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Elderly state lawmaker needs criminal defense to recent charges

New Hampshire voters can be excessively tolerant with respect to some office holders. They recently re-elected an 85-year-old man who had sustained his second arrest of the year just prior to the recent election day on Nov. 8. When elected on Tuesday, he was being sought on a bench warrant for not showing up in court. He now must prepare a criminal defense to the charges and respond to a separate civil matter.

Police reportedly informed him of the search warrant while he was at the polls working on his re-election. They asked him to turn himself in, and he reportedly did do so a short time later. He had been arrested earlier in the year on a charge of presenting an invalid license. It is unclear what the facts were regarding the license charge, and it unknown if he tried to use a license that belonged to someone else or merely displayed an expired or otherwise invalid license.

In the latter instance, defense counsel can argue that he was not aware of the problem and did not act with criminal intent. That defense would be understandably more difficult if he was presenting a license that belonged to someone else. In addition, however, the lawmaker faces other problems. The town of Hookset reportedly took a deed to the man's house in June on a back-tax bill of over $18,000.

The New Hampshire state representative allegedly announced that he was exempt from the tax for an "elderly exemption," but the details are unknown. After being arrested on election day, he won re-election to a fifth term. Criminal defense counsel will want to dig deeply into the defendant's factual scenario of events that led to the charges. Based on the facts currently available, a seasoned attorney will possibly be able to resolve the license and bench warrant matters without serious consequences to the lawmaker.

Source: fox25boston.com, "Hooksett man re-elected as NH Rep. despite recent arrests", Nov. 9, 2016

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