Jan 28, 2016 3:41 PM

NH Supreme Court will hear appeal of Portsmouth teen driver who hit 2 people


PORTSMOUTH - A Portsmouth teen, who hit two people in Hampton as he was driving back from an all-night party, is taking his case to the N.H. Supreme Court.

Remi Gross-Santos was 17 and about to graduate from Portsmouth High School in June of 2014 when he was returning home from a party and says he fell asleep at the wheel.

He was convicted of two felony counts of second-degree assault but can avoid jail time if he remains on good behavior and completes 300 hours of community service. In addition, his driver's license was suspended for three years.

According to seacoastonline.com, Gross-Santos expects to meet the terms of his sentence regardless of the appeal but wants to avoid being labeled a felon. Felons are restricted in where they can travel, vote and seek employment.

Andrew Cotrupi, Gross Santos' lawyer said it could be 10 years before his client is eligible to seek an annulment of his felony status.

At issue is the part of the assault charge that states Gross-Santos recklessly fell asleep at the wheel. Cotrupi said the act of falling asleep should not be considered a crime.

Cotrupi’s notice of appeal raises several issues regarding his client’s trial, including that Gross-Santos was tried as an adult though he was 17, the court's rejection of certain expert testimony and that he was not found guilty of drunken driving.

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