In New Hampshire, transporting open containers of alcohol is a violation level offense. The exact language of the statute states that no driver or passenger “shall carry, possess, or have any liquor or beverage within the passenger area of any motor vehicle upon any way in this state except in the original container and with the seal unbroken”. NH RSA 265-A: 44, I-II. This means that open containers containing alcoholic beverages are not allowed in a vehicle that is in motion or is parked in a public place. If you are stopped with an open container in your vehicle, you can be arrested and charged with transporting alcohol even if the beverage does not belong to you. If you have been charged with transporting alcohol, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer on Possible Penalties if Convicted
The penalties for transporting alcohol vary based on the age of the accused and whether it is the first or a subsequent offense.
Adults over the age of 21 who are convicted of transporting alcohol can have their license revoked for up to 60 days, receive a $150 fine. The maximum fine is $1000.00. If it is a subsequent offense, then the defendant can have his or her license suspended for up to one year.
Minors under the age of 21 who are convicted of transporting alcohol can receive a fine, have their license suspended up to 60 days, and be forced to undergo a court ordered substance abuse education program. If it is a subsequent offense, then the minor can have his or her license suspended for up to one year.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
While transporting alcohol is a violation, the penalties for conviction can be difficult for most clients. In most cases where a conviction occurs, the accused can expect to lose their license for some period of time. Most people need their driver's license to be able to go to work or school or to fulfill family obligations. Our criminal defense attorneys understand the hardship that a loss of license can place on an individual and fights hard to provide the best defense possible for all clients.
Depending on the individual circumstances of your case, we may be able to negotiate a plea for you that could help you avoid losing your license. Such a plea may involve your having to complete community service or a substance abuse treatment program. It is important to note that negotiating a plea bargain is not an option in every case. Once you retain a criminal defense lawyer, we will be able to give you guidance concerning your individual case.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney
Contact our criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Chadwick-Fricano-Weber to discuss the details of your case. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, it is essential that you have an experienced lawyer on your side fighting to ensure that your rights are protected and working hard to provide you with the best defense possible. Call our office at (603) 880-6100 to schedule an initial consultation.