Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Are Sobriety Checkpoints Legal in New Hampshire?

Even though sobriety checkpoints can be frustrating for drivers to experience, they are completely legal in the state of New Hampshire. If you are unsure as to why or how these checkpoints are conducted, this article is for you. Read further to find out more about what to expect at sobriety checkpoints and how and why police are able to conduct these random stops legally.

Laws Officers Must Follow Guidelines at Sobriety Checkpoints in New Hampshire

DUI Lawyer Nashua NH

Police can conduct sobriety checkpoints in the state of New Hampshire as long as they follow state guidelines for setting up the checkpoints. The guidelines were developed by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). NHSTA has a report that states the guidelines and protocols for legally conducting a sobriety checkpoint. The guidelines state that police should provide advance notice to the public of where and when the sobriety checkpoint will take place. There must also be approval from a local judge in order for the police department to conduct the sobriety checkpoint, and the officers have to follow all the guidelines set in place by the courts of New Hampshire in regards to what takes place at the checkpoints.

What Happens at a Sobriety Checkpoint in New Hampshire?

If you find yourself at a sobriety checkpoint in New Hampshire, here is what you can expect. It is the goal of the sobriety checkpoints to decrease drunk driving and prevent accidents and DUI and DWI incidents. They usually take place in heavily trafficked areas or on busy holidays. A police offer will approach your vehicle and ask to see your license and registration. He/she will ask you a few routine questions such as where you are going or where you have been, if you have been drinking, etc. Hopefully, that is the extent of the sobriety checkpoint for you. However, if the officer suspects that you have been drinking or using drugs, you will be asked to step out of the car for a sobriety test or breathalyzer. In the state of New Hampshire, the police have access to a DUI Mobile Command Center which is equipped with state of the art sobriety testing equipment for field tests and breath or blood alcohol testing. If you fail the tests you could face arrest and be taken into custody.

Benefits to Hiring an Experienced DUI Lawyer in NH

If you find yourself at a sobriety checkpoint and are at risk of being identified as driving drunk or facing DUI or DWI charges, you will need a DUI lawyer to help you through this difficult time. It is likely that you will face jail time, license suspension, and other life changing consequences. Having a DUI lawyer on your side that is knowledgeable about New Hampshire DUI laws can make a major difference in the outcome of your case. If you or someone you know is being charged with DUI or DWI, contact a New Hampshire DUI lawyer today to discuss your case. You will be thankful you did.

By Joseph Annutto


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Message to New Hampshire Parents about Heroin/Fentanyl Addiction

drug defense lawyer Nashua NH
Heroin and Substance Abuse in New Hampshire

The state of New Hampshire has always been hailed as one of the most peaceful and idyllic places in the nation.  But recently, this has been marred by unsettling news about a spike in heroin addiction and overdoses; there is no denying that a heroin epidemic is plaguing the state.
 Deaths attributed to heroin addiction are at alarming levels.  Last year, there are about 300 deaths due to drug overdoses, some of which are due to heroin.   And just in the month of September this year, there have been 75 overdoses and eight deaths just in Manchester alone.  Addicts’ ages ranged from 16 to 69.  Overdose victims were found everywhere -- hotels, restaurants, parking areas, public buildings, and even motor vehicles. 

And it’s not only about deaths of drug users but also other serious consequences that may resort from drug use as well as being arrested and charged with drug possession in NH.  Oftentimes, drug users who drive can cause serious or even fatal road accidents.  They disrupt the peace around the neighborhoods.  They don’t function effectively at school and on the job.

Heroin - Nature and Effects

Heroin in particular has been cited as one of the most used drugs in the area.  It appears as a white or brown power, or even as black tar in big blocks.  It is acquired on the street in mixed form, usually with sugar, starch, powdered milk, or other drugs (usually poisonous varieties). It can be taken intravenously or smoked through a pipe or straw.

Heroin users typically feel a surge of extreme pleasure (referred to as a rush).  It temporarily relieves the user from depression.  The intensity depends on how much was consumed.  Oftentimes, heroin users aren’t aware of the exact intensity or strength of the heroin they purchase on the street.  The users may be injecting heroin doses that are fatal. 

Prolonged heroin use has debilitating effects.  On the short term, heroin causes shallow breathing, clouded mental function, and uncontrollable itching. But the more long-term and serious effects are pneumonia, heart disease, blood clots, bacterial infections, liver disease, arthritis, seizures, HIV, and Hepatitis B and C (from sharing needles).  If not properly treated, these can eventually lead to death. 

Treating heroin abuse and addiction is not easy.  Heroin detox must be done by a highly specialized doctor who is experienced in opiate detox and withdrawal.  Detox and treatment can never be done at home because the results could be fatal.

Coping with Heroin Addiction

Probably the only most effective strategy against heroin addiction is prevention.  Talk to your loved ones about the dangers of heroin and other addictive substances.  Be supportive of their needs so that they won’t resort to taking dangerous drugs just to cope with problems.  Give them quality time and a listening ear so that they have a way to vent frustrations. Keep a close watch on their activities and behavior.  Advise them about choosing their friends carefully. 

You must also be able to detect symptoms of addiction early.  Heroin acts fast on a person’s system.  There’s a feeling of euphoria in a matter of seconds after injection.  The user’s mouth will dry out and the skin will flush.  Pupils will be constricted.  His level of alertness destabilizes as he falls in and out of wakefulness.  Breathing is slowed, and this could also lead to death.  The user may also lose some memory and decision-making abilities. The person also experiences itching, nausea, and vomiting.  Bowel movements may be constricted.  Immunity levels are affected and the person is very prone to illness. 

If any of your loved ones are suffering from heroin addiction, you should consult professional help immediately.  Talk to your family practitioner and ask for recommendations about reliable treatment centers. 

And if your child has been criminally involved in a drug-related incident which can lead to a misdemeanor, such as drug possession or driving under the influence of drugs, then it would be beneficial to consult with a New Hampshire criminal lawyer.

By Joseph Annutto


Saturday, February 18, 2017

4 Tips to Help Protect Your Finances During a Divorce in NH

Nashua Divorce Attorney NH
One of the biggest obstacles to overcome during a divorce is finances. Money can be a big issue of contention when it comes to finalizing a divorce in New Hampshire, so it is important to know what to do if you are faced with filing for divorce. Your finances should be protected so you are ready to start a new life once the divorce has been finalized. Below are a few tips to follow to ensure that your financial situation is secure.
Gather and Copy Financial Documents

To begin, you need to gather all financial information that applies to you and your spouse for the past few years. It is recommended to cover as much as five years to ensure that documentation is in place for financial issues that could arise. Bank statements, property records, investments and payroll stubs are just a few of the documents that need to be gathered and copied. Keep the paperwork in a secure place such as a safe deposit box and not in the home.

Create Individual Accounts

In most marriages, the couple has joint bank accounts or credit cards. When getting a divorce, the accounts need to be separated. You will need to have a bank account with just your name so you can begin to place paychecks and prepare for life after the divorce. Close any joint credit card accounts as well so you will not be responsible for any charges that you did not approve.

Credit Score

Your credit score is very important and something that should be watched during a divorce. Your credit score can be affected by closing credit card accounts or creating new accounts on your own. Take time to review your credit score during your divorce as well as after. You want to ensure that your credit rating stays in good standing so that you do not have issues with your credit in your future. When there is contention in the marriage, it is important to keep track of your score in case your soon-to-be ex makes charges in your name. This is something that does occur and an issue that your attorney can assist you with.

Consult with an Experienced Attorney

To ensure that you make the right decisions financially during your divorce proceedings, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney. An experienced New Hampshire divorce attorney will understand the law and can provide advice on what you need to do in terms of financial decisions. Attorneys know what not to do and how to make changes to your financial situation that will be appropriate for your divorce proceedings as well as in the future.

Consult with an attorney to have your individual case heard so the right decisions can be made for your future. Provide paperwork and describe your situation to the attorney to get advice on the steps you need to take to begin your divorce as well as make decisions in regards to handling finances. By working with an attorney, no mistakes will be made and you can begin your new life on the right track.

By Joseph Annutto


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

What is The New Pokémon GO Craze All About in NH?

Pokemon Go Safety Tips New HampshirePokémon GO Safety Tips in NH?

At some point or another, we have all heard somebody more responsible than us utter the familiar phrase, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt!” Well, in the case of the new Pokémon Go app, that seems to literally be the case.  Even though the game was released over two weeks ago, the Pokémon Go craze shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The concept seems simple enough and the creator company has found tremendous success by combining the virtual game world with reality. The app’s official website touts that, “With Pokémon GO, you’ll discover Pokémon in a whole new world—your own! Pokémon GO  . . . will use real locations to encourage players to search far and wide in the real world to discover Pokémon.”
Avoid Being Distracted While Searching

It is the searching “far and wide” part that has caused trouble for some players. One player was stabbed in Forest Grove, Oregon while searching for a Pokémon (and continued to play after being stabbed). A crowd of stampeding players descended upon Central Park in New York when one of the game’s rare creatures suddenly appeared on mobile screens. Several people across the country have gotten into car accidents because they were looking at their phones instead of where they were going. Several kids have fallen off of skateboards, bikes and into ditches in their quest for creatures. Some players literally have fallen off cliffs. And this is just a sampling of what has been going on.

These crazy things are happening right here in New Hampshire in cities like Nashua and Manchester. On a scorching Friday afternoon, players can be seen walking down the sidewalks gripping their phones tightly with their eyes glued to the screens.

Play Responsibly and Beware of Other Players

Tips for playing the game safely are pretty straightforward: Parents, make sure you know what your kids are doing and where they are going; Kids, play the game with a buddy or in groups and do not venture out by yourself; Do not attempt to drive a car, ride a bike or a skateboard while playing the game; Watch where you are walking; Do not go places you would not normally go if you were not playing the game; Check in regularly with your parents or friends; and Refrain from trespassing on people’s property!

With respect to legal issues . . . be aware that injuring someone while you are playing the game is very likely negligence and could easily result in a lawsuit.
Telling the officer that you didn’t see that girl in the crosswalk because you were playing Pokémon is not going to go over well at all. Distracted driving is a serious matter than can land you in a world of trouble.

If you have been injured by someone that was playing Pokémon at the time, you may have a case and should contact a New Hampshire personal injury lawyer to discuss the facts.

By Joseph Annutto


Friday, September 2, 2016

Avoid Auto Accidents & Injury - Labor Day Safety Tips in NH

Car Accident Attorney in NH
Top Causes of Accidents Each Labor Day

The National Safety Council is reporting that traffic fatalities are at an all-time high as the percentage of accidents taking place continues to increase. The state of New Hampshire actually ranks 3rd in the list of the largest increase among driving fatalities. The study has found that the increase in fatalities due to car accidents is due to the economy improving and travel picking up within the last two years.
This year alone, as many as 19,100 individuals were killed from January to June. This is an 18% increase from just two years ago for the same time frame. As the Labor Day weekend draws near, the council is predicting that over 400 people will be killed on the roadways.

Holiday Driving Safety Tips

As a driver or passenger, you want to stay safe this Labor Day holiday. It is important to understand the causes behind such fatal accidents so you can avoid them. Below are a few tips to follow in regards to your own driving as well as the driving of others.

•    Avoid driving over the speed limit
•    Do not text and drive
•    Watch out for erratic drivers
•    Avoid aggressive drivers, slow down and allow such drivers to pass
•    Distracted driving is a big no-no. Always keep your hands on the wheel and pay attention to other motorists.

When you see a driver acting erratically or feel unsafe on the roadways, take an alternate route home. You want to stay safe and other drivers may not have your safety in mind. Avoid taking major highways during the Labor Day weekend to avoid drunk drivers or aggressive speeders. If you can, avoid driving altogether so you do not face the potential of being in a fatal car wreck.
This Labor Day is set up to be a dangerous one based on statistics. With fatalities during car accidents continuing to be on the rise, it is recommended that drivers avoid the roadways late at night or only travel when needed. As everyone gets out on the road during the holiday, traffic can become congested which can lead to aggressive behavior or other issues.

What to Do if Involved and Injured in an Automobile Accident

If you find that you are subject to a traffic accident, consult an attorney. Be sure that you are covered based on insurance purposes as well as liability. An attorney in New Hampshire with experience in traffic accidents and injuries will be able to help you build a case if there is a need.

By Joseph Annutto


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

What is Revenge Porn? Now a Felony in New Hampshire

Revenge Porn on Social MediaIn New Hampshire, “Revenge Porn” is Now a Felony

Most of us know that you must be very careful with what you say or post on the Internet because you never know when it might came back to bite you. There are countless stories of underage co-eds who post party pictures only later to face law enforcement. Then there are employees who post images of questionable taste and later have to face angry employers. Potential careers are ended before they even begin due to particular images that are out there in cyber space. While many of these unfortunate images are posted voluntarily, many are not – including those depicting very private moments.

Be Careful What You Share

Because of today’s ever-evolving technology and the seemingly endless obsession with social media, information is spread across the Internet at breakneck speed. News, photographs, videos, status updates and messages can travel around the globe within seconds.

And, with respect to sexual images and videos, the display to the public is the last thing that many depicted individuals want. 

In fact, the vast majority of people who are depicted in sexual photographs and videos (either willingly or unknowingly) would do just about anything to keep those images private. However, sometimes relationships turn bad and the “keeper” of the images may have less than honorable intentions and do the unthinkable – share the images with others WITHOUT the consent of those depicted in the images.

This nonconsensual sharing of private sexual images, often referred to as “revenge porn,” is becoming more frequent and the victims include those from moms and teachers to celebrities, sports stars and politicians. 90% of victims are women. These images and videos most frequently are distributed through social media sites, email and text messages. Even if the images are quickly deleted, once they are out in cyberspace, they are out there for good.

The good news is that a growing number of states, including New Hampshire, are taking serious action to protect those who wish to keep their sexual images private.

New Hampshire has joined 26 other states in making revenge porn a felony offense. The newly-enacted law states that “the act of purposely sharing, with the intent to harass, intimidate, threaten or coerce the depicted person” is no longer a misdemeanor, but a Class B felony.
New Bill Signed in New Hampshire Law

New Hampshire’s governor, Maggie Hassan, signed the bill into law in May and received support from both Republicans and Democrats. Hassan stated that, “In an increasingly technological world, there are new threats to the privacy and security of our citizens, including the [sharing] of private sexual images without consent, a practice that is harmful and immoral. By making it a felony to disseminate private sexual images of another individual without their consent, [the new law] is a common-sense step forward in our efforts to protect and maintain the privacy of Granite Staters.”

By Joseph Annutto


Friday, July 1, 2016

Staying Safe on New Hampshire Highways During the Fourth of July Weekend

Holidays are memorable times of the year, when families and friends come together and engage in cookouts, firework displays, and alcohol consumption. These celebrations tend to bring out the best and the worst behaviors in most people, usually drivers. The 4th of July commemorates the Independence Day, and many drivers take their celebration of Independence to the highways of New Hampshire. Safety is not a major concern of someone intoxicated or impaired behind the steering wheel. Millions of people are injured or killed on the highways, during national holidays; especially, around the Fourth of July weekend.
Drinking and driving, and setting off fireworks are a deadly combination, but there are ways to avoid becoming a statistic and a victim. Here are three tips to staying safe, and avoid DUI in New Hampshire during the Fourth of July weekend.

Safety Tips 

1.    Do not drink and drive - vision and reflexes are impaired, and reaction time is slow. Drinking affects judgement, and coordination. These are the skills needed to make good driving decisions.
2.    Designate a driver or call a taxi service - know your limitation. Never drink and sit behind the wheel of a vehicle, after consuming two or more drinks. With each drink consumed the alcohol levels in the bloodstream increases.
3.    Buckle up - drivers and passengers without seatbelts are ejected from the vehicle, during impact. For safety reasons, and to preserve life, remember to wear a seatbelt, always.

Alcohol affects drivers in different ways, depending on their alcohol level in their bloodstream. Some drivers pass out behind the steering wheel, which puts not only their life, but also others, life in danger. Statistics shows that alcohol impaired drivers in New Hampshire account for a large percentage of deaths, injuries, hospital care, emergency services, and legal proceedings.

A Collective Action Issue Brief # 6- September 2014 provides the following information about (IMPAIRED DRIVING IN NH). According to this information: 

•    More than 300,000 people drive drunk each day
•    About 1/3 of all impaired drivers are repeat offenders
•    Nearly half of the drivers killed in collisions were under the influence of drugs or alcohol
•    Drunk driving is highest among drivers age 21- 25 (23.4)
•    Males are more likely to drive drunk than females

The information above does not reflect the total number of DUI arrests, injuries, or deaths associated with drivers in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire statistics are as follows: 

•    Every three out of fours arrests for DWI are males
•    Most arrests for DWI occur during the weekends
•    Majority of arrests for DWI occurs between 12 midnight and 3 AM.

Stay Safe While Traveling

Driving out of town or in town is dangerous during certain hours of the day, especially during the Fourth of July. People are rushing to get on the highway, or beat the traffic on the interstate. This accounts for most accidents, and injuries. The best way to stay safe is to not drink and drive, do not speed, and keep a look out for impaired drivers. Be sure to gas up, and get the vehicle serviced, before getting on the highways.

By Joseph Annutto