The most common way that a drunk driving charge can be elevated to a felony DWI in New Hampshire is injury or death as the result of a DWI accident.

In the case of a death as a result of a DWI accident, a person could receive a negligent homicide charge. New Hampshire prosecutors have also begun getting manslaughter indictments for felony DWI cases. In cases where no death resulted from the accident, an aggravated DWI felony indictment usually follows.

The injury caused by the accident, increasing the charge to a felony, can actually be injuries to the driver themselves.  Even though there is no victim—they are their own victims in that circumstance—that can still be a felony.

If you are being charged with a felony drunk driving charge in New Hampshire, contact a New Hampshire DWI lawyer today for assistance in building the best possible defense based on the facts and circumstances of the case.


The penalties of a felony DWI conviction have a minimum sentence of 21 consecutive days in jail. Depending on the specific charge the penalties can have anywhere from three and a half years up to seven years maximum in prison.

Value of a Local Attorney

The benefits of a local New Hampshire DWI attorney is that they likely know what the sentencing practices are of the judge assigned to their case. A felony DWI lawyer can be a strong advocate throughout the whole process. Sometimes the driver is hurt, has their own medical issues, or are their own victim. With a local driving while intoxicated attorney, the defendant has someone to look to to help them understand what they are facing and how best to proceed. The attorney help them be aware of what they are facing if they are convicted of this and help make strategic decisions in building a defense with greater knowledge and understanding.

The other thing is that it also pays to have a local attorney because they know the proficiency of the police officer or officers who made the arrest. An attorney can know how well certain officers:

  • testify
  • explain their observations
  • process the accident scene
  • include or ignore the experts available to them.

An attorney who has worked against these officers in the past may already know how the police officers prefer to process the accident scene themselves and will know to check and see if there were any shortcuts taken that could lead to a more favorable result or perhaps a shot at beating the case.