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Drug Charges Archives

Drug charges fail if initial stop and search is unconstitutional

New Hampshire and federal constitutional principles strictly govern the circumstances in which the authorities may stop and search persons in public places. They may do so only if they have reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity afoot. In a recent 8:20 a.m. arrest on drug charges, a Manchester police officer stopped a woman and two men in the rear of an apartment building in Manchester. The 31-year-old female suspect allegedly failed to follow police commands to keep her hands away from her midsection and also then grabbed for the officer's weapon.

Police bring drug charges against woman accused of selling pills

The authorities in New Hampshire do not usually distinguish those cases where a suspect arrested for drug dealing is really a low-level actor with a high-level personal drug addiction. It is usually the responsibility of defense counsel to weed out the human facts existing behind a prosecution on drug charges. Sometimes, the worst outcome is for the criminal justice system to put an individual behind bars when that person needs treatment instead of harsh punishment.

Bill for annulment of past marijuana drug charges passes House

A bill is making its way through the New Hampshire House and Senate that will allow persons convicted of possssing three-quarters of an ounce or less of marijuana to have their criminal record annulled. The House already overwhelmingly voted 314-24 to pass HB 1477. On Sept. 16, the new law eliminating criminal drug charges for the same amount of marijuana went into effect.

Drug charges filed against woman, another suspect still sought

The authorities in New Hampshire must follow strict protocols when they engage in narcotics investigations and arrests. Warrants must be justified by law and approved by judges or magistrate judges generally before searches can be conducted and drug charges filed. Probable cause generally is the main consideration in determining the propriety of the procedures used by the police in any challenged incidents.

Drug charges re heroin filed against police chief's daughter

The opioid epidemic has been uniformly destructive throughout the states, including in New Hampshire. It afflicts its victims indiscriminately, striking at all strata of society. Sometimes, people in law enforcement also suffer personal loss and trauma from the epidemic. For example, authorities recently arrested the daughter of the Berlin Police Chief on drug charges of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

ACLU defends 18 on drug charges in arrests near border

In federal and state constitutional law, it is well established that states have their own constitutions that may give individuals stronger civil rights protections than the federal constitution. Last summer, federal Customs and Border Protection agents arrested 18 people on drug charges at two New Hampshire checkpoints on Interstate 93 near the border. The checkpoints were established under federal law to identify people living in this country illegally.

Federal drug charges lead to guilty plea and sentencing

Federal and state authorities in New Hampshire are focused on the opiate problem that is now recognized as a national health crisis. Opioids are a dangerous group of highly addictive drugs that include the pain killer fentanyl, which has proved to be particularly deadly. A United States District Court judge recently sentenced a 41-year-old man to drug charges relating to the intention to sell fentanyl in the state.

Drug charges may create a spiral of punishment leading nowhere

When the police in New Hampshire arrest a suspect with an existing record of many past drug offenses, they generally process the individual through the criminal system as a matter of course. The individual is generally prosecuted as a criminal on the drug charges and is given an escalating series of punishment as each successive arrest occurs. This usually includes a longer sentence and imprisonment in a higher security state institution, i.e., a repository for hardened criminals.

Drug charges increased against alleged seller of fentanyl

In New Hampshire it is a felony to sell a controlled drug that results in death. With the widespread advent of the super-killer drug, fentanyl, in the past few years, drug charges pursuant to that felony provision have become rather prominent. Such a criminal law straddles the divide between allegations of selling drugs and those alleging the commission of homicide, making such a prosecution a relatively recent innovation both here and nationwide.

Alleged drug charges must be preceded by a valid stop and frisk

New Hampshire authorities take abuse of prescription medication seriously. That was proved true just recently in the arrest by Manchester police of a 23-year-old woman on drug charges relating to three loose gabapentin prescription pills found inside one of her pockets. According to a spokesperson for the police, an officer stopped to talk with a woman who was walking in the middle of Merrimack Street at about 2:45 p.m.

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