Criminal Defense

Violent Crimes Lawyer NH

Attorney Monteith is one of the most respected criminal defense lawyers in New Hampshire and has handled many high-profile murder cases, attempted homicide, armed robbery and other serious crimes. With a proven record including many acquittals, dismissals and successful negotiations for reduced sentences.

Do I need an Attorney?

When police are knocking on your door and your freedom is on the line you need an experienced criminal defense attorney standing by your side. It will save you time, money and your personal reputation that can affect everything you do in life

Felony and Misdemeanors

Having a felony or misdemeanor on your record can make life difficult in your career and future.


A misdemeanor is a “lesser” criminal act. Misdemeanors are generally punished much less severely than felonies, but are usually more so than administrative infractions (also known as regulatory offenses). Many misdemeanors are punished with monetary fines.

Misdemeanors Include:

  • Drunk Driving
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Criminal Threatening


Felonies are a more serious crime with more severe sentences. A person convicted in a court of law of a felony crime can be punishable anywhere from death to imprisonment in excess of one year. If punishable by exactly one year or less, it is classified as a misdemeanor.
Felonies Include:

  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Murder
  • Attempted homicide or assault
  • Vehicular assault
  • Arson
  • Vehicular homicide
  • Drug Sales & Possession
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • White Collar Crimes
  • Money Laundering

Felony convictions can have a potential punishment of death

New DWI Laws in New Hampshire 2013

The state of New Hampshire takes DWI arrests very seriously. The consequences can be far-reaching and affect a person’s finances, career, family and even freedom. Any time someone is arrested or charged with DWI in New Hampshire, they should be made aware of their rights as a citizen and also what kind of criminal punishment or penalties they may be facing.

DWI, or driving while intoxicated, is defined in New Hampshire as operating a vehicle, OHRV or boat while under the influence of liquor or any controlled drug, such as prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, natural or synthetic chemical substances or any combination of the above which impairs the ability to operate that particular vehicle.
First Offense DWI
A first offense DWI is categorized as a Class B misdemeanor. A minimum $500 fine is imposed and those convicted lose their license to drive for 9 months to 2 years. There is referral of those charged to an Impaired Driver Care Management Program, along with mandatory alcohol and drug screenings. Those convicted must also pay all of the fees for enrolling and attending mandatory programs. If the drug and alcohol screening is done within 14 days of the conviction or a drug and alcohol abuse program is completed within 30 days of conviction, the New Hampshire court may suspend up to 6 months of the license suspension time.
Second Offense DWI
A second DWI offense has the potential to carry more serious penalties. If the second offense comes within two years of the first offense, there is a 3 year license suspension and a $750 fine. There is also mandatory 60 days in jail (30 may be suspended) and up to one year in jail. Those convicted also need to schedule a substance use disorder evaluation within 30 days of being released. If the second offense happens two years after the first and under ten years since the first there is also a 3 year license suspension and a $750 fine. However, there is a sentence of 17 consecutive days in jail (12 suspended) and a requirement to carry SR-22 insurance before driving privileges are restored.
Third Offense DWI
A third DWI carries a much heftier fine and license suspension. The fine for the third offense is $2000 and there is a five year loss of license. Those convicted could face up to one year in jail and must schedule and complete an Impaired Driver Care Management within a certain timeframe. There is also the penalty of installation of an interlock device on their vehicle for 12 months to 2 years.
Aggravated DWI 
The most serious DWI offense in New Hampshire is a felony aggravated DWI. A DWI becomes a felony offense in the state when there is a collision of a vehicle, boat or OHRV that leads to bodily injury. With this conviction, penalties include a $1000 fine and 35 days in jail along with completion of a substance use disorder evaluation and the placement of an interlock device.
All sentences for DWI in New Hampshire may be dependent on the unique circumstances of each incident along with state minimum sentences that can be imposed. Circumstances such as the driver’s blood alcohol level, nature of why they were pulled over, and the manner in which field sobriety tests were conducted all can factor in to what criminal punishment is imposed. Having a skilled and experienced DWI legal representative involved in your case may help ensure your rights are protected and the least amount of damage is done to your wallet, livelihood and reputation.
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DWI/DUI Defense Attorney NH

Across the broad range of our criminal defense work, Attorney Monteith has represented all types of clients facing DUI charges in Manchester, NH and surrounding towns some include prosecutors, attorneys, executives, doctors and even police officers. We will work for you and fight for your rights to keep your drunk driving charges to the minimum. We have had many not guilty cases and dropped charges for lack of evidence and wrongly accused.

Drug Possession Attorney NH

I have handled many Drug Sales & Possession Charges in larger NH cities like Manchester New Hampshire and Nashua NH State and Federal Courts.
Drug Crimes include:

  • Drug Possession (Cocaine, Marijuana, Methamphetamine)
  • Drug Sales
  • Possessions with Intent
  • Conspiracies
  • Manufacturing
  • Paraphernalia

Prescription Medications (Non Valid Prescription Holder)

Opiods and the Law: How New Hampshire is Making Changes

Opiods are a strong substance used to assist with pain relief for a number of reasons. It seems prescribers are becoming a bit loose with providing the highly addictive drug to patients which has led to an increase in opiod addiction and overdose in the state of New Hampshire. Because the issue has become an epidemic, the state has ramped up efforts in order to manage the often-prescribed medication.

Hospitals, urgent care facilities and other health care facilities must now work together, revisiting protocols in order to ensure that individuals who are treated do not become addicted to opiods after using the medication. Last year, the New Hampshire Board of Medicine and the Board of Nursing decided to adopt new prescribing rules for opiods. The new rules were created and finalized last year, going into effect as of January 1st, 2017.

It was important to set safe prescribing practices for the substances for physicians and practice registered nurses to follow in New Hampshire. A long list of requirements was created that must be met before a patient can be prescribed an opiod. Opiods are often prescribed to treat non-cancer and non-terminal pain.

Before Prescriptions Are Written

Before prescribing, the physician must conduct a history of the patient as well as a physical exam. A risk assessment must be completed and if the medicine is prescribed, then the lowest effective dose should be administered for a limited time frame. A pain treatment plan must be created and a written treatment agreement signed by the patient. The risks of opiods must also be discussed including how one can become addicted to the drug and how overdose and death can occur.

The overall goal is to ensure that opiods are only prescribed to patients in the state due to clinically appropriate circumstances. Patients must be provided with the right tools and information in order to take the medicine correctly and avoid any issue like addiction or a possible overdose.

Defense attorneys in New Hampshire know all too well the problem of opiod use. Attorneys work with victims of opiod use, individuals who were victims of robbery or abuse due to an individual who was addicted to opiods. Attorneys have also worked with patients, individuals who have been prescribed opiods when it was unnecessary and gained a dependence on the drug.

Purdue Pharma Lawsuit

The opiod crisis is so bad in New Hampshire that the Office of the Attorney General has recently filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, stating the company has engaged in a long-running campaign that was deceptive to create and sustain a market for the drugs. The lawsuit was created based on the consumer protection act of the state. Local doctors claim that reps of Purdue would visit their office at least two to three times a week. The company reportedly downplayed the effects of the drug such as addictive risks, particularly in connection with patients who were being treated for chronic pain.

Overall, the fight against opiods is just getting started. Regulations are being put in place and attorneys are fighting back in order to see fewer patients become addicted to this substance. If you or someone you know has been affected by opiods, seek legal counsel to see if you have a case.

Fentanil and Carfentanil Addiction: The Trouble in New Hampshire

For the past few years now, the state of New Hampshire has been fighting a losing battle. Opiods entered the state in full force a few years ago with fentanil being the drug of choice for most users. This drug is extremely addictive and individuals are using it after being prescribed the opioid or by making it themselves in their very own kitchens. Officials of the state have been working with health organizations as well as first responders to try and come up with some solution as to what can be done about this continually growing epidemic.

The issue is that individuals are getting access to fentanil very easily. The drug is being shipped into the state and is cheap to distribute. A little goes a long way so distribution can be done in small amounts. This leaves plenty left over for more people to become addicted. Fentanil is an extremely strong drug, actually 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin. The drug is the main reason why the state of New Hampshire has seen an increase in overdoses in the past few years.

In reports from February to June of last year, the emergency room visits due to opioid issues increased by 70%. Heroin is still an issue but when fentanil entered the state, it burst onto the scene wreaking havoc very quickly. On top of fentanil use, there is a new drug that has entered the drug scene, known as carfentanil. This drug is an elephant tranquilizer and is 100 times stronger than fentanil.

New Drug on the Scene

So, we know how strong fentanil is, so carfentanil brings the problem to a whole new playing field. With carfentanil, the drug is so potent it can be absorbed through the skin. First responders have had to take to wearing gloves and avoid touching the substance or patient with their bare skin. First responders in the state began to see that overdose calls were different than what they were used to. It was at this time that they discovered the issue was the new drug and even greater precautions had to be taken.

First responders have taken to having doses of Narcan with them in the case of overdoses. With carfentanil, more Narcan was needed than normal to try and assist patients, so first responders knew something was amiss.

On top of the issues that normally surround drug use like family problems and health issues, crime also begins to run rampant. Drug possession attorneys in NH have seen an increase in cases involving opiods, whether they are representing a victim who was robbed or attacked or the individual who used the drugs to continue illegal activities.

The state Attorney General sees that there is a problem and has taken action. The AG recently filed a suit against Purdue Pharm and their sale of opiods. The company is accused of pushing the drugs to doctors in the state without full disclosure as to what the drug could do, as in how addictive it could be. Doctors were told the option was safe and have been prescribing it only to find out it has adverse effects such as addiction and overdose.

Overall, several groups in the state, including lawmakers, attorneys, and health care officials, are working hard to see that changes are made so patients are not affected by these types of opioid drugs. If you or a loved one has had serious problems after taking such substances, speak to an attorney to find out if you have a case.

Property Crimes in New Hampshire

  • Burglary, Theft
  • Criminal Mischief
  • Receiving Stolen Property
  • Shoplifting
  • Forgery

NH – Motor Vehicle Offenses

If you have multiple motor vehicle convictions and are facing becoming a habitual offender it would be in your best interest to hire an experienced motor vehicle defense lawyer to assist in reducing your sentence and keeping your license in check.
Here is how someone can become a Habitual Offender:

  • Any combination of 12 convictions for speed, yellow line, operating without a license or operating without proof of financial responsibility, or
  • Three (3) major convictions (see below), or
  • One (1) major conviction and any combination of 8 of the convictions shown in item 1 above, or
  • Two (2) major convictions and any combination of 4 of the convictions shown in item 1 above, and
  • These convictions are based upon the date of the underlining violations and have all occurred within a five (5) year period.

The most common major convictions are:

  • Driving while Intoxicated (any such offense).
  • Reckless Driving.
  • Leaving the Scene of (Conduct after) an Accident.
  • Operating after Revocation or Suspension.
  • Taking a Vehicle without Authority.
  • Disobeying a Police Officer.
  • Unlawfully Passing a School Bus.

Other Motor Vehicle offenses Include:

Can convictions from other states be used against me?

Yes. They are sent from the other jurisdictions and added to your New Hampshire driver history.

Domestic Violence NH

Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, family violence, and intimate partner violence (IPV), has been broadly defined as a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation.
Domestic violence, so defined, has many forms, including physical aggression

  • Hitting
  • Kicking
  • Biting
  • Shoving (restraining, slapping, throwing objects)
  • Threats
  • Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, controlling or domineering, intimidation stalking.
  • Assault and Battery
  • Crimes of Violence
  • Sexual Assault

White Collar Crimes

  • Mail and Wire Fraud
  • Mortgage and Security Fraud
  • Money Laundering Bank Robbery

All Juvenile Delinquencies

Synthetic Marijuana Laws in NH

Substances known as synthetic marijuana have posed a unique challenge for the legal system and law enforcement in New Hampshire. Because of its newness, popularity among youth, and complicated composition, synthetic marijuana is difficult for drug enforcement officials to regulate. New Hampshire citizens have been and continue to be charged with drug crimes related to the use, sale, and manufacture of synthetic marijuana despite the confusion over the legality of the substances. If you are facing any kind of criminal charge related to synthetic marijuana, you need a skilled and knowledgeable drug defense attorney who is up to date on the laws and controversy surrounding the substance.

What is Synthetic Marijuana?

It is important for any defendant to understand what synthetic marijuana is and what steps New Hampshire is trying to take to regulate the substance. Synthetic marijuana is sold in convenience stores, smoke stores, and other retail outlets, unlike illegal drugs. It is known as spice, K2, Yucatan Fire, Moon Rocks, Skunk, and other names that are ever-changing. It is marketed as a natural substance, composed of various plant materials that are legal and considered harmless on their own. The synthetic aspect of the product is the result of chemical additives. Those chemical additives change from product to product and are difficult for law enforcement to pinpoint or regulate, making it nearly impossible to declare all packets or jars as a controlled substance.

Effects of Synthetic Marijuana Use

Synthetic marijuana is known to give users the same high as natural marijuana, but with some other side-effects such as hallucinations. Because brands and samples can vary greatly, there is no real way to predict how someone will react to synthetic marijuana. Reactions that involve committing a crime and the need for medical help have led to media attention and more confusion over the legality of synthetic marijuana. Currently, New Hampshire has no specific ban on the synthetic cannabinoids that are found in synthetic marijuana.

When someone is charged with a crime related to synthetic marijuana, there may be the need to test exact samples of the substance to even determine if there are any illegal compounds present. If you are charged, it is vital to have a lawyer who will investigate the nature of the incident and the nature of the substance. This requires extensive knowledge of New Hampshire drug laws and how those laws are evolving where synthetic marijuana is concerned.

Experienced Drug Defense Attorney

Attorney Richard Monteith dedicates his time and energy to ensuring those who are charged fully understand the status of synthetic marijuana laws in the state. It is important to remember that despite the reactions of law enforcement or media, there are various versions of synthetic marijuana that have no illegal substance present and are not against the law to sell or possess. That distinction can make a huge difference in any case. Because of the potential complications and changing laws from state to state, it is vital that you secure skilled and diligent legal assistance immediately after being charged.

Investigation and Preparation

At Monteith Law we take an aggressive approach with intrusive investigations on every case and leaving no stone unturned to reveal discrepancies and build a defense. If we are able to take on your case, you will get:

  • Aggressive Negotiation & courtroom skills
  • Forensics & DNA Analysis
  • Proven Record for Success
  • Over 19 Year in Criminal Defense Experience
  • Successful Appeals in State and Federal Courts
  • Helping our client with treatment or counseling
  • Experienced in seeking Non-Incarceration Alternative Sentences

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