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What to expect for a first DUI charge

DUIs occur all the time in New Hampshire. With the end of 2018 around the corner, there is bound to be a boon of DUIs before the year ends. Look no further than a Merrimack man police arrested for driving under the influence after catching him driving erratically. 

A first DUI charge in New Hampshire is a Class B misdemeanor. It may not sound like much, but you may still need to deal with the consequences for years to come. You can read state law on the subject to learn more, but here are the basics if you have to contend with a first-time DUI charge. 

Penalty

While a Class B misdemeanor is a criminal offense, it is not punishable with jail time. Although you will not end up in jail, you may still face up to a two-year suspension of your driver's license and a fine of up to $1,200. However, these are the maximum penalties you will face if your DUI results in an accident or property damage. If the police arrest you for DUI and nothing else, then it is far more likely you will face the minimum penalties, especially if it is your first run-in with the law. The minimum penalty is a nine-month license suspension and a $500 fine. Most of the time, the offender also has to attend DUI classes 

Timeframe

In our state, a first DUI offense is only valid if it is a person's first offense ever. That means if an individual has a DUI offense in another state, it counts in New Hampshire. Additionally, an offense is a first charge if it is the only time a person has broken the law within the last 10 years. This is a unique feature of New Hampshire. In other states like Massachusetts, DUI offenses remain on a person's record for life. That means that in these states, if you get a DUI 20 years after your first one, you will face jail time. 

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