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Criminal Defense

New Hampshire Criminal Defense Attorneys

Aggressive Advocates Since 1997

Most clients who contact Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. after being arrested or charged with a crime or some other wrongdoing are anxious. Not knowing the outcome can be highly stressful. A conviction can impact your family, career, and reputation.

If you have been arrested for a crime, it is important to retain an experienced New Hampshire criminal defense attorney who can give you specific legal advice regarding your situation and can help you build your best defense. At Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., we have over 140 years of collective experience in helping clients safeguard their legal rights in the courtroom and can lend that experience to you.

Call (603) 288-1403 for a free consultation today, or contact us online.

Trust Our Track Record

If you have been accused of a crime, New Hampshire police and prosecutors will be aggressive. They have a team of people working for them to prove their case against you.

Many people ask, “Do I need a lawyer?” You want someone with experience and a proven track record. We think you deserve that and more. Our lawyers include a former state Supreme Court and Superior Court Judge. He even wrote the New Hampshire Evidence Manual, which is used by judges and lawyers across the state regarding evidence in a court case.

It is important to listen to your side and understand the facts. After we know this information, we can develop solutions that are best for you. We’re not here to judge you. Once we are involved, we handle all communications with prosecutors, police, or other officials and bring the peace of mind that you are not alone dealing with this burden. We’re here to bring an end to your legal problem.

Criminal Defense Practice Areas

There are a variety of criminal defense matters, including:

Possession of Drugs

You can be charged with illegal possession of drugs for having possession or control of any “controlled substance.” This includes not just street drugs, but also prescription drugs that were not prescribed for you by your doctor. NH RSA 318-B:1 and 318-B:1-a and b define what drugs are illegal.

Possession with Intent to Distribute

Police officers can charge you for possession with intent to distribute even if no drugs were sold. These charges are often based on the quantity of drugs found or the paraphernalia found with the drugs. Possession with intent is covered by NH RSA 318-B:2.

Simple Assault

Simple assault is charged as a crime when a person purposely causes physical contact with another person without permission to do so. Simple assault does not require injury to result in a misdemeanor or criminal charge. NH RSA 631:2-a.

Second Degree Assault

Second Degree Assault is a felony and is charged when a person assaults another and that assault results in serious bodily injury. NH RSA 631:2.

Reckless Conduct

Felony reckless conduct is charged when a person, by their actions, places another person in danger of serious bodily injury by use of a deadly weapon. For these purposes, a car can be considered a deadly weapon. NH RSA 631:3; State v. Cheney, 165 N.H. 677 (2013).

Criminal Threatening

A person can be charged with misdemeanor criminal threatening when he or she, by words or actions, places another person in fear of imminent injury or assault. Criminal threatening is a felony if it involves use of a deadly weapon. NH RSA 631:4.

Misdemeanor Sexual Assault

Misdemeanor sexual assault is often charged when there is sexual contact (usually touching, not penetration) where one of the participants is 13 or older but under the age of 16, and the age difference between the two is 5 years or more. If there is non-forcible penetration and the age difference is 4 years or less, it can also be charged as misdemeanor sexual assault. NH RSA 632-A:4.

Age of Consent to Have Sex

The age of consent for sex in New Hampshire is 16. This means that, for example, if a 17-year-old boy has “consensual” sex with his 15-year-old high school girlfriend, he can be charged with misdemeanor sexual assault. The fact that she was a willing participant is not a defense to the crime charged. NH RSA 632-A:4.

Felonious Sexual Assault

Felonious sexual assault is most often charged when there is sexual penetration with a person who is at least 13 but less than 16 years of age and the difference in ages is 4 years or more. Felonious sexual assault is a class B felony (3 ½ – 7 years in prison) and consent is not a defense in the circumstance described above. NH RSA 632-A:3.

Aggravated Felonious Sexual Assault (AFSA)

AFSA is what is most often thought of as rape. In an AFSA, there is no consent. AFSA is a class A felony punishable by 7 ½ – 15 years in state prison. NH RSA 632-A:2, 651:2.

Theft by Unauthorized Taking

This type of theft is what you might think of as shoplifting, which is also covered by willful concealment or NH RSA 637:3-a. These types of thefts can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the value of the items involved. NH RSA 637:4. Theft crimes are charged as misdemeanors if the value is less than $1,000, and felonies if more than $1,000.

Theft by Deception

Theft by deception is charged when a person obtains property or money from another by trickery, misrepresentation, or stealth. Many times, theft by deception is charged for what you might think of as embezzlement. NH RSA 637:4.

Call (603) 288-1403 now to consult with our New Hampshire criminal defense attorneys.


  • Q:Why should I hire Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. as my criminal defense lawyers?

    A:Many lawyers claim to have criminal defense experience. Our criminal defense lawyers regularly represent clients to juries in Superior Court.

  • Q:Why do I need a lawyer?

    A:A person suspected of a crime is usually in a world of police, prosecutors and courts that he or she does not fully understand. It takes years of experience to understand the written laws and unwritten nuances that unfold in criminal courts every day.

  • Q:How will having a criminal record affect my life?

    A:A criminal record can have a major impact on a person’s future. Everything from employment opportunities to student loans to insurance to loss of civil rights can result from a criminal conviction.

  • Q:Should I talk to the police?

    A:Not without consulting an experienced criminal defense lawyer. An innocent person can provide information that police construe as evidence of a crime, a person who committed a minor offense can provide evidence that leads to felony prosecution, and a person who committed a serious offense can unwittingly provide the evidence that leads to his or her conviction. Only an experienced criminal attorney can provide the advice needed to make this crucial decision.

  • Q:What if the police did not read me my Miranda rights like I’ve seen on TV?

    A:The fact that the police failed to read a suspect his or her Miranda rights does not necessarily mean that the case will be dismissed. Miranda warnings only apply if two things are true: the person was under arrest or otherwise seized by the police the person made a statement in response to questioning by the police, uless both of these two factors are present, it is probably irrelevant that the police did not read Miranda. Even if both of these things did happen, however, the remedy is that any statement that might have been made as the result of the custodial interrogation must be suppressed. If the police can prove their case by other evidence, the case will not necessarily be dismissed.

  • Q:If I do not talk to the police, won’t that make me look guilty to a jury?

    A:No. This is one of the biggest misconceptions in the law. The Miranda warnings that you have seen read to suspects on TV and in movies are incomplete and potentially misleading. When a person is arrested, the police officer will usually advise that person that he or she has a right to remain silent. What the officer does not tell that person is that if the he or she does remain silent, the prosecution will not be allowed to use that fact against him in the trial. The jury will not know whether the defendant made a statement to the police or not.

  • Q:Why do I need a lawyer if I know I’m guilty?

    A:There are a number of reasons that a person who believes he or she is actually guilty might want the assistance of an attorney. A person may feel morally guilty while being legally innocent. Many times the police “overcharge” a case, either by improperly bringing multiple charges or charging a more serious offense. The police also may have violated your constitutional rights. The police violation of rights may be more serious than the offense that you are charged with committing. Finally, even if the police are able to prove their case against you, you still may need an experienced lawyer to negotiate a fair sentence on your behalf. There are a practically unlimited number of ways that a sentence can be structured. A person charged with a crime should try to get the best, most fair outcome that they can.

  • Q:How will my criminal defense lawyer get paid?

    A:Like most criminal law cases, criminal defense cases are typically handled on an hourly fee arrangement.

Our Client Stories

  • “Benjamin King was the best lawyer I ever could have asked for to represent me, because he was passionate and knowledgeable about fighting discrimination. He believed me and fought for me.”

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  • “Whatever you do, hire this Law Office to fight for you and WIN. When other Law Offices tell you they will win, they don't, this Law Office and Ben King won a very intricate case.”

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