If a person is charged with a DWI while on probation for prior offenses, the person’s probation officer would file a probation violation and initiate a probation violation proceeding against them because a person on probation in New Hampshire has some suspended sentence term hanging over their head. The probation officer will look to try to impose all or a part of that old suspended sentence based on this new arrest.

These types of cases have to be handled carefully. A person does not want a probation violation hearing happening before the trial so they want to make sure that that happens afterward, because a person may win the case at trial. In which case, at the next probation violation hearing, the potential for a good outcome is more favorable.

It is important to work with a skilled third offense DWI attorney when dealing with third offense DWI cases while on probation in New Hampshire. An experienced attorney is your best chance for a positive outcome in your case.

Previous Charges

A person who is facing a third offense in New Hampshire and who is on probation for a prior DWI offense is looking at the penalties for the new DUI third offense plus whatever jail sentence and other ramifications the person still has hanging over their head for the probationary period on the prior conviction.

The person who is on probation for an unrelated charge, assuming it is not alcohol or drug-based, might be better off than a person who is on probation for a DWI because it just looks to the probation officer and court like this person did not get it after the second offense, therefore, those parties often think, that driver should look at doubling down on the punishment may be harsher if they are on probation for the exact same type of offense that they have violated their probation for.

Additional Charges

When a person is placed on probation in New Hampshire, they are ordered not to commit a local, state or federal crime.  While it may well be that the person charged did not commit a crime, or it could be a wrong accusation on a charge, it is going to cause the wheels to go in motion at the probation department as far as the probation violation goes as well as the prosecuting attorney will more than likely file a revocation of bail.

The extra charge that the person would be facing would be a probation violation. In New Hampshire, a probation officer can basically lock someone up for one to seven days before they even get a hearing, and then they will start the probation violation process. The lawyer will try to move the probation violation process out until after the trial.

Conditions of Probation

Usually, a person on probation needs to visit with their probation officer for some regular period of time, either weekly or bi-weekly, they have to maintain employment, which becomes difficult because they do not have a driver’s license and they are required to take drug screens if, basically, it is a DWI drug charge but in almost all cases, they are required to take some sort of drug screen and the probation officer also makes sure they are in compliance with their DWI programs if they have already been sentenced. If the program were to report to the court but the driver blew off the program and did not do it, That could trigger a probation violation as well.

A usual condition of probation is that they cannot commit any state or federal crimes. If they are accused of committing a state crime, then that could be enough, usually, for the probation officer to file a violation. It can just be based on the arrest itself, it does not mean that they are going to be convicted of the probation violation but it would still initiate the proceedings.

Being charged alone is not enough, by itself, particularly if they are acquitted. If the driver is acquitted and they still have a probationary period of time from the old case, then they would have to complete that because that was for a prior offense that was not for this one that the driver was just acquitted of.

Impact on a Case

It adds stress to the defendant and impacts a case because they have now got two things hanging over their head. It is easier for the state to prove a probation violation on a third offense DWI charge in New Hampshire than it is to prove someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the new charge. The accused person is under tremendous stress because, now, they have got the weight of the third offense and the weight of the probation violation hanging over their head.

It is important, procedurally, to make sure that the probation violation hearing does not happen before the trial because then the person could be locked up for something they are later acquitted of. The lawyer would try to move the probation violation out until after the trial but the other thing that it can affect is a person’s bail status.

If a driver is out on bail for some amount of either cash or personal recognizance for the third offense DWI charge in New Hampshire and then they get this probation violation, there is going to be an argument from the prosecutor to revoke their bail and, at the least, to ratchet it up higher.

Extending Probation

A person cannot receive probation for violating an existing probation in New Hampshire. What the court does in some cases, is extend the probation period. If a person was on probation for two years and in the 23rd month of it, they get a DWI third offense, typically, and they will want some form of punishment if they are convicted for the probation violation itself or some jail sentence, but they may not impose the whole amount of their suspended license on them. It may just be part of it and then they extend the probationary period for another year or something just to keep an eye on the driver for a longer period of time.