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Facing a misdemeanor charge in New Hampshire

If police arrest you, the first thing you need to understand is the reason for the arrest and the specific crime the police are charging you with. While in some cases this may be clear, in other cases, you may not fully understand the reasoning behind the criminal charges brought against you.

In criminal cases, there are two types of crimes: misdemeanors and felonies. Misdemeanors are the less serious of the two types. There are several typical misdemeanor crimes New Hampshire residents face. If you face this type of charge, you should know some basics to get an overview of your options.

Types of misdemeanors

A misdemeanor differs from other violations of the law. Most importantly, a misdemeanor is a criminal offense, whereas violations, such as offenses that violate a city ordinance, are not criminal offenses. There are two types of misdemeanors: class A and class B. A class B misdemeanor is the less severe of the two and may not include jail time upon conviction, while class A misdemeanor convictions may carry jail time with them. Typical class B misdemeanors in New Hampshire include a first offense of driving while intoxicated, or petty crime that does not involve violence. Shoplifting would be one example of this type of crime. 

Court process for misdemeanors

The court process you face is specific to your case. However, every misdemeanor case must go through the appropriate legal steps to arrive at a resolution. As an example, if police charge you with a first-offense DUI in New Hampshire, you have to go through the legal process of defending yourself against charges. An inadequate defense could lead to a wrongful conviction.

You may consider pleading guilty, but this is not necessarily in your best interest. Each decision you make at every step in the process is something you should speak to a criminal defense attorney about. This professional assistance assures you have a legally efficient defense and that the court takes all relevant factors and circumstances into account when adjudicating your case. 

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