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Attorney Skoropowski

Attorney Skoropowski

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New Hampshire State Rep. Gary Wheaton was recently convicted of Reckless Driving in Derry District Court.  Wheaton received the minimums on the violation level offense, which are $500 plus penalty and 60 day loss of license.  He was stopped in the parking lot of a local Londonderry restaurant. 

http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110215/NEWS/102150325

Tagged in: reckless driving
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Posted by on in Bankruptcy

Individuals that are currently in foreclosure may benefit from a program that many large banks offer.  It's called cash for keys.  Essentially, once a house is foreclosed and ownership transfers to the buying, that buyer does not immediately take possession of the house.  In some case, foreclosed on homeowners stay at the abode for 6 months or even a year after the foreclosure sale.  

Instead of going through the eviction process and to advert possible damage to the house from the previous homeowners or others, many banks will offer cash for keys.  The previous homeowner agrees with the bank to maintain the property and to leave at a current date.  In exchange, the bank will offer the "tenant" cash.  This can range from $1500-$5000.  If you're in the situation, it is advisible to give your bank a call and inquire about the program. 

Tagged in: cash for keys
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Posted by on in Blog

Driving under the influence of NyQuil can now land you in jail for driving under the influence.  Starting on January 1 of this year, New Hampshire has amended it's DWI laws to include over the counter cold medicines.  Simply admitting to having a cold and taking medicine could give police officer probable cause to arrest you for DWI.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2261994/Driving-influence-NyQuil-Sudafed-illegal-New-Hampshire-DUI-laws-toughened.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

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Posted by on in Criminal Defense

Under New Hampshire RSA 179:10, it is unlawful for a minor (under 21) to consume or possess alcohol.  This is a violation level offense with a minimum fine of $300 for first time offenders.  Subsequent offenses raise the minimum fine to $600.

Additionally, any minor convicted under this statute faces license revocation pursuant to RSA 263:56-b.  At the discretion of the court, a minor may lose her license for a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of 1 year.

If you have been arrested for under age possession or intoxication, it is critical to speak with an experienced criminal attorney in order to safeguard your rights. 

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New Hampshire's finest were out in full force on New Year's Eve keeping the roads safe.  Remember be smart and don't drink and drive.

http://bedford-nh.patch.com/articles/nh-state-police-arrest-15-for-dui-on-new-year-s-eve

Tagged in: state police
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WMUR is reporting that Manchester lawyer Lisa Biron is facing a charge of sexual explotaition of a minor.  Allegedly, Ms. Biron solicated a minor for the purpose of taking him to Canada in order to engage in sexual activity.  Since she took the minor across state lines, the U.S. Attorney's office is prosecuting the case.

She is up on additional charges, and has plead not guilty.

http://www.wmur.com/news/nh-news/Lawyer-faces-new-child-exploitation-charge/-/9857858/18003296/-/9pg3x1/-/index.html

Tagged in: federal
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Posted by on in Criminal Defense

New Hampshire RSA 637:4 Theft by Unauthorized Taking is defined as, "A person commits theft if he obtains or exercises unauthorized control over the property of another with a purpose to deprive him thereof."

The penalties for theft are found in NH RSA 637:11

637:11 Penalties. – 
    I. Theft constitutes a class A felony if: 
       (a) The value of the property or services exceeds $1,500, or 
       (b) The property stolen is a firearm, or 
       (c) The actor is armed with a deadly weapon at the time of the theft, except that if the deadly weapon is a firearm, he shall be sentenced in accordance with RSA 651:2, II-g. 
    II. Theft constitutes a class B felony if: 
       (a) The value of the property or services is more than $1,000 but not more than $1,500, or 
       (b) The actor has been twice before convicted of theft of property or services, as a felony or class A misdemeanor, or 
       (c) The theft constitutes a violation of RSA 637:5, II(a) or (b), or 
       (d) The property or services stolen are from 3 separate business establishments within a 72-hour period, or 
       (e) The property is stolen with intent to resell or distribute. It would be prima facie evidence that the offense constitutes theft with intent to resell or distribute when the theft consists of goods or merchandise in quantities that would not normally be purchased for personal use or consumption, or 
       (f) The property received in violation of RSA 637:7 consists of goods or merchandise in quantities that would not normally be purchased for personal use or consumption, or 
       (g) The actor has twice before been convicted of offenses under RSA 637:3-a, II and the present and prior convictions were based on offenses committed within a 36-month period. 
    III. Theft constitutes a misdemeanor if the value of the property or services does not exceed $1,000.

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Yes, in the State of New Hampshire you are legally allowed to use non-deadly force when you reasonably believe that such force is necessary to prevent or terminate criminal trespass.  The statute codifying this is NH RSA 627:7 - Use of Force in Defense of Premises.

"A person in possession or control of premises or a person who is licensed or privileged to be thereon is justified in using non-deadly force upon another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent or terminate the commission of a criminal trespass by such other in or upon such premises, but he may use deadly force under such circumstances only in defense of a person as prescribed in RSA 627:4 or when he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent an attempt by the trespasser to commit arson."

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The statute is relatively narrow.  Shooting at someone on your lawn, is not advisable. 

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The statute reads:

I.  Any person held in official custody who commits an assault under RSA 631 is guilty of an offense under this section

II.  Aninmate is guilty of aggravated assault on a corrections staff member when, with intent to harass, threaten, or alarm a person whom the inmate knows or reasoanbly should know to be an employee of such facility, or an employee of any law enforcement agency, the inmate causes or attempts to cause such employee to come in contact with blood, seminal fluid, urine, or feces by throwing or expelling such fluid or material.

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The statute then goes on to define terms in the body of the paragraphs I and II.  Make no mistake, Assault by Prisoners is a serious offense and when a police officer and other employee is involved this is a felony charge. 

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On Wednesday, December 19 a Derry man was arrested for going 108 mph on 93 N in a construction zone near exit 5.   He's set to be arraigned in February. 

http://www.londonderrynh.net/2012/12/derry-man-arrested-for-108mph-in-construction-zone-on-i93/58600

Tagged in: speeding derry
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David Connare was charged with DUI and Reckless driving following a crash on 93 N in October.  He was arraigned in Manchester district court on December 10, 2012. 

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20121017/NEWS07/710189990

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Posted by on in Blog

What are lesser included offenses?  These are crimes that contain the same elements as more serious charges.  One example is robbery.  Robbery is larceny by force.  You can think of larceny as theft.  You take someone's property with the intent to permantely deprive them. These are all elements of robbery as well.  However, robbery also includes the use of force or intimination.  The state can't convict you of robbery, larceny, and assault.  If you are convicted of robbery, then under the merger doctrine the lesser offenses are merged into the more serious offense. 

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The simple answer to this is...replevin.  It's one of those odd words that isn't really known outside of attorneys.  A writ of replevin is a state court remedy that allows a creditor to recover unlawfully held goods. In the case of bankruptcy, a debtor who neither reaffirms the debt nor surrenders the property is unlawfully holding the property.  Thus, the creditor must obtain judgment in state court and have the court issue a writ of replevin.  The writ must be served by a sheriff upon the debtor.  The debtor then must surrender the property or by in contempt of a court order. 

Tagged in: replevin
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A Hillsborough County Superior Court jury convicted Myles Webster of convicted murder today.  The incident stemmed from a March 21 shooting on the corner of Wayne and Rimmons streets in Manchester, New Hampshire.  Webster was being chased by Manchester Daniel Doherty after an attempted robbery.  Webster emptied his .357 Glock semi-automatic pistol as Doherty lay on the ground.  Luckily, the officer was not killed in the incident.  The details are below. 

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20121211/NEWS03/121219892

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The Union Leader published an interesting article on the use of deadly force when defending yourself at your home.

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20121209/NEWS03/121209176

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Yes it is.  Under RSA 265:25 Following Too Closely, The driver of a vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the way.  So what does that mean?  It means if you get pulled over for tailgating, it is a complete judgment call for the officer involved. 

As a corollary to tailgating, if you have been out for dinner and had a couple glasses of wine, this would give an officer reasonable suspicion to pull you over and may invite field sobriety tests.  Watch how closely you follow cars, and be safe out there. 

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Posted by on in DWI

The legislature voted earlier this year to change how after care is handled for DWI convictions.  Impaired Driver Care Management Programs will replace the current system.  The details of the new program are not well known as of yet which we expect will create confusion in the up coming months. 

Tagged in: IDCMP
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Not really.  I'm sure many of you have seen Grand Jury Indictments in Law and Order, but that's not it works in New Hampshire.  Although we do provide for Grand Jury Indictments under Rule 8 of New Hampshire Criminal Procedure, in practice they are not utilized.  Instead, we simply have arraignments at district court for misdemeanors and violations.  If you are charged with a felony, you will have a probable cause hearing before a district court judge.  If the judge finds probable cause, which they almost always do, your case is transferred to superior court.  New Hampshire district courts do not have jurisdiction to hear felony charges. 

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If you have received a Habitual Offender letter in the mail from the New Hampshire DMV, I highly suggest you contact a lawyer.  The New Hampshire DMV will certify a driver as a Habitual Offender when that driver accrues the following violations/crimes in a 5 year span:

3 majors

12 minors

Or a combination of majors and minors such as:

2 majors and 4 minors

Major violations are DWI, Reckless Driving, Driving after Suspension etc.

Minor violations are speeding, improper lane change etc. 

You have a right to a hearing before an examiner at the New Hampshire Department of Safety.  I can't stress enough that you should NOT ignore the letter.  If you do not appear before the hearings examiner, you could use your license for 4 years.  If you drive after being classified as a Habitual Offender, you are facing a felony and not less than 1 year in prison.  Call us to discuss your options. 

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Yes, driving a motor vehicle when your license is suspended can be a crime.  RSA 263:64 states, "No person shall drive a motor vehicle in this state while the person's driver's license or privilege to drive is suspended or revoked by action of the director or the justice of any court in this state, or competent authority in the out-of-state jurisdiction where the license was issued. 

New Hampshire has enacted harsh penalties for those that drive while their license has been suspended.

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/263/263-64.htm

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