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Rochester NH Legal Blog

Insanity may be a criminal defense when accused attempts suicide

Domestic situations in New Hampshire and elsewhere are sometimes so volatile that they can result in danger to the participants and to the police who are investigating a disturbance. This type of situation occurred recently in Nashua when police were called to a residence to assist the caller in removing items from that address. The resident of the premises, however, would not let police into the home. The problem escalated into a criminal defense matter when the woman displayed a gun and communicated her desire to kill herself.

Police rushed the woman as she picked up the gun and appeared to point it toward herself. In a struggle with the suspect, one of the officers applied his taser to get control of the suspect. She nonetheless got a shot off, which went into the floor. Luckily, no one was injured.

Drug charges for small amount of pot may be decriminalized

New Hampshire is one of the states with an approved medical marijuana law. In most states, when such laws are experienced over time, the state learns that modifications and amendments to them may be desirable. This state's House of Representatives has passed some bills that will facilitate medical marijuana procedures and other legislation that will decriminalize drug charges for a small amount of marijuana.

The proposed laws are now in the state Senate for consideration. One bill would allow medical marijuana users to be allowed to grow their own pot. Of course, that would not apply to persons not medically documented under the law to receive medical marijuana for recognized treatments. Other proposals passed in the House and being considered in the Senate include adding the categories of post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain to the list of approved medical marijuana conditions.

Woman arrested for drunk driving after passing out in car

In New Hampshire, one does not necessarily have to be caught in the process of driving to justify an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. It is possible to be arrested and convicted of drunk driving even if a person is confronted by the police after exiting the vehicle. This rule may even apply if the person is found sleeping in a parked vehicle.

That principle would apply of course in all instances where a police officer spots a person driving erratically and does not confront the person until after he or she has pulled over and stopped driving. However, it may in some circumstances also apply if the police come upon a person they did not observe driving, who is, for example, passed out on the steering wheel of a parked or stopped car. The latter example is how it came about recently for a 46-year-old Merrimack woman.

Premises liability case claims Walmart fell down on the job

Walmart remains one of the largest retail superstores anywhere in the country. The company has locations throughout the United States, including here in New Hampshire. With so many locations, it might not be surprising to hear that the retail giant faces a premises liability claim from a woman who suffered a slip-and-fall accident two years ago at a location in her area.

On April 14, 2015, the woman went to her local Walmart. As she stepped through the threshold, she slipped on some water on the floor and fell. According to her lawsuit, she broke her hip. She alleges that Walmart knew of the hazard because air blowers were in place to dry the area and an employee was assigned to monitor it.

Spring break needn't end with drunk driving charges

New Hampshire students will undoubtedly be among thousands of others in the nation who are gearing up for spring break. Finals are over, a little money's been saved, and everyone is ready for some fun in the sun. Some students choose to stay in the area, visiting local beaches and saving the gas money it would take to travel to another state. Others venture clear across the country. Neither group wants to wind up facing drunk driving charges, however; so, it's best to have a pre-made plan to avoid this types of situation.

It's often easy to spot drunk drivers on New Hampshire roads. They tend to swerve in and out of their lanes, repeatedly tap their brakes for no apparent reason, and speed up, then slow down without traffic patterns necessitating it. Those who don't want to participate in such behaviors behind the wheel may want to research good ideas for avoiding DUI.

3 reasons mediation might work for you

You and your spouse have not been able to make things work, and you feel that your marriage is coming to an end. This can be a distressing, confusing and painful process to go through. Amidst the emotional turmoil, you might be wondering how the divorce will be handled.  There are many ways to handle a divorce, one of them being mediation.

Mediation provides an alternative to public courtroom disputes, something that many divorcing couples dread. If you are considering this process, learn why it might be a good fit for you and your spouse.

Workers' compensation is payable for all work-related injuries

When a worker is seriously injured at work, he or she is generally covered by workers' compensation benefits under New Hampshire law and the law of all other states. Under the New Hampshire workers' compensation laws, workers' compensation generally provides the exclusive remedy for the employee to collect benefits. The benefits generally include medical expenses and the costs of rehabilitation. Wage loss benefits are also payable while the employee remains disabled and unable to work as a result of the work-related accident.

In addition, where third parties other than the employer were negligent in causing severe injury or death to the worker, a claim may be made against the third-party wrongdoer for traditional personal injury damages, even if it is a work-related accident. A third-party claim in that situation would compensate the worker or the worker's family for pain and suffering and other damages that would not be available from workers' compensation benefits. That can be a substantial amount in serious and traumatic injuries involving long disabilities.  

Drug charges and child endangerment filed against man

New Hampshire authorities continue to arrest and incarcerate drug suspects for drug possession violations without viewing the matter as a medical addiction needing rehabilitation and drug treatment services. Pelham police and Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputies arrested a 35-year-old man recently on drug charges and removed his 3-year-old child from the home. Authorities also charged the man with endangering the welfare of a child, in addition to possession of heroin, marijuana and prescription pills.

Police say that they made the endangerment charges because they found child living among the drugs in the man's apartment. They did not, however, specify any details beyond mere presence in the same room or same apartment that would endanger the child.  Police forced their way into the apartment on the authority of a search warrant after the accused allegedly refused to answer the door. They say that they found the drugs, along with paraphernalia, on the floor near a television.

Drug charges escalate to homicide charges in opioid overdoses

New Hampshire has turned to a new training program and to an existing but little-used charge against drug dealers who allegedly cause overdoses that result in death to their customers. The drug charges can carry up to a life sentence. In the current environment of an opioid drug dependence epidemic, police training in this area makes a lot of sense to local law enforcement agencies.

The program was initiated by the outgoing state attorney general. It teaches investigators how to trace bad drugs to the source and make an arrest of the dealer and/or large supplier. The program takes the clues remaining at the drug overdose location and uses them as part of a larger inquiry.

Careless passing causes car accidents on 2-lane roads

New Hampshire has many two-lane roadways, with one lane going in one direction and the other lane going in the opposite direction. These roads are an invitation to disastrous car accidents whenever an operator decides to ignore the safe methods of passing cars in front of him or her. Recently, a woman suffered life-threatening injuries when an operator on State Route 12 tried to pass too many vehicles and could not avoid crashing into the victim's oncoming car, say the authorities.

New Hampshire State Police reported the accident and stated that the 28-year-old operator was trying to pass several vehicles when he crashed into the car driven by the New Ipswich woman. She had to be airlifted to a medical center to treat serious injuries. Her current condition is unknown.

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