Frequently Asked Questions
Q. My husband and I got into an argument. I called the police to see if someone could just talk to him. I never wanted him arrested. Can I get this dropped?
A. It is highly unlikely that the State will drop your case because you don’t want to press charges. The State takes the position that if the event was serious enough to provoke a call to the police, then it needs to be prosecuted, and the decision is in their hands, not yours.
Q. What will happen to me if I am convicted?
A. If convicted of Simple Assault, you will most likely receive a jail sentence suspended conditioned upon completion of 36 weeks of Batterers’ Group Counseling. This will also establish a criminal record for you, and in many instances, result in loss of your right to carry firearms and hunt.
Q. Am I required to testify against my spouse?
A. The privilege extended to husbands and wives against incriminating one another generally does not apply in the domestic violence context; he or she will be subpoenaed for trial. However, there are many situations in which, despite what has happened, your spouse or partner may be your best witness.
Q. I want to have contact with my wife. What should I do?
A. If properly presented, a successful case can be made to lift the no-contact order. However, you should not try to do this yourself as there are many procedural impediments, not the least of which is that you cannot contact your spouse to see whether he/she will be willing and available to help you. The New Hampshire legislature recently passed a law making it clear that a lawyer for the accused may make this kind of contact.