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Criminal defense: New Hampshire law protects unborn fetuses

New Hampshire drivers may want to take note of recently signed legislation that the state legislature recently passed. The new law aims to provide justice to any family who loses an unborn child in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver. It may also serve to give some sense of closure to parents after such a devastating loss. Anybody accused of causing an accident that killed an unborn child will likely need a skilled criminal defense attorney in his or her corner.

Two families spearheaded the effort to get this law passed. One family was awaiting a scheduled  cesarean section for the birth of their baby girl whose birth was overdue when a crash only days before the birth killed the unborn child. The second mother was involved in an accident when she was in her seventh month of pregnancy. An emergency C-section was done, but the accident injuries prevented the baby from surviving.

In both these cases, the other drivers were deemed negligent but only faced vehicular assault charges. Up to now, fetuses were not protected by the law. The new law states that a woman who chooses to carry an unborn child to full term should have that choice protected. The Supreme Court agreed and entered a request for the language to be added to the homicide statute.

New Hampshire is now one of 39 states with fetal homicide statutes. Drivers who find themselves facing allegations that their negligence caused the death of an unborn child might now be facing vehicular homicide charges. Understandably, these are serious charges that might need an experienced criminal defense attorney to advocate for the accused driver.

Source:, "Another View -- Regina Birdsell: Restoring justice for New Hampshire families", Regina Birdsell, Aug. 31, 2017

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