Harden Law Offices

104 Main Street, Lancaster, NH 03584 603.788.2080
2 Cottage Street, Littleton, NH 03561 603.444.2084
199 Heater Road, Lebanon, NH 03766 603.448.3737

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Cost of a DWI in New Hampshire

The Cost of a DWI in New Hampshire

I am frequently asked “how much will a DWI cost me?”  The ultimate expenditure depends upon many variables.  One thing is certain: a DWI conviction will be very expensive.  This article will provide an analysis of the current costs associated with a DWI conviction in the State of New Hampshire, while emphasizing the importance of retaining qualified counsel.
The most effective way to avert the expense of a DWI is to avoid a conviction.  Two obvious ways to do so are to abstain from all use of drugs and/or alcohol when operating a vehicle or to use a designated driver.  While it is not against the law to drink and drive in New Hampshire, doing so will certainly expose you to the possibility of an arrest and conviction.
If you have been arrested, you should immediately seek out a qualified DWI attorney.  Hiring the best DWI lawyer based on reputation, experience, trial skill and knowledge will increase the likelihood of avoiding a conviction.  I routinely get referrals from other lawyers, police officers and judges.  You should ask professionals in the field who they would hire if they were in trouble.
Do you get what you pay for?  There are many lawyers who claim to defend DWI cases.  Often times, you will find that these lawyers charge very little to represent you and frequently plead a case out to mandatory minimums.  A lawyer that focuses much of their caseload on DWI defense is regularly going to trial on behalf of clients and is successful in winning those cases.  During your search for a qualified defense attorney, it is imperative that you ask him or her when they last won a DWI trial.  The expense of a true DWI lawyer pales in comparison to the cost of a DWI conviction.  You cannot afford to hire anyone but the best.
The list below represents the expenses associated with a DWI based on information gathered in 2012. 
Towing Fee                                         $150
Bail Commissioner Fee                       $40
Lab analysis                                        $150
ALS Transcript                                   $250
Expert Fees                                        $500-$3,000  (Private Investigator, Toxicologist, etc.)
Lawyer fees                                        $1,500-$7,500                                                                                                                                (varies based on reputation, experience and history)
Court fine                                            $620-$1,200 (mandatory minimum to maximum)
ALS Recording                                   $25
Ignition interlock                                  $200 initial setup / $75 monthly fee for 2 years
SR-22                                                $500-$700 required for three years                                                             (liability only, non owner policy)
Insurance increase for 5 years             $5,500 (based on a married person, good credit history,                                                             newer vehicle, home owner, in Coos County, rates vary                                                             considerably based on insurance history and criteria)
IDIP fee                                              $585 (first time offender class)
Phase II                                              $1,550 (second or Aggravated offender class)
28 Residential Treatment                     $4,935 (third offender class)
License reinstatement                          $100

The total expected financial cost of a DWI for a person located in Coos County, New Hampshire ranges between $10,000 to $18,000.00.  This estimate does not include any lost income from missed work opportunities, the need to pay for rides or transportation, and the loss of company vehicles or benefits.  Additionally, the increased cost of insurance will vary incredibly from one person to another based on prior history and projected risk factors calculated by insurance companies.
Other sources, not specific to New Hampshire, estimate the cost of a DWI to be between $9,000 and $20,000 (see links:  http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/dui-memorial-day-20-000-1.aspx#ixzz1mNpkU6G5 and http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/InTheNews/DrinkingAndDriving/1077646292.html).
The cost of a DWI conviction is very serious.  If you have been charged with a DWI it is important that you immediately consult with a DWI lawyer who has the experience, skills and ability to help win your case. 

This article was submitted by Leonard D. Harden of Harden Law Offices.
Lancaster, NH 788-2080    Littleton, NH 444-2084    Lebanon 448-3737
DWI Lawyer NH | DWI in New Hampshire | NH Criminal Defense

Friday, February 10, 2012

The New Yorker recently had an article citing the seriousness of America’s growing prison population.  The article discusses the sheer numbers of Americans incarcerated and breaks it down to show how minorities and drug convictions have greatly skewed our society.  Most telling is that at this moment America has more citizens incarcerated than the Soviet’s put in the Gulags or than were owned as slaves.  We as a society are now investing millions of dollars in housing inmates instead of education, infrastructure and drug counseling.  The resources being used to house inmates is absolutely counter to creating a productive society which is based on opportunity and merits.  The next time a prison expansion is proposed think about what else could have been done with the funds?  

The Caging of America 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Plymouth District Division Court – State v. Edward S. -Not Guilty

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Plymouth District Division Court – State v. Edward S. -Not Guilty

Plymouth District Division Court heard the evidence on February 2, 2012, where Judge Rappa was presiding.  Judge Rappa heard the state’s case which consisted of one police officer, a video of the stop and field sobriety tests.  Mr. S. had submitted to a breath test, but due to an error by the State, the test was excluded from evidence.

The police officer was questioned by Attorney Harden about his observations of Mr. S.’s driving, personal contact and the field sobriety tests.  Attorney Harden was able to establish that Mr. S. walked normally, talked normally and behaved normally.

After the State rested, Attorney Harden rested and made a motion to dismiss.  The issues in this case were really impairment and the failure of the police to properly perform the FST as well as any alternative tests.  Attorney Harden was also able to show many signs of sobriety that the officer failed to note in direct or in their reports.  In the end, Attorney Harden was able to show that Mr. S. exhibited more clues of sobriety than impairment.

The Judge ruled from the bench immediately upon the defense resting finding Mr. S. not guilty.  The State had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. S. was driving while his ability was impaired. 

Mr. S. had earlier won an administrative license suspension hearing.  This means that Mr. S. suffered absolutely no loss of license, will not pay any increase in insurance or have to take any classes. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Child of War, A Memoir by Jason Flores-Williams

This is an intensely personal account of how the war on drugs affected a young man and his family.  This boy grew up without a father and is now a lawyer in New Mexico.  The link is to his personal story of how drugs affected his family’s life and ultimately put his father in prison for 35 years.