New Hampshire DUI charges have differing consequences per unique circumstance. Listed are seven tactics and methods used by legal criminal defense attorneys to defend against a DUI charge.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offense that can have long-lasting consequences, including fines, jail time, and a criminal record. If you have been charged with a DUI in the state of New Hampshire, it is important to understand your legal options and potential defenses. In this article, we will discuss some common defenses that may be used to dispute a DUI charge in New Hampshire.
1. Lack of Probable Cause for the Traffic Stop
One defense method to a DUI charge is that the police did not have probable cause to stop your vehicle. Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, police must have a legitimate reason for stopping a vehicle, such as observing a traffic violation or receiving a report of reckless driving. If the police did not have probable cause to stop your vehicle, any evidence obtained during the stop, such as the results of a breathalyzer test, may be deemed invalid in court.
2. Error Or Malfunction of the Breathalyzer Test
Breathalyzer tests are commonly used to measure a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of a traffic stop. However, these tests are not always accurate and can be affected by a variety of factors, such as the operator’s technique, the condition of the device, and the existence of certain medical conditions. If your attorney can show that the breathalyzer test was unreliable or that there was
a malfunction with the device, it may be possible to have the test results excluded as evidence in court.
3. The “Rising Blood Alcohol” Defense
In some cases, a person’s BAC may continue to rise after they have stopped drinking and are driving. This is known as the “rising blood alcohol” defense. If you were arrested for DUI shortly after you stopped drinking, it may be possible to argue that your BAC was still rising at the time of the traffic stop and was not yet at its peak. This defense may be particularly effective if you were stopped and arrested within a few hours of your last drink.
4. Medical Conditions / Medications That Can Affect BAC Readings
Certain medical conditions and medications can also affect BAC readings and create a false positive on a breathalyzer test. For example, acetone, a chemical found in some medications and medical conditions, can produce a false high BAC reading. If you were taking medications or have a medical condition that could have affected the results of the breathalyzer test, it may be possible to use this as a defense in your DUI case.
5. The “Single Car Accident” Defense
If you were involved in a single car accident and charged with DUI, it may be possible to argue that the accident was not caused by alcohol impairment, but rather by a mechanical failure or other non-alcohol related factors. In order to successfully use this defense, you will need to present evidence such as witness testimony, expert testimony, or documentation of mechanical issues with your vehicle.
6. Police Misconduct
In some cases, police misconduct can also be used as a defense to a DUI charge. This may include instances of racial profiling, illegal search and seizure, or other violations of your constitutional rights. If your attorney can demonstrate that the police acted improperly during the traffic stop or arrest, it may be possible to have the charges against you dismissed.
7. The “Good Faith” Defense
Under New Hampshire law, it is a defense to a DUI charge if you were operating a vehicle in good faith and under the reasonable belief that you were not impaired. This defense is often used in cases where a person was under the influence of prescription or over-the-counter medications that can affect their ability to drive safely. In order to successfully use the good faith defense, you must be able to show that you were unaware that the medication you were taking would impair your ability to drive. This may require presenting evidence such as a prescription label or documentation from your healthcare provider.
It is important to note that the defenses outlined above are not exhaustive and the specific defenses available to you will depend on the circumstances of your case. If you have been charged with a DUI in New Hampshire, it is strongly recommended that you speak with an
experienced criminal defense attorney who can assess your case and advise you on the best course of action.
In conclusion, a DUI charge in New Hampshire can have serious consequences, including fines, jail time, and a criminal record. If you have been charged with a DUI, it is important to understand your legal options and potential defenses. Some common defenses to a DUI charge in New Hampshire include lack of probable cause for the traffic stop, error or malfunction of the breathalyzer test, the “rising blood
alcohol” defense, medical conditions or medications that can affect BAC readings, the “single car accident” defense, police misconduct, and the “good faith” defense. An experienced criminal defense attorney can assess your case and advise you on the best course of action to take.