Interviewer: What is the typical range of penalties with a first time DWI that is not aggravated?
David: The typical plea offer that comes forward for a first offense, a true first, is basically the minimum penalties. It would be a $500 fine plus penalty assessment and a loss of license sentence which in the first instance is nine months long.
However, if you actually jump through the hoops you have with respect to programming, loss of license can later be reduced to three months. The hoops that went into effect January 1st basically require the individual to get a drug and alcohol screening done within 14 days.
If that person thinks you need to be evaluated to determine if you have a full fledged problem, then they would send you out for a full substance abuse disorder evaluation. It is brand new and would result in all sorts of different programming.
If they do not think you fit that category, then they send you to the basic alcohol education program. Like I said, that is your typical first offense.
Interviewer: Regarding license suspension, nine months may get reduced to three months and there is a $500 fine. Is there probation or any other requirements?
David: For your first offense DWI over age 21, the minimum fine is $500 and the maximum could be as much as $1,200. The minimum loss of license in the first instance is nine months and the maximum could be two years.
The nine month loss of license can be reduced to six months if: the client gets the screening done within 14 days; does the programming required; and then goes back to the court and requests that the nine months is reduced to three, or the two years is reduced to a year and a half.
In terms of probation and being supervised by a probation officer, that does happen on the first offense.
Interviewer: In New Hampshire, once you get a DWI conviction and you are adduced to a second one, how long is the look back period where you are considered as having a first again and not a second?
David: The look back period in New Hampshire currently is 10 years. They changed it from seven years, maybe seven or eight years ago at this point. But generally speaking, right now it is a 10 year look back for second offenders.
If you have a conviction that is 11 years in the past, then you are charged with a first offense. However, when you go into the system, if you get convicted, you might not get the minimums I just described.