A motor vehicle offense occurs when someone breaks a law while operating a motor vehicle, such as speeding. Motor vehicle offenses might not seem like a big deal, but if they add up, or are serious enough, they can result in serious consequences.
There are multiple types of hearings when it comes to motor vehicle offenses.
- Administrative License Suspension (ALS) Hearing – This hearing can occur after a criminal trial for a DWI. This type of suspension may happen regardless of whether you are found guilty depending on whether you refused a breathalyzer test or your blood test came back with a high enough blood alcohol concentration (BAC). You have the right to a hearing to appeal an ALS, but you must submit your request within thirty days.
- Habitual Offender Certification and Decertification – In New Hampshire, a habitual offender refers to someone who repeatedly breaks driving laws, such as speeding, DWIs, and reckless driving. These offenses add points to your license, called in NH the demerit point system, and if these points add up, you could be summoned to a hearing to determine if you are a habitual offender. You can see the New Hampshire Department of Safety for a full list of crimes that can add points to your license. In order to be decertified as a habitual offender, you must attend a second hearing.
- Original License Suspension Hearings – These DMV hearings are for drivers under age 21 who have received a moving violation. These are not criminal trials, but a lawyer may be present.
The Potential Penalties of Motor Vehicle Offenses
If you are certified as a habitual offender, your license is automatically revoked, and there are other circumstances, such as an ALS hearing, where you might also lose your license. If you don’t have a license, it can make your life more difficult, especially in NH. You might have trouble getting to work or appointments, which can create its own problems. You don’t want to rely on others to get you where you need to go. Those who decide to drive on a suspended or revoked license (operating after suspension, or OAS) can be charged with a felony, as driving without a license is considered a felony.
It’s important to take any motor vehicle offense hearing seriously. You may not think you need a lawyer, but navigating a motor vehicle offense can be tricky, especially if you’ve been called to a habitual offender hearing.
Having the right lawyer by your side can help you understand the system and how to properly approach your individual circumstances. A good lawyer may be able to avoid a habitual offender certification in the first place, argue for a short period of certification, or assist you in vacating prior convictions. Bernstein and Mello are the right lawyers for the job. They can help guide you through the process, so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises.
If you’re dealing with a motor vehicle offense, reach out to us today, so we can get started.
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