is usually charged as a misdemeanor but could be charged as a felony offense under certain circumstances. While it is quite common for those who are facing a DWI charge to plead guilty, it is possible to successfully defend against a claim of intoxicated driving in New Hampshire under the right circumstances.
Some people think that because a “standard” first-time DWI charge doesn’t automatically lead to a jail sentence, pleading guilty is the simplest solution. However, having a criminal record that could affect someone’s future career prospects and even their ability to secure housing isn’t a reality to be taken lightly.
As a result, most adults accused of a DWI offense can benefit from mounting a strong defense to the charges they face. There are many viable defense strategies that people employ in criminal court, and the two below are among the most popular.
1. Reinterpreting the evidence
The state has to provide a defense attorney with access to all of the evidence that will play a role in the criminal proceedings. The defense then has an opportunity to respond, possibly by challenging how the state analyzed the evidence.
For example, medical records or information about someone’s diet might raise questions about the accuracy of a breath test. Records of anxiety disorders or other physical conditions could explain why someone performs poorly on a field sobriety test. A defense strategy can be successful when it reframes how the courts view the evidence against the defendant.
2. Challenging evidence on a technical basis
Sometimes, the easiest way to avoid a DWI conviction involves proving that the police officer did something wrong. The exclusionary rule prevents the courts from using evidence gathered through police misconduct.
If a lawyer can prove that a police officer conducted an inappropriate traffic stop, they could prevent the inclusion of any evidence gathered during the traffic stop. Errors in how the state processes or stores certain evidence could also prevent a prosecutor from using it in their criminal case.
Those who are facing DWI charges often feel hopeless. This is understandable, as it is a tough situation to be in. But it is important to understand that there are frequently options that allow individuals to successfully defend against pending charges in criminal court. Learning more about how people successfully defend against DWI charges can motivate those who have been newly charged to fight back and to do so with dignity.