New Hampshire takes the offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) that results in an injury (sometimes called DUI with injury) extremely seriously. If you caused a serious injury to another person or yourself while under the influence of a drug or alcohol, you may be charged with Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (Aggravated DWI)—a class B felony that carries mandatory jail time, driver’s license suspension, and significant fines and other associated costs. In addition to these harsh penalties, a DWI with injury felony conviction can also have a long-term impact on your life.
Legal Penalties for DWI with Injury
A DWI with Injury charge comes with a mandatory jail sentence of at least 35 consecutive days in jail (21 of which are suspended) to a maximum of 3.5 to 7 years imprisonment and a fine of at least $1,000 as well as a minimum 24% court-imposed penalty assessment fee.
Other consequences include:
- Driver’s license revocation for 18 months to 2 years;
- Undergo a full substance use disorder evaluation with the Impaired Driver Care Management Program and comply with the service plan developed; and
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in any vehicle registered in your name or used by you for 1 to 2 years
The ignition interlock device is installed at your cost and requires you to blow into the device, registering your blood alcohol content. If your level is .02 or higher, the vehicle will not start, and any such readings could result in driver’s license revocation. Note that you must show proof of vehicle insurance before the state will reinstate your driving privileges. There is also a $100 restoration fee for reinstatement of your license.
You must also pay for the substance use disorder evaluation; the successful completion of the resulting plan could persuade the court to reduce your license suspension period by six months, provided that all outstanding costs and fees have been paid. The court is also permitted by law to require you to submit to random urinalysis or other such tests.=
Additional Consequences Related to a DWI with Injury Conviction
As a felony, a DWI with Injury conviction can carry several additional consequences that can impact your life for a long time. Having a criminal record can follow you around as you seek employment, housing, student aid, or credit cards.
Depending on your profession, you may also face challenges obtaining or retaining a professional license. Moreover, you may see a substantial increase in your insurance premiums due to a DWI with injury conviction.
DWI Involving a Death
Even more serious than a DWI with injury is a DWI that involves a death. A driver who causes another person’s death can be charged with the Class A felony of Negligent Homicide, or if there are prior DWI convictions, Reckless Manslaughter. The maximum penalty for Negligent Homicide is 7.5 to 15 years’ imprisonment, while for Reckless Manslaughter, it is 15 to 30 years.
Why You Need a New Hampshire DWI Lawyer
As you can see from the above information, the court does retain some discretion in sentencing, and the severity of the sentence depends heavily upon the specific circumstances of your case, such as the following factors:
- Blood alcohol level
- Number of injured victims
- Extent of the victim(s)’ injuries
- Your driving record
- Any prior criminal record
With the presence of any of these aggravating circumstances, your situation becomes even more serious.
Because of the severity of the potential penalties associated with a DWI with injury, you should immediately consult with an experienced local DWI attorney. The outcome of your case depends heavily on how you can present the facts of your case to the court, and a local lawyer who knows the law, as well as the process, is invaluable as you maneuver through the system. As your advocate, an experienced DWI attorney knows how to get the best possible result for you.
Tenn And Tenn, P.A. has more than 20 years of experience in handling Aggravated DWI charges, and we can help you fight a DWI with injury charge. If you face any type of DWI charges—especially any felony charges—contact Tenn And Tenn, P.A. today at (888) 332-5855 or online to start working on your defense.