Habitual Offender

The crime of Operating a Motor Vehicle After Being Certified as a Habitual Offender is a felony in New Hampshire that carries a maximum prison term of 5 years upon conviction.

The Director of Motor Vehicles will certify drivers as habitual offenders at the Department of Safety in Concord, New Hampshire if they have three “major” motor vehicle convictions within five years. The five year period starts running from the oldest date of arrest rather than conviction to determine habitual offender eligibility. DWI and Operating After Suspension are examples of major motor vehicle offenses.

Accumulating twelve “minor” motor vehicle convictions within a five year period will also result in habitual offender certification. Speeding and lane violations are examples of minor motor vehicle offenses.

A combination of both major and minor motor vehicle offenses under RSA 259:39, III may also result in habitual offender certification.

In 2018, the New Hampshire legislature removed a previous one year minimum mandatory sentence of incarceration for someone convicted of operating after being certified a habitual offender. A DMV hearings examiner will certify anyone whose record comes before them and meets one of the three certification requirements listed above. The DMV will then suspend your license for 1 to 4 years.

How can we help?

We will talk with you to best understand your situation, and then review your driving record and court records. We will then represent you at the DMV certification hearing with the goal of either avoiding certification altogether or minimizing the certification period. Of course, we can also represent you on criminal charges relating to your habitual offender status.

Call for a free consultation regarding DMV or court-related habitual offender issues.

About Our Team

Kevin P. O'Keefe's Profile Image
Kevin O'Keefe has represented thousands of clients in all areas of criminal law. Before establishing Reis & O'Keefe, Kevin was an attorney with the New Hampshire Public Defender.
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James B. Reis's Profile Image
James Reis started out at the New Hampshire Public Defender in 2000. Throughout the years, Jim has steadfastly protected the rights of nearly four thousand clients.
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Investigator and paralegal Lisa Greenwaldt has worked tirelessly for the last 23 years in indigent criminal defense at both the New Hampshire Public Defender (NHPD) and with the Conflict Case Administration (CCA). She is intimately familiar with the…
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