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Criminal Law Part I

So you have been arrested... Part I: Crime Classifications

So you have been arrested, probably not something you ever wanted to go through. Now what do you do? Well, these are tough waters to navigate through, and you may not even understand what you are facing.

In New Hampshire, you can be arrested for offenses that can put you in prison for years, and offenses that are not even crimes. So how do you move forward? It all depends on the type of charge(s) that you are facing, so here at Martin, Lord and Osman, we have put together a multi-part practical overview of the criminal justice process from your perspective.

First off, let's lay out what the potential is, and it is easiest to look at it as three different things. The first, and the most serious; Felony offenses. These offenses are handled only at the Superior Court level, and carry with the potential for years in the New Hampshire State Prison.

The second category would be Misdemeanors; and these are the most common. These are handled at the Circuit Court level. Now there are two kinds of Misdemeanors, Class A and Class B, and the difference is important. Class A Misdemeanors carry the potential for up to 12 months in jail in the House of Corrections. Class B Misdemeanors are only punishable by fines.

The last category would be Violation level offenses. These are also handled at the Circuit Court level, and are only punishable by fines. It is important to understand that these are not criminal offenses. You are not a criminal if you are convicted of one; so even though you may be sitting in a crowded courtroom and you see people coming in and out in handcuffs; that is not going to happen to you.

For more information, stayed tuned for more on our Blog, and for a chance to sit down with our criminal defense team, give us a call at (603) 524-4121.

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