PROCEEDINGS IN CRIMINAL CASES
JURISDICTION AND PROCEDURE GENERALLY
592-A:1 Superior Court.
The superior court has jurisdiction of all criminal cases and proceedings; but it may dismiss a prosecution originally begun therein which is within the jurisdiction of a circuit court.
Source. RS 172:4. 1855, 1659:9. GS 234:1. GL 252:1. PS 248:1. PL 362:1. RL 421:1. RSA 592:1. 1957, 244:8, eff. Sept. 23, 1957. 2015, 249:6, eff. Jan. 1, 2016, July 1, 2016 and Oct. 1, 2017.
592-A:2 Appeals to Superior Court.
The superior court has jurisdiction of all appeals in criminal cases from district or municipal courts.
Source. RS 172:5. 1859, 2211:3. GS 234:3. GL 252:3. PS 248:2. PL 362:1. RL 421:2. RSA 592:2. 1957, 244:8, eff. Sept. 23, 1957.
592-A:2-a Repealed by 1973, 264:2, eff. Nov. 1, 1973.
592-A:2-b Jury Trial.
Trial by jury shall not be afforded in the superior court for any violation as defined in RSA 625:9, except upon being subject to the imposition of a civil penalty which aggregates the total fines and penalties for a violation to an amount in excess of $1,500, in which case an appeal may be taken in the same manner as is provided for class A misdemeanor convictions under RSA 599:1.
Source. 1973, 264:3. 1988, 19:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1989. 1997, 277:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1998.
592-A:3 Plea of Guilty in District or Municipal Court.
A justice of a district or municipal court may render final judgment and sentence in any case where the punishment is a fine of $100 or of some specific sum less than $100, or imprisonment for a period of not more than 6 months, or is both such fine and imprisonment, if the accused pleads guilty or nolo contendere or files a writing by which he elects a trial by the justice and waives the right of appeal.
Source. 1860, 2366:1. GS 234:7. GL 252:7. PS 248:4. PL 362:4. RL 421:4. RSA 592:4. 1957, 244:8, eff. Sept. 23, 1957.
592-A:4 Repealed by 2015, 249:16, II, eff. Oct. 1, 2017.
592-A:5 Justice of the Peace Throughout the State.
A justice of the peace throughout the state may issue his warrant for any offense committed in any county, which may be directed to the sheriff of any county or his deputy or to any constable or police officer of any town in the state.
Source. RS 222:17. CS 237:17. GS 234:6. GL 252:6. PS 248:6. PL 362:6. RL 421:6. RSA 592:6. 1957, 244:8, eff. Sept. 23, 1957.
592-A:6 Powers of District and Municipal Courts.
District and municipal courts have the powers of a justice of the peace and quorum throughout the state and have jurisdiction as provided in RSA 502-A:11 and 14 and RSA 502:18.
Source. CS 185:1. GS 234:8. GL 252:8. PS 248:7. PL 362:7. RL 421:7. RSA 592:7. 1957, 244:8, eff. Sept. 23, 1957.
I. (a) Criminal proceedings before a circuit court shall be begun by complaint, signed and under oath, addressed to such court, briefly setting forth, by name or description, the party accused and the offense charged, provided that a complaint filed by a police officer, as defined in RSA 106-L:2, I for a violation-level offense or a class B misdemeanor shall not require an oath. All complaints filed by a police officer shall include the officer's signature and printed name and notice that making a false statement on the complaint may result in criminal prosecution.
(b) Any signature required under this section may be by means of electronic signature pursuant to RSA 294-E.
II. The description of the accused may include an identifiable ridge skin impression or a DNA profile. A complaint that contains only an identifiable ridge skin impression or DNA profile, and that alleges one or more of the following offenses shall, upon its filing, toll the applicable statute of limitations under RSA 625:8:
(a) Capital murder under RSA 630:1.
(b) First degree murder under RSA 630:1-a.
(c) Second degree murder under RSA 630:1-b.
(d) Manslaughter under RSA 630:2.
(e) Negligent homicide under RSA 630:3.
(f) First degree assault under RSA 631:1.
(g) Second degree assault under RSA 631:2.
(h) Aggravated felonious sexual assault under RSA 632-A:2.
(i) Felonious sexual assault under RSA 632-A:3.
(j) Kidnapping under RSA 633:1.
(k) Arson under RSA 634:1, I-III.
(l) Robbery under RSA 636:1.
Source. RS 113:16; 222:10. CS 119:18; 287:10. GS 234:9. GL 252:9. PS 248:9. PL 362:8. RL 421:8. RSA 592:8. 1957, 244:8, eff. Sept. 23, 1957. 2003, 158:1, eff. June 17, 2003. 2004, 12:1, eff. June 4, 2004. 2011, 217:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2012. 2014, 193:1, eff. Sept. 9, 2014. 2017, 206:22, eff. Sept. 8, 2017.
A justice of the peace or justice of the circuit court, upon such complaint when signed under oath, may issue a warrant for the arrest of the person so charged with an offense committed or triable in the county, directed to the sheriff of any county or his deputy or to any constable or police officer of any town in the county.
Source. RS 222:3, 10, 17. CS 237:3, 10. GL 252:10. PS 248:10. PL 362:9. RL 421:9. RSA 592:9. 1957, 244:8, eff. Sept. 23, 1957. 2011, 217:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2012.
592-A:9 When Warrants Returnable to District or Municipal Court.
If such warrant is issued by a district or municipal court, or by a justice within the town in which a district or municipal court is established, for any offense committed in such town or district, it shall be made returnable before the district or municipal court, and not elsewhere.
Source. CS 185:4. GS 234:11. GL 252:11. 1885, 81:14. PS 248:11. PL 362:10. RL 421:10. RSA 592:10. 1957, 244:8, eff. Sept. 23, 1957.
592-A:10 Other Returns.
In other cases than those provided for in RSA 592-A:9, the warrant shall require the offender to be brought before the justice of the peace issuing it if the offense is one over which he has jurisdiction, or to a district or municipal court or some justice of the peace especially designated for trial or examination.
Source. GS 234:12. GL 252:12. PS 248:12. PL 362:11. RL 421:11. RSA 592:11. 1957, 244:8, eff. Sept. 23, 1957.
592-A:11 Summons for Witnesses.
In any warrant the officer may be required to summon the persons therein named as witnesses to attend the trial.
Source. GS 234:13. GL 252:13. PS 248:13. PL 362:12. RL 421:12. RSA 592:12. 1957, 244:8, eff. Sept. 23, 1957.
592-A:12 Witnesses in Criminal Cases.
Any person who attends any court for the state in criminal cases pursuant to subpoena shall sign a witness log, which shall be available in the office of the clerk of court, on which the individual shall provide the following information: name, mailing address, and the name of the case for which the person was subpoenaed. The prosecuting agency shall review the log each day and certify that each individual appeared as indicated on the log.
Source. 1951, 163, par. 12-a. RSA 592:13. 1957, 244:8. 1959, 20:1. 1979, 316:1. 1983, 383:59. 1993, 190:17. 1994, 273:3, eff. June 6, 1994. 2014, 188:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2015. 2019, 346:152, eff. July 1, 2019.
592-A:13 No Witness Fee to Salaried Officers.
No sheriff, deputy sheriff, constable, city marshal, chief of police or other police officer who receives a salary or who is to be otherwise compensated as a law enforcement officer in connection with the same criminal case by the state, county, city or town shall be paid any fee for testifying as a witness in a criminal case, except that any police officer who is on vacation, furlough or on time off who attends as a witness in a criminal case pending in any municipal, district or superior court shall, upon order of the court, be paid a witness fee in accordance with RSA 592-A:12 for each day of such attendance; provided, however, towns and cities may pay supplemental witness fees if deemed desirable.
Source. 1951, 163:16, par. 12-b. RSA 592:14. 1957, 244:8. 1971, 473:1. 1973, 499:1. 1974, 29:4, eff. June 1, 1974.
592-A:13-a Pay in Lieu of Witness Fee.
Notwithstanding the witness fees payable pursuant to RSA 592-A:13 to an off duty police officer, when such an officer is employed by a town or city of 50,000 or more population, he may receive from his town or city, in lieu of the witness fee so provided, the regular rate of pay that he would be entitled to if he were on duty. The provisions of this section shall apply only when such officer is required to appear in the superior court as a witness in a criminal case.
Source. 1971, 473:2, eff. Jan. 1, 1972.
592-A:14 Summons for Defendant.
Upon complaint for an offense of which a district or municipal court has final jurisdiction, the justice to whom the complaint is made, if he shall deem an arrest unnecessary, may issue a summons requiring the party to appear at a certain time and place to answer to the complaint.
Source. RS 113:17, 18. CS 119:19, 20. GS 234:15. GL 252:14. PS 248:14. PL 362:13. 1933, 95:1. RL 421:13. RSA 592:15. 1957, 244:8, eff. Sept. 23, 1957.
If a party, being summoned by delivering to him an attested copy of the summons as provided in RSA 592-A:14, shall not appear, the justice may then issue a warrant as provided in RSA 592-A:8. Such party shall be in contempt of court for failing to attend after being so summoned and may be fined not more than $100.
Source. RS 113:17, 18. CS 119:19, 20. GS 234:15. GL 252:14. PS 248:14. PL 362:14. 1933, 35:2. RL 421:14. RSA 592:16. 1957, 244:8. 1977, 588:46. 1983, 225:1, eff. Aug. 15, 1983.
592-A:16 Judgment Against Parent.
A warrant against a minor may require the parent or guardian of the minor to be summoned to attend the examination or trial, by delivering to him an attested copy of the warrant and of the complaint, if annexed thereto, and the parent or guardian, being so summoned, may be adjudged to pay the fine imposed, and execution may issue against him therefor.
Source. RS 113:20. CS 119:22. GS 234:16. GL 252:15. PS 248:15. PL 362:15. RL 421:15. RSA 592:17. 1957, 244:8, eff. Sept. 23, 1957.