The Champion

January /February 2007 , Page 59 

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Collateral Attacks on Prior DWI Pleas

By Mark Stevens

Read more DWI columns.

The Legal Framework for Undoing the ‘Work’ of Ineffective Counsel

The penalties for subsequent DWI convictions continue to become harsher. The danger of enhanced collateral consequences for drivers convicted of DWI has grown. Many drivers have suffered prior convictions after receiving sloppy advice to plead guilty in cases that should have been tried and for which the driver received no real benefit by pleading guilty. As the collateral consequences for DWI convictions increase, you may see an increase in the frequency of clients who approach you and ask that you try to undo the work of dump-truck lawyers who convinced them to get convicted. This article examines the legal framework for a post-conviction attack on a prior DWI plea based on the ineffective assistance of counsel.

Hypothetical Case Scenario 

A driver is arrested for DWI in New Hampshire. He refuses breath testing. New Hampshire has a 10-year look-back period for DWI convictions. The evidence consists

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