More often than not I find myself trying an OUI case or a DWI case many, many miles from my home offices of Chelmsford, MA and Nashua, NH. Why is this? Because a good defense travels well and plays everywhere. A common mistake made by persons charged with a Drunk Driving offense far from home is to search only for a lawyer who is local to a particular court, rather than finding the very best DUI defense lawyer available to them. I purchased my last work vehicle in April 2010. As of February 2013 there are 98,000 miles on that car. In New Hampshire my DUI Defense practice in the last year has taken me as far north as Lancaster, Plymouth and Concord, and out to Keene and North Haverhill and back across the State to Seabrook, Brentwood and Portsmouth, with plenty of stops in Derry, Nashua, Merrimack and Salem and Courts in between. In Massachusetts, in the last year, I’ve appeared in Courts to defend OUI cases in Falmouth, Brockton, Dedham, Newburyport, Lynn, Peabody, Lawrence, Worcester, Haverhill, Greenfield, Westborough, Holyoke, Attleboro, Framingham, Gardner, and everywhere in between with lots or visits to Lowell, Ayer and Woburn.
I’m not a “local” lawyer to any Courts other than possibly the Lowell District Court and the Nashua District Court. Most of my DUI Defense practice is outside of these Courts. Does it make a hill of beans of difference to a jury of six in Brockton or Holyoke that my Massachusetts office is in Chelmsford? Never! When I effectively cross examine an arresting officer and successfully challenge a breath test with a winning strategy at trial nobody cares where my office is located. Does a District Court Judge sitting in Laconia or Seabrook care whether I appear in his or her Court regularly or travel up from the New Hampshire office in Nashua only a few times each year? Never! As long as I’m prepared, familiar with the facts and the law, and ready to vigorously defend my client at trial I’m welcome everywhere I appear. Experience is not a function of location. Good trial lawyers are recognized everywhere by Judges because they don’t waste time, they get to the point, and they know when and how to effectively try a DUI Defense case to verdict.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations (NHTSA) Guidelines for Standardized Field Sobriety testing are not local. They are set in stone and are the basis for field sobriety test training for each and every police officer in both states through either the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council or the Massachusetts State Police Academy and the Massachusetts Municipal Police Training Committee. Breath testing and blood testing standards and regulations are not local. If the police violate an administrative rule for the collection of a forensic blood sample in Plymouth, NH, the same rule applies in Nashua and the test results are inadmissible in both locations for the same reason. If the police violate the administrative regulation requiring a (15) fifteen minute observation period before a breath test the results are inadmissible regardless of whether you are before the Newburyport District Court or the Worcester District Court. And certainly, the due process and constitutional protections for police stops, arrest and search and seizure as contained in the U.S. Constitution, the Massachusetts Bill of Rights and the New Hampshire Constitution, apply in every case, in every Court, in each respective jurisdiction, the only question is whether the lawyer you hired knows how to wield and raise those protections and defenses to your best benefit.
Don’t hire a local plea escort service. If you’ve been arrested for a drunk driving offense, regardless of the location and the court, hire the most qualified DUI defense lawyer willing to travel and show up with the effort and expertise to protect your rights.
Attorney Michael Bowser offers Dual State Protection in DUI Defense.