Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Can Police Search My Car at a Sobriety Checkpoint in NH?

Police Need Reasonable Cause to Search Your Vehicle During a Sobriety Checkpoint in New Hampshire
DUI Lawyer in Manchester NHIn order to search your car at a random sobriety checkpoint in New Hampshire, the police will need probable cause to do so. If the officer suspects that the driver is using alcohol or drugs, he/she can follow a process to try to obtain a warrant to search the car. If the officer smells the strong odor of alcohol on the driver or coming from the car, this could warrant suspicion. If so, the driver will be asked to exit the vehicle and complete sobriety tests.
If the sobriety tests are failed, suspicion arises.. In order to go any further, the officer must justify the need to search the vehicle in order to do so without a warrant. Some possible probable cause could include odors coming from vehicle or driver, the visual sight of incriminating evidence that is in plain view, or consent of the driver.  An officer might also search a vehicle after an arrest pursuant to an inventory search exception to the warrant requirement.

Exceptions to Probable Cause

While it is not likely for a vehicle to be searched without a warrant, there are exceptions to the rule.

The bottom line is, while a vehicle search is not likely to take place at a sobriety checkpoint, it is possible and completely legal for police to search the vehicle if they have supporting reasons to do so.  It is important to plainly and respectfully make it known to the officer that you are refusing consent to search your vehicle.  If you find yourself in this predicament, a qualified DUI lawyer in New Hampshire can help determine if the search was justifiable or not.

By Richard Monteith


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New Hampshire Gun Laws - Senate Bill 12

Senate Bill 12 Gains Ground in New Gun Laws - New Hampshire

Across the United States, gun laws have been institutionalized based on the given state. Based on the 2nd amendment, all residents of the United States have the right to bear arms. There are specific laws in every state that dictate how the firearm can be carried and what licensing is required. In the state of New Hampshire, the current laws may be about to change if Senate Bill 12 continues to gain momentum.

Gun laws in New Hampshire
Senate Bill 12 is sponsored by Senator Jeb Bradley of New Hampshire and would eliminate the current requirement that individuals who carry a concealed weapon must have a permit to do so. The House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee has passed the bill with a vote of 12 to 8 which now moves the bill to the House where it will be considered by all members within the House of Representatives. Voters can contact local representatives urging that the bill be passed or voted against.

Currently, state law in New Hampshire recognizes that any citizen who is legally capable of owning and possessing a firearm has the right to carry it openly. The firearm can be loaded or unloaded and carried anywhere in the state, with no prohibitions in place. If the firearm is covered in any way, then the individual must have a permit for concealed carry. This would be a concealed carry handgun license.
An example of this would be if a female citizen of New Hampshire wanted to carry a firearm in her purse. The female would have to have a license to carry the weapon with a concealed carry handgun license in place. With the proposed legislation, the female would be allowed to keep the handgun on her person or in a purse concealed, without having additional licensing.

Senate Bill 12 seeks to extend permitless open carry to permitless concealed carry. This means any law abiding citizen who owns a gun would be able to carry the firearm seen or unseen anywhere in the state. Along with the licensing changes, the bill will also extend the time frame in which the licensing is valid. Currently, licenses are good for four years. However, if the bill were to pass, license holders would have a five year time frame before a renewal is required.

Similar legislation was proposed last year but was vetoed by the former Governor of the state Maggie Hassan. Legislators are more confident this year that the bill will pass especially if citizens become more active and voice their support in the matter.

Criminal defense lawyers in New Hampshire commonly see cases that involve open carry or concealed weapon issues. If this bill passes, individuals would have more support when it comes to carrying firearms as law-abiding citizens. The law would be on their side if any instance comes up where an individual is charged with carrying a weapon unlawfully or other problems arise.
Residents of the state will now have to wait and see how the full House votes and if the legislation will be moving forward, becoming law.

By Richard Monteith


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Vehicular Homicide Laws in New Hampshire

Vehicular Homicide Laws in New Hampshire

vehicular homicide lawyer in New Hampshire
A new law was passed within the state of New Hampshire this year that will change the way court cases will proceed in regards to vehicular homicide charges. The state will now require the defendant to be responsible for burden of proof. The state will not have to prove that the driver of a vehicle was in violation of any motor laws. The state will only have to show that the driver was negligent in the operation of the vehicle that contributed to the crash taking place. This changes how lawyers will need to operate in regards to such cases.
Facing Homicide Charges?

If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident case in the state of New Hampshire that resulted in the death of other individuals, you will need a knowledgeable lawyer to assist you with providing the burden of proof. You will need a lawyer to be able to show that you were not negligent while driving and this may be difficult to do based on your individual case.

Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Accident Attorney

Because of the change in law, lawyers for the defendant in such a case will have to work harder to be able to prove their client is innocent. If you ever face such charges within the state, you want to be sure to hire an attorney that has researched the change in law as well as has experience with such cases in the past. This way, you can feel comfortable that you are represented well and will be able to avoid any jail time or fines based on the new law.

As soon as such an instance takes place, contact a personal injury attorney in New Hampshire to have your story heard. You want to have a team of lawyers supporting you from the very beginning to be able to fight the charges and be successful if the case goes to trial.

By Richard Monteith


Friday, September 2, 2016

New Hampshire Auto Fatalities on the Rise - Avoid an Accident this Labor Day

Auto Accident Attorney in NH How to Avoid an Accident this Labor Day

Traffic fatalities are on the rise in the United States and New Hampshire is at the top of the list when it comes to the largest increase in accidents involving deaths within the past two years. The latest report by the National Safety Council shows that fatalities are continuing to rise with an increase of 9% within the first six months of this year when compared to the same time frame last year.
New Hampshire actually ranked 3rd among the states with the highest increase in driving fatalities. For drivers this Labor Day, it is important to learn how to stay safe. Holidays can be the worst time to be on the road as fatalities are more likely to occur due to negligent behavior. Travel has picked up as well as the economy which has led to more vehicles on the roadways, which then leads to more accidents.

Avoiding an Accident

The best way to avoid an accident is to avoid the roadways. If you must travel, be aware of your surroundings. Avoid traveling late at night as many individuals like to drink then drive, which makes the roadways extremely dangerous. Check points are always posted during the Labor Day weekend so police can hopefully catch those who have had a bit too much to drink but everyone is not always caught. Try to get your traveling done during the day or before the weekend so you can relax at home and not have to worry about driving.

Take Less Traveled Roads

If you need to travel for any reason during the Labor Day Weekend, try to take less traveled roads. Stick to neighborhoods and back roads instead of the major highways. The speed limit is much faster on the major highways which can lead to traffic accidents. Limit your high speed travel to avoid an accident.

If you find that you are involved in a motor vehicle accident on the roadways during Labor Day Weekend, be sure to get off the highway. Get on the shoulder and contact police right away for assistance. You want to put yourself and any family or friends a safe distance from the busy roadways. If there is damage to your vehicle or someone is seriously injured, working with an attorney is a must. If injured, when physically possible, contact a trusted New Hampshire personal injury attorney who can help you with your individual case.

By Richard Monteith


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

How To Protect Yourself In A Hit And Run In New Hampshire

Were You Are Involved In A Hit And Run In New Hampshire?

In our day-to-day lives, we have either stumbled upon a hit and run victim, know someone who was or have experienced the situation first hand. It is usually a confusing state and an individual is left gnashing their teeth and quite uncertain on how to get compensation for damages. You want to know how you can protect yourself when you encounter such an incident.

Hit and run accident
Hit and Run Car Accident in New Hampshire

One of the first things you ought to do is know what you’re claiming and in this case, it is a hit and run claim. Basically, a hit and run is an accident in which a driver intentionally flees the scene. For example, when a car hits you and speeds off. In this scenario, just by the motorist fleeing and leaving the scene makes you liable. Also, to be included in hit and runs are parking lot collisions. If you hit an unattended car in the parking lot and fail to leave your contact information, that qualifies as a hit and run.

What to do

The question that is on many hit and run victims’ minds is what to do after such an accident? At this point most people are stressed, but it actually helps to keep calm and gather information on the car that hit you. You want to look out for the make, model, and license plate number to mention a few. It would be an added advantage if there were witnesses to the accident and ask for their contact information. Before leaving the scene, be sure to write the location of the accident, the time it happened, and take pictures of the scene.

Police involvement

Involving the police once the hit and run accident occurs is a sure way to protect yourself.  Immediately after the accident happens, be quick to dial the police and file an accident report. The advantage of doing so is that even if the police do not find the driver, having a police report can quicken the auto claims process.

Hit and run accidents can be classified as felony or misdemeanors. Felony hit and run occurs when a motorist flees the scene where there is any type of injury to a person and attracts graver penalties than hit and run misdemeanors. Though misdemeanors seem relatively minor, they also attract a significant fine.

Insurance claims

Unfortunately, victims of hit and run accidents are often forced to collect from their own insurance policies unless the driver can be found. If the motorist can be found, you can get the car insurance information and file a claim with their car insurance. If the driver did not have sufficient coverage, you can seek the services of an auto accident attorney and the court system. However, in most hit and run cases the victims cannot identify the driver. Some ways of identifying the driver is involving the police, asking eyewitnesses, and requesting business owners around the scene to check their video cameras for footage.

There is hope after all for hit and run victims provided you take the right steps in safeguarding your rights and follow up on legal aid. You will most likely be compensated for any damage caused.

By Richard Monteith


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Car Accident Safety Tips on Halloween in New Hampshire

Traveling By Car This Halloween in NH?

Did you know that the most exciting American holiday is also the deadliest?  According to a 21-year study by Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), an average of 5.5 road fatalities occur on October 31, about double the average daily record on any other days.  And about a quarter of road accidents occur between 6:00-7:00 PM, which is also the busiest trick or treating hour.  Most accidents were found to occur away from crosswalks or intersections.  And the children most at risk were between ages 12 to 15, followed by ages 5 to 8.

Among drivers, those between ages 15-25 account for nearly a third of all fatal accidents during Halloween, while ages 36-65 were least at risk.  Fortunately, car accident fatality occurrences in New Hampshire have been one of the lowest nationwide.  And in general, frequencies of Halloween-related car accidents have been declining over the years.  But of course you don’t want to be part of the statistics or be a cause of a fatality, do you? 

Here are some Halloween safety tips for drivers and passengers.

•    Wear your seatbelt at all times, even if you’re not driving fast.

•    Follow traffic signs and lights, even when there are no vehicles on opposing lanes
•    When you spot a group of trick or treaters, make a full stop and let them all cross.  Look around to see if any child might be trying to catch up with the group.

•    Turn your headlights on even when it is not fully dark.

•    Never drink and drive.  If you drink, make sure that you have a designated non-drinking driver to take your place at the wheel just in case you’ve had one drink too many.

•    If you are in costume and are driving, make sure that your costume doesn’t get in the way of being able to hold the wheel or stepping on pedals.  Take off gloves, headgear, footwear, or masks that may impede with your driving and cause accidents.

•    Avoid boisterous behavior in a moving car as it might distract the driver.

•    Slow down on dimly-lit streets and always be on the lookout for children or animals that may get in your path.

And for trick or treaters:

•    Watch out for approaching vehicles.  Don’t cross until the vehicle has made a full stop.
•    Adults should accompany kids or siblings who are younger than 12.

•    Obey traffic lights and signs.

•    Bring flashlights or lamps, but not matches or lighters.

•    Stick close to the other people in your group and don’t wander away by yourself. Cross together with the others.

•    Don’t wear headgear that could block your sight.  When walking, pull up your mask so you can see where you’re going.

By Richard Monteith


Thursday, June 25, 2015

New Hand Held Electronic Device Laws for New Hampshire

Accidents can occur in an instant and there may be endless reasons or actions that cause them. One startling statistic pertaining to the cause of accidents has led to legislation aimed at prevention. According to the National Safety Council, roughly 26 percent of all vehicle accidents are the result of cell phone use. The phenomenon of distracted driving is a nation-wide problem and New Hampshire has stepped up the efforts to prevent those statistics from growing. Despite some opposition, the governor has passed legislation that will go into effect July 1, 2015. This new legislation is a state-wide ban on the use of hand held electronic devices while driving.

Texting & Driving Laws

As of now, there is a ban on texting and driving. This new law will ban the use of cell phones for conducting conversations, composing, reading, viewing, and sending electronic messages of any kind. Adults can use a hands-free system while behind the wheel to avoid breaking this new law. However, minors should understand any use of a cell phone, hands-free or not, is strictly prohibited. The ban also extends to putting information into a GPS system or other navigational device. The only exception to the ban on use of a cell phone is if the driver is calling 911, fire department, or other emergency personnel.

This law puts New Hampshire on the same page as a dozen other states and the District of Columbia. As it stands now, 43 states and the District of Columbia already ban texting and driving. If pulled over or involved in an accident, drivers won’t be able to use the excuse that they were unaware of the law because there is a marketing campaign underway to spread the word before the law takes effect. The campaign features a slogan that is resonating with residents. The slogan is “Hands Free, a Better Way to Be”.

For Employers

Employers need to understand how they may be held liable for the actions of employees under the new law. If an employee causes an accident while on a cell phone and it is proven that the employee was conducting business or following directions from an employer, that employer can be held liable in a civil court. For example, if an employee is on a conference call and wrecks or is putting an address in a GPS to deliver something on company time, the employer can end up paying damages in a civil case. A skilled injury lawyer in New Hampshire can investigate phone records or employer/employee training to determine if the employer can be held liable.

Car Accident Related To Hands Free Violations

Any kind of accident can be devastating for people and their families. Lives can be altered forever when injuries lead to disability or the inability to work again. On-going medical treatment, expensive therapies, and the unknown pace of a recovery can add stress and anxiety to an already upsetting situation. When an accident is caused by distracted driving and cell phone use, the devastation may seem worse. No victim should just accept this kind of accident as fate. If you are injured, you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. It would be highly beneficial for you to have a New Hampshire car accident lawyer is in your corner fighting for your rights. An experienced auto accident attorney can determine if a violation of the new ban played a role in your accident. Then, let an accident attorney fight for a settlement that will help you move forward.

By Richard Monteith