Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I do if I have been drinking and am stopped by police and questioned in New Hampshire?
A: Remain calm and be polite. You are required to provide your license and registration. You are not obligated to answer any questions or provide any information beyond license and registration. The best way to answer without providing information will be explained below, but the short answer is to remain calm and polite.

Q: When asked where am I coming from or going, what should I say?
A: The best answer is to provide a polite non answer such as a simple statement and question like, “I want to go, is everything ok?” Answering the request with a question really provides no possible incriminating information. If police ask again you may answer “I am going (home, work, school etc) and I am expected soon. May I go now?” or “I am fine, may I go now?”

Q: What should I say when asked if I have been drinking?
A: Do not lie, do not answer the question simply ask a question back politely. See answers above and respond calmly “that you are late/expected and want to go (home, work, school etc.).So if police say, “I smell an odor of alcohol, have you been drinking? Or how much have your been drinking?” Answer “I am fine, am I free to leave?”

Q: What should I do if asked to step out of car to take tests?
A: Remain calm and polite. Indicate that you want to go (home, work, school etc.), if police ask again indicate someone is expecting you and you don’t have time. If police keep asking you respond by asking, “Are you ordering me to take tests?” If police order you to take test, comply, do it and say I am doing it because you ordered me to take test/ get out of car etc. If police say not ordering but requesting, then state “No thank you I am fine and just want to go.”

Q: Am I required to take the field sobriety tests in New Hampshire?
A: In NH you are not required to take any physical tests or answer any questions prior to arrest. The best thing to do is politely decline by indicating you want to leave and are fine. See above.

Q: Should I answer questions after being arrested?
A: No. You have the right to remain silent after being placed under arrest. It is best to not provide any answers to police questioning. It is best to make no statements other than asking to contact a lawyer and refuse to answer any questions.

Q: Should I take a blood or breath test?
A: There is no one size fits all answer. It really depends on your circumstances regarding your employment, prior history, and the amount you may have drank. A 150 pound person can on average process one drink an hour (12 ounce 5% beer, 6 ounce 15% wine, 1 ounce 40% alcohol) but that varies based on gender, food, medical conditions and many other factors. If you believe you are safely under the legal limit taking a test may be best. If you know you are close or over it may make sense to refuse chemical testing based on work/ family/ medical issues.

Q: What should I do if I take breath test with results greater than .08% upon release from arrest?
A: New Hampshire law allows a person who submits to a breath test to get an independent blood test conducted. You should pay for the $25 blood sample kit and go to the nearest hospital to get blood drawn ASAP. This may be the best way to show the breath test was inaccurate and exonerate a bad breath test result. The results are not provided to the police they are produced by an independent lab to you and your lawyer. Breath test results are estimates of blood alcohol content tests and there are many causes of false positive outcomes.

Q: What should I do if I refuse a breath test after arrest?
A: New Hampshire law allows a person who submits to a breath test to get an independent blood test conducted. Even if you refused a breath test you should go to the nearest hospital to get a blood sample drawn ASAP. The sample will then be able to be sent to an independent lab to analysis. This may be the best way to show the arrest was false and exonerate a bad field sobriety test results. The results would be provided to you and your lawyer.

Q: Will I automatically lose my license if I refuse a blood or breath test in New Hampshire?
A: New Hampshire has an implied consent law that requires all drivers who are under arrest submit to testing of the officers’ choice of test or face an administrative loss of license. If a person submits to a test that is over .08% or refuses they have a right to an administrative license hearing. Most of those hearings result in loss of license but you have a right to a hearing if requested within 30 days of service. A good DWI defense lawyer will be very familiar with ALS hearings and the rules surrounding same.

Q:What should I do if I am arrested?
A: If the police arrest you, do not answer any questions and immediately ask to speak with an attorney. Do not speak to the police without your defense attorney present; doing so could result in you incriminating yourself.

Q: What happens at my first court date, arraignment?
A: After being arrested you will normally be released on personal recognizance bail and given an arraignment date. An arraignment is an initial or first appearance in court. You will be provided the actual charges, enter a plea and bail may be addressed again. You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible after arrest and prior to arraignment to help guide you through the process. The state will normally make a plea offer at arraignment. A DWI lawyer can explain your rights and the procedures as well as prepare the case for trial.

Q: What if the police don’t read me my rights?
A: This is the most commonly asked question. The failure to read rights may not make any difference to your case the importance of being read your rights depends on whether a person is in custody. In other words if the police ask you questions and you answer them but you are not in custody it is considered voluntary and may be used in court against you. If you are under arrest or in custody any statements you make in response to questions may be suppressed and kept out of court. Failure to have your rights read to you does not mean that you will automatically win your case. The Miranda rights are intended to protect citizens who are under arrest from making incriminating statements.

Q: Where can I find the best qualified DWI lawyer?
A: Ask around: the local court, friends family, restaurants and bars, other lawyers in other areas of practice and even police. Court personnel, public defenders, or court officers frequently know the best qualified lawyers who are the most experienced at handling DWI defense cases. You could go to court and ask around bailiffs and others in court may be willing to share ‘who they would contact if they got in trouble?’ Other things to search are the background and trainings a DWI lawyer has attended. If the lawyer has presented at DWI specific seminars. See if the lawyer has been published by independent publishers and belongs to national organizations such as National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), National College for DUI Defense (NCDD), DUI Defense Lawyers Association (DUIDLA) and other professional groups.

Call / Email Len Harden With Any Additional Criminal Law Questions You May Have
There is a lot more to a trial than can be covered by FAQs. Getting competent, aggressive and experienced local legal assistance can help take a lot of the uncertainty out of the process. Contact Leonard D. Harden today learn more, call or text 603.788.2080, email or use our online contact form. Attorney Harden is available 24 hours a day for emergency consultations with appointments at your convenience.