Thursday, December 31, 2015

Avoid a DUI - Watch for Sobriety Checkpoints on New Year's in New Hampshire

New Year’s Eve is a great time to get out and celebrate the end of one year and the start to another great one. It is a time that you often go out and party with your friends and other family members, and sometimes things get a little out of hand. Because so many people choose to spend this time enjoying drinks and partying until early in the morning, New Hampshire has set up various sobriety checkpoints throughout the state. These are meant to keep everyone safe on New Year’s, but if you are caught with too much alcohol, it could be a bad ending to your day. Here are some ways to stay safe on the road and not get stopped at your New Hampshire sobriety checkpoint this year.

Have a designated driver

Before you go out, consider picking someone who can be the designated driver. This is someone who will agree to not drink when you are all out and who will make sure that everyone gets home safe. If you get stopped at one of these sobriety checkpoints, they will not have any alcohol on their breath so you won’t have an issue. If you do have a designated driver for this night, treat them right; pay for gas, make sure they have plenty of nonalcoholic beverages, and be nice. They are missing out on some of the fun to make sure you get home safely and with a clean record.

Don’t indulge too much

If you do plan to drive yourself home, don’t indulge in drinking too much. One or two drinks, well before your time of driving home is all you should enjoy. Otherwise you will get stopped and could add something to your permanent record. Don’t just assume you’ll be fine, just don’t drink at all.

Hire a taxi to go home

Sometimes you go out with the best intentions of just seeing a few people and then heading back without drinking. But then the festivities catch up to you and all of a sudden you have had too much to drink. Rather than getting stopped at one of these sobriety checkpoints and getting in trouble, consider calling in a taxi. They can get you home safely and you can go back and get a car later.

Party at a friend’s home

Consider having a party at your home or at a close friends’ home. This is a safe environment and it would be possible to spend the night, or at least a few more hours, rather than going out and driving drunk. Get a plan together beforehand. If you are throwing the party, set up a few beds and let everyone know they are more than welcome to stay the night rather than getting into a car accident while driving. This will help to keep everyone safe and no one will get stopped at a checkpoint and get into even more trouble.

Stay in town

Anytime you have too much to drink, it is best to stay where you are. If you drove into town or a bigger city to party, don’t try and drive home when you have had a few drinks. Consider reserving a hotel and staying the night there. This can be a nice little break or vacation to start the New Year and is going to prevent you from getting stopped along the way.

Sometimes accidents happen on New Year’s and you will get into trouble. Whether you were caught on a sobriety checkpoint in New Hampshire or you were in an alcohol related accident, find a competent criminal DUI attorney in New Hampshire to help you out with these legal situations.

By Joseph M. Annutto


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Drone Use in Interspousal Spying and Divorce - New Hampshire

That tiny model airplane of past decades has evolved into what is known now as a drone.  Drones have been proliferating since 2009 and is widely applied in many areas, including logistics, military surveillance, police investigations, and photography.  

But some people have found other uses for drones, though in not so ethical ways.  They are being used in taking high-resolution photos and videos in order to catch a philandering spouse red-handed.  People who wish to spy on their spouses can either hire a professional drone operator to manipulate the device to capture incriminating evidence against their spouses, or operate the device themselves. The evidence can be a strong factor in receiving a favorable divorce settlement.

Spy Drone Laws

Now comes the question of whether using drones to spy on your spouse is legal.  As with other methods of inter-spousal spying (like wiretapping a phone or activating a hidden camera inside the marital bedroom), this issue is still a gray area.  That is, especially if the spying was activity conducted right in your own home, which is of course within your own area of jurisdiction.  It’s similar to wiretapping your own phone at home in order to catch any conversations made by your spouse to an illicit lover.

Each state has its own laws about inter-spousal spying and what is defined as “invasion of privacy.”  Twelve states including New Hampshire have so-called “all-party consent” where mutual consent between spouses is necessary in communications monitoring. 

If you ever plan on using drones to spy on your own spouse’s activities, be aware that each person is entitled to privacy protection under the law.  You may be accused of stalking, harassment, and trespassing (if the drone surveillance was done at another location).  Your spouse has the right to file these charges against you as a criminal case. 

Marital Torts

Such a case is more known as a marital tort.  Marital torts include any misdemeanors against one’s own spouse, like physical assault and battery, infection with STD, wrongful death, defamation, and rape.  And yes, wiretapping is one of the grounds for a marital tort. 

Marital torts were born out of recognition for women’s civil rights which then negated the traditional “unified marital entity” concept where spouses cannot sue each other.

In New Hampshire, your spouse can take you to court for marital tort if he/she finds out you have been employing a drone to videotape his/her activities in order to gather evidence for divorce proceedings.  You could be asked to pay a fine for harassment and invasion of privacy, as well as emotional distress brought about by your surveillance.  So it is best that you don’t even start spying in the first place.

Know Your Legal Rights

Likewise, if you have discovered that your spouse has been using drones or other devices to monitoring your activities in order to gather evidence against you to be used in divorce court, don’t let him/her get away with it.  Remember that you have your own personal rights even if you’re married, including the right to file charges against your own spouse.  Instead, get legal help immediately to know how you can stand up to that harassment.

By Joseph Annutto