If you drive negligently and don't obey the rules of the road, you may end up getting into a car accident and charged with criminal negligence. Getting convicted for this offense can result in paying expensive fines and having demerit points added to your driving record. The impact of a conviction for negligent driving can last for a long time. You should seek legal counsel from a highly skilled criminal defense attorney to help you deal with the pending case. A criminal defense lawyer will protect your rights and ensure your case is being handled properly.
A Criminal Defense Attorney on Negligent Operation
Negligent operation of a vehicle entails putting the safety of other people at risk as a result of driving negligently or causing a vehicle to be driven negligently. A first-time offender may get fined from $250to $1,000 and receive a 60-day license suspension. A second conviction could result in a minimum $750 fine and a license suspension that lasts from 60 days to 12 months. If you have previous motor vehicle violations on your driving record, a conviction for negligent driving could lead to becoming certified as a habitual offender. A criminal defense attorney will aggressively fight to get a favorable outcome.
Hands Free Law
Recently, the New Hampshire Legislature enacted the "hands free law." RSA 265:79-c prohibits the following:
I. (a) No person, while driving a moving motor vehicle upon a way or temporarily halted in traffic for a traffic control device or other momentary delay, shall use any hand-held mobile electronic device capable of providing voice or data communication, including but not limited to: reading, composing, viewing, or posting any electronic message; or initiating, receiving, or conducting a conversation; or initiating a command or request to access the Internet; or inputting information into a global positioning system or navigation device; or manually typing data into any other portable electronic device. An operator of a motor vehicle who holds a cellular telephone or other electronic device capable of voice communication in the immediate proximity of his or her ear while such vehicle is in motion is presumed to be engaging in a call within the meaning of this section.
(b) "Driving,'' for the purposes of this section, shall not include when a person is behind the controls of a vehicle that has pulled to the side of or off the road at a location where it is legal to do so and where the vehicle remains stationary.
II. It shall not be an offense under this section for any person driving a motor vehicle upon a way:
(a) To make use of a cellular telephone or other electronic device capable of voice communication to report an emergency to the enhanced 911 system or directly to a law enforcement agency, fire department, or emergency medical provider.
(b) To use one hand to transmit or receive messages on any non-cellular 2-way radio.
(c) To use a Bluetooth enabled or other hands-free electronic device, or a similar device that is physically or electronically integrated into a motor vehicle, for such a purpose to send or receive information provided the driver does not have to divert his or her attention from the road ahead. As used in this section, "hands-free electronic device'' means a mobile electronic device that has an internal feature or function, or that is equipped with an attachment or addition, whether or not permanently part of such mobile electronic device, by which a user engages in conversation without the use of either hand; provided, however, this definition shall not preclude the use of either hand merely to activate, deactivate, or initiate a function of the telephone.
(d) To perform any action required by an ignition interlock device.
III. Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a violation and shall be fined $100 plus penalty assessment for a first offense, $250 plus penalty assessment for a second offense, and $500 plus penalty assessment for any subsequent offense within a 24-month period.
IV. No person less than 18 years of age shall use a cellular or mobile telephone or other mobile electronic device, whether hands-free or not, while driving a motor vehicle in motion or temporarily stopped in traffic upon any way, except to report an emergency to the enhanced 911 system or any public safety agency. A person violating this paragraph shall be subject to the fines in paragraph III and license suspension or revocation under RSA 263:14, III.
V. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a driver, regardless of age, from receiving aural routing information from a hands-free global positioning device or navigation service through a mobile electronic device; or receiving turn-by-turn routing information from the screen of a global positioning device or navigation service through a mobile electronic device that is integrated into the vehicle or mounted on the dashboard, windshield, or visor of the vehicle.
Liability for Negligent Driving Discussed by a Criminal Defense Attorney
Even though it is fairly common for people to file personal injury lawsuits if they are hurt in a car accident caused by someone else's wrongful conduct, there is a higher standard of proof that must be established in order for the state to charge a person with criminal negligence. The prosecutor must show that your actions posed a substantial and unjustifiable risk that deviated from the way a reasonable person would have behaved in a similar situation.
Being charged with negligent driving is a serious legal matter because the prosecutor possesses the resources needed to build a strong case against you. A criminal defense attorney understands the complexities involved in these types of cases. By retaining an attorney, you'll have a legal advocate who can analyze the evidence, assert an effective defense, and persuasively present your side of the story to the court. We will work diligently on your behalf.
Get Help from a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing a negligent driving charge, contact the Law Office of Chadwick-Fricano-Weber for legal assistance. A criminal defense attorney will review your case and determine the proper course of action. Call us at (603) 880-6100 to schedule an initial consultation.