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

Friday, December 29, 2017

Why do NH Bars All Sell Food? It is the Law!

NHPR did a story explaining the liquor laws origins and why it still exists today.  The story points out that in a state noted for its "Live Free, or Die" motto this type of regulation is contrary.  So as we bring in the New Year enjoy a toast with your favorite beverage and you might just be able to order some toast at that restaurant.
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You Asked, We Answered: Why Do All New Hampshire Bars Have To Sell Food?

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Just Arrested, What Next?.

If you have just been arrested then you have likely had one of the worst days of your life.  You are likely confused, ashamed and afraid.  You are concerned about what to tell your spouse, employer or family. You have racing thoughts and lots of questions.

I have represented people charged with crimes for over 25 years.  There are very few scenarios that I have not encountered before and it is this experience which I believe helps clients understand, accept and work through the stress of an arrest and subsequent criminal case.

I frequently say that the best thing you can do it live normally and get help immediately. It is important that if you have been arrested that you contact the best defense lawyer you can as soon as possible.  There are many benefits to hiring a quality defense lawyer early on in the process.

Here are four reasons to contact a criminal defense lawyer.  First, a criminal defense lawyer will be able to explain the process to you so that you understand what should happen next.  Second, a criminal defense lawyer will have a proven strategy on how to address and assist in your defense.  Third, if involved early a good defense lawyer may be able to collect evidence and preserve it before it is lost thorugh the use of a private detective. Finally, a defense attorney will have the ability to enact a plan that provides you with the best defense available and advise on how to proceed.

Another common mistake citizens charged with a crime make is talking about the charges or sharing information.  One of the most important things to bear in mind is that sharing information is a bad idea.  If there is one single piece of advice that a defense lawyer can almost always say it is to "keep your mouth shut."  This includes social media, do not post or say anything on facebook, pinterest, or message boards. There is almost no good that will come from sharing information after an arrest has been made.

If you are arrested it is imperative that you contact a professional criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.  I am available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help people who have been arrested or experienced an emergency.

I have three offices in northern New Hampshire: Lancaster, Littleton and Lebanon.  You can also contact me by text at my Lancaster office number 603-788-2080.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Court Rules State's Request to Reconvene Jury is Denied

After over a month of anxiety for Randy and his family I was happy to share the news that the Court denied the state's motion to reconvene the jury.  The case is finally closed.  

The law is pretty clear that any misconduct must be prior to a verdict. The actions of a juror sharing a hug after an emotional case simply did not impact the fact that 12 jurors did not believe the state presented evidence to prove guilt.  

All cases are difficult but cases where a death is involved will have a profound impact on all involved: jurors, witnesses, officers, attorneys and judges.  

Everyone involved in a case will feel empathy, compassion and even develop a rapport with the parties in an emotionally charged case.  There have been countless times that jurors have waved, nodded, winked and given thumbs up upon leaving a courtroom.  In this case the juror stopped to give Randy and his family a hug and wish him good luck in the future.

The prosecution's attempt to make this into some misconduct was flawed from the beginning.  There was nothing unusual about having compassion and caring about another human being.  The prosecution's attempt also seems to have been ill advised as it will likely dampen the desire of future jurors to vote their conscience if they could be called back to court later.

In federal courts the sanctity of the jury deliberations is secret and there is no ability for either party to pry into the process.  

I am pleased to be able to let Randy and his family know that they are now able to move forward with their lives and focus the future.  A link to the story in the Union Leader is below:

Judge Denies Lawyers Request for New Trial after Juror Hug

Monday, September 25, 2017

Berlin Man Not Guilty of 2016 Death of Woman Who Fell From His Truck

It was an honor to represent Randy and help him preserve his liberty.  Though he won his trial the emotional, mental and physical toll of this situation weighed on all involved.  I wish he and his family all the best.

In a tragic case like this there are no winners and my sympathies extend to Ms. Black's family.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

No More Second Sample being Collected in NH Breath Tests

 July 3, 3017 The Caledonian Record printed a story about the loss of the independent breath sample for testing in NH.  The story carried quotes from Attorney Harden. NH Law RSA 265-A:5 and 7 was changed effective January 1, 2017.  The changes mean that NH no longer collects a person who submits to a breath test breath a sample of their breath for an independent test.

This means that the 20-30 year old Intoxilyzer 5000EN depicted above which is currently used in NH will be the only test which will be available for most accused of drunk driving.  It also means that the old technology will no longer be subject to independent verification from an independent laboratory.  The law allows folks to have an independent blood test conducted at their own expense.  However, as of 6 months into the new law only 10 people have elected to get blood drawn.  In the past about 500 people a year had independent breath samples tested.

NH breath test program is denying due process to those accused of DWI by use of the Intoxilyzer 5000.  There are legitimate issues with the old breath machines which has led the state to attempt to replace them, but in the meantime the results are still being used in court.  In fact the results are being used largely untested against citizens accused of DWI.

NH: Defense Attorneys, State DOJ At Odds Over DUI Law Change

If you are arrested for a DWI you should demand to get an independent blood sample taken. 

You also need to contact a DWI lawyer who knows how to defend these cases.  Len Harden has the training and experience to win breath and blood cases.  If you get charged with DWI contact Attorney Harden.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Computers Covering up Evidence due to Source Code

The criminal justice system is becoming more and more dependent on computers and software.  Police and corrections use computers to: assess risk, identify suspects, determine age, locations, determine gunshots and many more pieces of evidence.  At the root of all of this technology is source code or the actual computer programs. 

This NY Times article highlights some of the growing issues.  As a defense lawyer I have sought  source code for DNA tests, breath tests and blood tests.  It is important to have the source code to effectively understand the programs and evidence being used.  I have a history of challenging the use of science and computer programs in the court.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Berlin Roadblock week of June 18, 2017

If you are stopped at the Berlin Police Roadblock you need to understand your rights. 

The police call this a sobriety checkpoint, but be clear it is a roadblock.  The police get paid lots of overtime and yield very few arrests for impaired driving in these operations.  However, the police will claim the few arrests mean that the checkpoint discourages folks from driving impaired.  This type of logic means that the next checkpoint payday is a guarantee. 

Focusing on what you should do at a roadblock or any police stop.  First there is no reason to be rude, so always be polite.  Next do not volunteer information.  You must stop and produce a license and registration upon demand.  You do not need to answer any other questions.  This means that to almost any question you are asked it is perfectly okay to remain silent or provide no useful information.

I routinely advise citizens that the best answer to almost any questioning by police during a stop is to say you just want to go.  For example if you are stopped and asked "do you know why I stopped you?"  You can say "No, I just want to go home." or "Yes, sorry I just want to go home."  You can add you want to go: home, work, friend's house anywhere.  If you are asked "have you been drinking tonight?"  Answer, "I just want to go home."  If asked "please step out to perform field sobriety test?"  Answer "I just want to go.."  If asked repeatedly by police then ask a question back "Do I have to?"  If you are ordered to step out of car or placed under arrest comply with the command and do not resist.  However, in almost every scenario the best answer is "I want to go!"  Think about it do you really want to talk to the police at the side of the road!  Wouldn't you rather be on your way.  Do you think you can talk your way out of the problem/ situation.

Attached is the article in the Berlin Daily Sun announcing the checkpoint the week of June 18, 2017.  Notice how the article indicates N.H. Highway Safety Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, provides federal highway safety funds to support these checkpoints.

Be safe and be smart.  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

One Paragraph Letter from 1980 in New England Journal Medicine Lead to Opioid Crisis

The Atlantic published the full one paragraph letter from Dr. Hershel Jick, a doctor at Boston University Medical Centerthat is frequently cited as finding that opioids are safe in treating pain and are not addictive: