Criminal Lawyers in Manchester NH
Regardless of whether the defendant is innocent or guilty, being accused, arrested and charged with a crime is a devastating event.
Here’s what you need to know about possible criminal charges in Manchester New Hampshire.
Levels of criminal charges in New Hampshire
There are three main levels of criminal cases. While all charges come with different degrees of fine, the main difference between them is the extent of potential incarceration. Out of the three, Felonies are punished most severely, usually with prison time of at least a year. Misdemeanors carry jail time of no more than a year if any time at all. The third level of criminal charges is Violations, and they aren’t considered crimes under the New Hampshire criminal code.
What are the differences between Criminal and Civil cases?
A civil case is a case brought by one private party against another private party. This usually results in either monetary compensation or an act of conflict resolution. These types of cases do not bring punishment on the defendant in case of wrongdoing or negligence. A judge could potentially put a defendant in jail for contempt of court, regarding their behavior during legal proceedings, but not for the case itself.
A criminal case, on the other hand, is not brought on by a private party. The defendant is liable to the Government if it’s in federal court, the “State” in state of New Hampshire, or the “People” or “Commonwealth” if the proceedings take place in other states. The victim in these cases act as a third party, giving their input but not deciding on how the state prosecutes the case.
The rights of a criminal defendant
A defendant has more rights in a criminal case than they would in a civil one. For the state to convict a person in a criminal case, it must prove the defendant to be guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, while in civil cases, far less is enough as prove of wrongdoing. Another right that a defendant has in criminal case, is that they aren’t obligated to testify in court, and their decision not to would not be used against them.
And finally, if the defendant is facing possible jail time, they have a right to a lawyer, regardless of whether or not they can afford one. The court will appoint a lawyer to the defendant to meet this requirement.
Consult a lawyer today
If you were arrested and are facing a criminal charge, be it minor or serious, in Manchester New Hampshire, don’t hesitate to reach out to our criminal lawyers in Manchester NH at Shaunna L. Browne, PLLC. We will help you build up your defense, make sure you know your rights and receive a fair trial. Please call us with any questions, as we offer a free consultation.