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Negligent homicide DWI

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New Hampshire, DWI Laws, & Negligent Homicide

By itself, a simple DWI charge in the state of New Hampshire can produce a number of negative ramifications. However, if another person is killed in a vehicular accident in which you are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, the situation suddenly becomes much more serious. When a fatal or otherwise serious accident occurs in our state, police officers automatically examine all motorists involved for signs of drug or alcohol impairment. This fact remains true even if a motorist has been severely injured or passes away. Unfortunately, accidents involving motorists who are driving under the influence of alcohol are all too common. According to data recently released by the Century Council, the year 2011 saw nearly 10,000 individuals nationwide killed in crashes caused by impaired motorists. 27 of these deaths occurred in New Hampshire.

Recently, in the state of Tennessee, a male driver was formally charged with DWI manslaughter after he and his spouse were involved in a collision which involved their vehicle striking a tree. The 27 year old motorist, McKenzie Nattiel, was driving his automobile on Tennessee roadways with his wife in the passenger seat. After going around a curve too quickly, Nattiel lost control of his automobile, which resulted in the vehicle striking a tree. His wife, Michaela Alyecia Dewitt-Nattiel, incurred a number of severe injuries, and she sadly passed away at the local hospital early the next morning. As of now, McKenzie Nattiel is facing charges of DWI manslaughter because police officers at the scene discovered that his BAC (blood alcohol concentration) levels were well above Tennessee’s legal limit of .08%.

Negligent Homicide Charges In New Hampshire

In our state of New Hampshire, a fatality that occurs as a direct result of driving while intoxicated is often classified as negligent homicide. Per NH’s criminal state RSA 630:3 II, an individual can be formally charged with negligent homicide if they are the direct cause of another person’s death whilst “being under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled drug or any combination of intoxicating liquor and controlled drug while operating a propelled vehicle”.

In our state, a negligent homicide that results from driving while intoxicated is classified as a Class A felony. You can face this type of charge if you were driving an automobile, recreational vehicle, or even a boat. Per our current state statutes, an intoxicated motorist who is convicted of this charge will be subjected to severe monetary fines, up to 15 years of imprisonment in the state penitentiary, and a number of other criminal sanctions and penalties. Moreover, a convicted motorist will automatically have their driver’s license revoked and will be unable to reapply to have their license reinstated for a minimum of 7 years. Should the convicted motorist have their driving privileges reinstated, then he or she will be required to use an ignition interlock device for a minimum of 5 years after the initial reinstatement.

If convicted of negligent homicide in the state of New Hampshire, the defendant will have a felony conviction added to their criminal record. Educational institutions and prospective employers frequently check a person’s criminal history before making a final decision, as do some landlords. Having this type of conviction on one’s record can result in the defendant’s application being denied.

Obtaining Evidence For NH Negligent Homicide Cases

For driving while intoxicated cases that result in the death of another person, blood evidence is what is being sought. In our state, police officers and investigators retain the legal authority to demand a blood sample from a motorist even when they have not obtained a search warrant. If the police officer possesses probable cause that a motorist was the direct cause of the accident, then they may request a blood sample from that motorist. Many DWI defense lawyers believe that there is a problem with this particular statute, and it has constitutionality has been challenged in a New Hampshire court of law before.

In instances where the death was purportedly caused by an intoxicated driver, the state requires that reasonable proof that the defendant cause the accident be provided. A skilled NH DWI lawyer will know and understand that intoxication and the presence of alcohol alone does not always act as the sole cause of an accident. More than likely, there are other contributing factors that can be uncovered through the employment of accident reconstruction.

Furthermore, it is also important to ensure that the vehicles involved in the accident are thoroughly examined. An automobile’s history can often reveal much information regarding the cause of an accident, and these causes may not always be readily apparent. Equipment malfunctions and faulty computers routinely cause devastating accidents, but state investigators frequently overlook these types of contributing factors. An experienced DWI attorney will demand that the state preserve valuable evidence, including the automobiles involved in the accident for inspection by experienced experts for the purpose of whether or not an equipment failure could have contributed to the cause of an accident.

The Importance Of Having the Right Legal Representation

The seriousness of a negligent homicide charge cannot be stressed enough. If you should find yourself in the unfortunate position of facing this type of charge, then it is imperative to ensure that you have a skilled and experienced NH DWI lawyer working on your behalf. An individual who is involved in a deadly accident with even the slightest trace of alcohol or drugs in their system could potentially be charged with negligent homicide.

Regardless of the specific circumstances surrounding your case, it is of the utmost importance that you have a thorough understanding of your legal rights in addition to what defense options are available to you. This is where our DWI attorneys can step in to offer their assistance. For more information regarding negligent homicide charges in the state of New Hampshire and how you can effectively combat them, please contact one of our New Hampshire DWI attorneys today. Your initial consultation is free.



Disclaimer: Past results do not guarantee a future outcome. Results include cases in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Attorney Dan Hynes is admitted to practice law only in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This website may be considered advertising. Contacting us does not create an attorney/client relationship and the information on this site is not legal advice and may be inaccurate or not applicable to your case. Each case is different.

Mailing Address: Dan Hynes PO BOX 598 Merrimack, NH 03054