Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New Hampshire DUI Charges and Penalties

A DUI Charge in New Hampshire Can Have a Long-Lasting Impact

Any criminal charge in New Hampshire should not be taken lightly. While some charges may be more complicated and result in harsher consequences compared to others, any kind of criminal charge can impact your record, your finances, and your reputation. A criminal charge can also affect your career or job opportunities. When it comes to the criminal charge of driving under the influence, knowing your rights and consulting with a criminal lawyer should be a priority.

 DUI Consequences

A DUI charge in New Hampshire can have far-reaching consequences and should be taken seriously. With a help of an experienced DUI lawyer, the possible consequences can be clearly spelled out and possibly avoided altogether. Far too many people assume a DUI is not really a big deal and a fine and license suspension is all that they will need to worry about. However, there are times when a DUI charge can lead to very serious consequences and permanently affect your life. If the DUI charge is a felony level charge or is an aggravated DUI, a criminal lawyer who specializes in DUI cases is a must.

Felony DUI

A felony DUI charge can come about if there is an accident involved. If the situation or incident resulted in the injury or death or another, the charges can be upgraded to a felony offense. If the DUI charge is the fourth offense in a 10 year period, it will be upgraded to a felony level. A felony can lead to high fines and prison time. The consequences of a felony conviction don’t go away once you serve a prison sentence or pay fines. A felony conviction is on your record forever. Having a felony on your record can mean you are ineligible to vote and can’t own a gun either. When it comes to everyday life experiences, such as applying for a loan or an apartment, a felony conviction can stand in the way and prevent you from qualifying for either. A felony conviction can also mean you can’t work in education in New Hampshire or work for certain government agencies.

Aggravated DUI

An aggravated DUI charge also carries serious consequences for New Hampshire residents. A DUI can be considered an aggravated offense if you were driving 30 miles over the speed limit or if the DUI actions caused a car accident. Also, if you tried to flee or had a passenger under the age of 16 in the car, the charge can be upgraded to aggravated. Trying to flee from police while they tried to pull over your car can also lead to an aggravated offense.

Because of the wide range and far-reaching impact an aggravated or felony DUI can have on your life, it is imperative to have a drunk driving attorney by your side throughout the entire process. A skilled and aggressive criminal attorney who has experience winning DUI cases can help reduce the charges and possibly get a DUI dismissed, saving you money and possibly securing your freedom. Everyone has rights and a New Hampshire DUI attorney can fight for those rights, especially when there is so much at stake concerning an aggravated or felony DUI charge.

By Richard Monteith


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bike Week Laconia NH 2014 - Driving Safety Tips

Are you planning on attending the Laconia Bike Week, but you are coming out of state? Then you must understand some of the rules and regulations in New Hampshire. For example, it is required that you wear extra eye protection, unless the visor on your helmet is down while you are riding, but helmets are not required in New Hampshire.

Also, if you are using a State of Maine Learner's Permit, then it is not valid in New Hampshire. If you live in New Hampshire, it is best to attend a motorcycle class at the New Hampshire DMV so that you will have a good understanding of the various motorcycle laws and safety tips.

It is also important that you know how to avoid both DWI arrest and motorcycle accidents. The Laconia Bike Week is a very exciting and open event that is filled with good food, contests, bike shows, races, rallies, and even live music. However, there are also drinking tents, and many people take refuge there to avoid the scorching sun or the rainy weather in New Hampshire.

This not only leads to increased drinking, but it also leads to an increased chance for motorcycle accidents and DWI arrests. The following tips below will help ensure that you not only have a fun weekend at Laconia Bike Week, but that you also remain safe and free from a DWI arrest.

Tips on How to Avoid a Motorcycle Crash

Motorcycle accidents in Laconia NH are higher during Bike Week so here are a few tips to follow before heading out.

• Never drive aggressively. Make sure that you give other vehicles plenty of room and never dart in front of another vehicle.

• Always slow down when crossing an intersection and look in both directions. Many vehicles do not look for motorcycles when crossing an intersection, and most accidents happen when a vehicle approaches from the left.

• Wear brightly colored clothing when driving at night, and keep your head lights on. This will make you more visible to other drivers

• Always signal before making a turn and allow other vehicles to pass.

Tips On Avoiding DWI

These are fairly straightforward commonsense tips. But it is worth mentioning, because being charged with DWI in New Hampshire can land you in jail so think before you drink.

•    Always limit the amount of alcohol you consume.

•    Eat – Don’t drink on an empty stomach

•    Wait between 6-8 hours after consuming alcohol before you drive.

•    If you must go somewhere, find someone who has not consumed alcohol.

•    Know your limits

Always use good common sense. Be safe, responsible and ride safely.

Enjoy Bike Week 2014!

By Richard Monteith


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

St.Paddy's Day is Monday March 17, 2014 - Think Before You Drink in NH!

Take Care on St. Paddy’s Day!

As March 17 approaches, people prepare to head out and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with their friends and family. They gear up to drink the tasty green ale that numerous pubs serve around the country, without ever giving a thought as to what might come later on that evening. For those who aren’t aware of what St. Patrick’s Day is all about, it’s a day to commemorate Saint Patrick and the coming of Christianity to Ireland. Some refer to it as the Feast of Saint Patrick. This is one of those days that celebrates Irish culture and all of those things that they hold dear in Ireland. Locally the 19th Annual Manchester St. Patrick’s Parade will be Sunday, March 30, 2014 in Manchester NH.

There are a lot of fun things going on this week prior to St. Patrick's Day Monday. There is a  Shamrock Shuffle 5k Run & 1 Mile Fun Run, a St Patty's day party at Cowabunga's in Hooksett NH , a Saturday Night Corned Beef & Cabbage Supper and More. For complete list of activities click here.

Don’t Get Swept Away in the Celebration

At times, people can end up celebrating far too vigorously. They get caught up in what’s going on around them and often forget about how many brews they have put down. Make sure you keep this in mind when you head out to the pubs with your green shamrock and pound back the pints of green beer. In New Hampshire, the local law enforcement officials are ramping up patrols in efforts to try and catch those who make bad decisions. If you have been drinking, you need to refrain from getting behind the wheel to drive yourself home.

Make Plans Ahead of Time for a Driver

No one said you can’t go out and enjoy yourself, but you have to make sure you are doing it in a responsible manner. Heading out and getting drunk is one thing, but getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when you clearly shouldn’t be driving is another. Due to recent changes in New Hampshire DWI laws, getting caught drinking and driving has some serious repercussions when convicted. St. Patrick’s Day is like Christmas for law enforcement officials. They end up catching countless people who choose to disobey the law time and time again.

Make sure you have a solid plan in place before you head out to enjoy yourself. For example, bring the phone number of a local cab company or have transportation arranged in advance with a relative or friend who isn’t celebrating the holiday. Getting a designated driver ready to go right from the start is one of the best things you can do.

Repercussions Can be Costly

Think about it. The risk of having your license taken away from you is going to cost you money, time, fines, expensive programs, an increase in your insurance policy, impaired driving record and so much more. Is that really how you want to end up after celebrating on March 17?

If you find yourself in trouble, you can turn to our team of professionals to help you along the way. Give us a call immediately to discuss what we can do for you and your case. 603-437-2733.

By Attorney Richard Monteith - Criminal Lawyer For New Hampshire


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

DWI Offenders in NH- You Could Avoid License Suspensions Legally!

New Hampshire may now allow first time violators of the drunk driving laws to continue driving. A new bill is being debated, according to which the first time drunken driving offenders are allowed to drive. However this is applicable only when the drivers can switch on the ignition systems, pass the ignition interlock device test, and show their licenses.

On a Wednesday January 29th 2014, Bill HB 496 was passed by the House and is waiting for approval. According to the State lawmakers, it has been formulated for the sake of the new convicts whose forfeited licenses may result in their losing of jobs or dropping out of schools.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?  How Will it Be Used?

An ignition interlock device will be used in order to check the level of alcohol consumption among the drunken drivers. This device is an extremely small instrument that will be installed near the driver of any vehicle. This instrument requires a breath sample of the driver before he starts off his engine.

The engine of the vehicle operated by the convicted driver will not start, if the sample has 0.02% or greater concentration of blood alcohol. In fact, this ignition interlock device is designed with the aim of reducing the alcohol driving related crimes and also to help the intoxicated drivers - drive with ease. According to the MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) reports, deaths from drunken driving can be reduced up to 30% if the interlock laws are ensured.


Both the ignition interlock devices and the new bill have the full support of MADD. MADD had already been a strong proponent of the IISD as these instruments can be of much help for drunken drivers.

It helps to ensure that the drunken drivers do not commit the same crime and it also saves them from losing their licenses. Statistics reports have shown that about the 70% of the individuals convicted of first time DWI offence have illegally driven their cars even with the suspension of their licenses. So, this new bill will now allow them to do the same, without experiencing any legal hurdles.

Current DWI Laws in New Hampshire

According to the current laws of New Hampshire, a person convicted of DWI can experience license suspension from 9 months to two years. This again will negatively affect their work and personal life. The proposed bill has mentioned that the drivers charged of DWI, will have to get an IISD installed in their vehicles. They also have to pay an amount of $80 and $50 for the maintenance of these devices and for procuring a special privilege license.

There are also many individuals who are against this proposed bill. Many of them feel that license suspension is absolutely essential for the drunken driving convicts. They believe that if a drunken driver’s license is not forfeited and if he is only required to pay a fine, then he might not take the matter seriously and repeat the same incident in future.

Thus this bill though criticized by some, turns out to be an alternative from which many individuals can benefit. A DWI offender will still have to pay the penalty of maintaining his IISD device and pay for the special license. Besides this, the offenders can save their jobs, and the risks of drunken driving too can be reduced considerably.

By Attorney Richard Monteith


Friday, February 14, 2014

What is Synthetic Marijuana and Is it Legal in New Hampshire?

Synthetic Marijuana

In the last few years, a new drug has gained in popularity, particularly with youth. It has also generated a great deal of attention and concern from law enforcement authorities, the medical community, and drug enforcement personnel. The drug is essentially a synthetic form of marijuana commonly known as Spice. It looks plant based like marijuana, but contains a number of chemical compound additives. The drug resembles potpourri to the point that it is often referred to as potpourri on the street. Sold in packets or small jars, it is labeled and known by names such as: K2, Yucatan Fire, Moon Rocks, Skunk and other harmless sounding names.

The likeness between Spice and actual marijuana is the primary source of the danger it can pose for users looking for a marijuana substitute or marijuana-like high. It can be smoked, made into a drink, or even mixed with marijuana. The plant based ingredients can range from lettuce or other random plant materials that do not pose any real or known hazards. Spice, or synthetic marijuana is often marketed as a natural substance because of the plant based ingredients. However, it is not natural. The synthetic additives make the effects of Spice very unpredictable.

Health Risks

The synthetic additives used in the dug can affect everyone differently and have been shown to be more potent that the cannabinoid compounds found in marijuana. There are also a wide variety of chemicals that can added. This means users have no definitive way of knowing what they are ingesting or smoking. The potency or presence of those chemicals can vary from packet to packet or brand to brand. While the mind altering effects common with marijuana are typically felt with Spice, other unexpected effects can be present and lead to health problems. Some Spice users have experienced anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, vomiting, seizures, rapid heartbeat, kidney damage, and even heart attacks. The number of calls to poison control centers and emergency room visits related to Spice have risen dramatically in the last few years. This increase in calls and medical emergencies also helped to raise public awareness of the drug and its dangers.

Legal Action

The government has taken steps to ban the use of Spice; which was initially very easy to buy in stores, such as gas stations and convenience stores. It was difficult to regulate a few years ago because it was labeled as “not for human consumption”. Also, as the DEA acted to ban one chemical found in Spice, that chemical would be quickly replaced with another synthetic compound. This would render the ban useless. However, despite the struggles to keep up with the technicalities and alterations manufacturers would implement to avoid regulation, the DEA banned Spice drug in July 2012. Up until then, it could be bought anywhere by anyone. With the federal ban, the chemical additives in Spice are classified as a controlled substance and therefore, it is an illegal drug. As with any controlled substance, the possession, manufacture and sale of such substance is against the law and carries criminal penalties.

By Attorney Richard Monteith


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Attorney Richard Monteith Fights For Londonderry Father and Son Facing Drug Charges

BRENTWOOD — A Londonderry man and his son, who are accused of running a marijuana grow operation in their home, are arguing that police did not have the right to search behind a locked door when they responded to a 911 call.

Mark Castiglione, 54, and Brandon Castiglione, 19, are each facing four charges, including manufacturing a controlled drug and possession of a controlled drug stemming from a search of their home on May 17.

The Castigliones are arguing that a judge should throw out all evidence found during the search, claiming that it violates their constitutional rights, according to court records.

The father and son were indicted in separate cases, but Assistant County Attorney Terri Harrington has asked a judge to hold a single hearing to determine whether or not Londonderry police were legally justified in their search of the property.

Harrington said in court papers that the same witnesses would be providing the same testimony for both cases if the hearings were held separately. Defense lawyers representing the father and son have made near identical objections in the case, according to Harrington.

Londonderry police were called to the home by a 911 call made by Brandon Castiglione’s girlfriend, who reported that her boyfriend had “bitten” her and made statements that he could harm himself, according to prosecutors.

Harrington argued that police had a right to do a “protective sweep” of the house to ensure no one else in the home was in need of assistance.

Police officers who responded to the home asked Brandon Castiglione for permission to search the residence, according to Harrington. Brandon Castiglione told police that the home was not his and he could not give permission to police for a search.

Two officers decided to do a sweep of the home anyway. “Immediately upon entering the residence both officers noted a strong odor of marijuana,” Harrington said in a court motion.

The officers found two rooms were locked. Upon opening one locked bedroom, police found marijuana being stored in jars, according to prosecutors.

New Hampshire Defense Attorney Richard Monteith argued in court papers that police essentially searched the entire home before obtaining a search warrant under the auspices of looking for people inside the home.

“Apparently, the girlfriend was never asked who was in the house even though she was available at the Londonderry Police Department,” Monteith said in court papers. “Brandon Castiglione was asked if anyone else was in the house and he indicated that there was not.”

Defense lawyers have not yet indicated whether they object to having a single hearing on the matter.

Source: Union Leader


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Attorney Richard Monteith Selected - Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers in NH

The American Society of Legal Advocates

Dear Richard,

Congratulations! On behalf of the American Society of Legal Advocates (ASLA), it is our privilege to inform you that you have been selected as one of the Top 100 Criminal Defense lawyers in the State of New Hampshire for 2014 and are eligible for membership in ASLA.

ASLA is an invitation-only legal organization comprised of the nation's most skilled lawyers. It was founded with one central purpose - to identify and help promote only the most outstanding legal talent throughout the country. With this mission, we invite lawyers who combine stellar legal credentials with proven commitment to community engagement, leadership, and the highest professional standards. As described on our website, your selection was the culmination of a multi-stage process in which our lawyers independently researched information on tens of thousands of lawyers and, in filling each Top 100 and Top 40 (under age 40) category, ultimately selected less than 1.5% of lawyers nationally. You were selected without regards to whether you choose to join the hundreds of lawyers nationwide who already are members of ASLA, and the selection process is closed in each category once the respective 100 or 40 lawyers in each specialty are invited.

As an ASLA member, you will receive a Certificate of Membership and be listed in ASLA's exclusive, online legal directory as one of the top lawyers in New Hampshire.   You will be able to create an unrestricted, full profile of your practice.   In addition, members get 50%  off  all  online  CLEs  with  LawReviewCLE  (content  varies  by  state)  and  30%  off forthcoming  referral  listings  with ASLA partner  The National  Law  Institute,  as well  as the opportunity to-prominently  display your recent news on our-web-optimized  site. ASLA also supports member-recommended   non-profit   legal organizations, and we have collaborated with our current members on sponsoring CLEs and other local legal events.   This, in addition to enhancing our mission of creating a community of stellar legal talent across the country.

To join, either return the enclosed form or visit our website, click on “Confirm Membership" and enter your membership code to begin the activation process. All-inclusive membership dues for 2014 are $200. Congratulations again on your selection.  We hope you will choose to be an active participant in ASLA, and wish you continued successes!

Yours truly,
Elizabeth Israel & Suzanne Neely,
Membership Coordinators

15851 Dallas Parkway, Suite 600 • Addison, Texas 75001