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New Hampshire Criminal Law Basics: Misdemeanors and Felonies

This content is provided for informational purposes only. If you have questions about the type of charge you are facing or the potential punishment, contact a NH attorney.

The major difference between a class A misdemeanor and any felony offense in New Hampshire is the length of possible jail time, and where it is served. A sentence of one year or less is served at the local county jail. A sentence of one year or more is served at the New Hampshire State Prison.

o Violations - Punishable by fines, and, in some cases, a loss of license. A violation is a non-criminal offense.

o Class B Misdemeanors - Maximum fine: $1200. No jail. Possible loss of license, depending on the charge.

o Class A Misdemeanors - Maximum fine: $2000. Up to 1 year in county jail. Probation for as long as 2 years. Possible loss of license in excess of 1 year, depending on the charge.

o Class B felonies - Punishable by up to 3 1/2 to 7 years in state prison. Up to 5 years of probation. Maximum fine non-drug cases: $4000.

o Class A felonies - Punishable by up to 7 1/2 to 15 years in state prison. Up to 5 years of probation. Maximum fine in non-drug cases: $4000.

o Special Felonies (such as most Sexual Assault offenses, Homicide and related charges) often carry sentences ranging from 10-20 years to life in prison.

NOTE: The sentences in many cases may be subject to enhanced penalties and incarceration if the defendant has been previously convicted of a similar crime, has a significant criminal record, or if the victim is a child or otherwise vulnerable person.

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