Simple assault in the State of New Hampshire is defined as unprivileged physical contact that results in bodily injury ( RSA 631:2-a Simple Assault). Unprivileged means without permission or unwanted. Therefore, any touch, slap, hit, poke, spit, or push could result in a simple assault charge. Additionally, simple assault can result from someone throwing an object or placing an object in a way that would result in injury.
Examining NH’s Simple Assault law further, the statute says a simple assault results when someone - purposely or knowingly causing bodily injury; recklessly causes bodily injury; or negligently causes bodily injury with a deadly weapon. Bodily injury can be bruising, broken bones, or other physical ailments. It does not have to be strong physical force, it simply needs to be unwanted and result in injury. Acting purposely means that the offender knew that by following through on his actions would cause a particular result. Acting knowingly means that the perpetrator is aware of his conduct or the surrounding circumstances. The person committing the crime does not always have to have a particular victim in mind. If acting recklessly he is aware of and consciously disregards the risk his conduct poses to others. This could mean throwing stones from a bridge or taping razor blades to playground equipment.
Simple Assault is a misdemeanor unless “committed in a fight entered into by mutual consent,” in which case it is a violation. A violation conviction does not carry jail time, but there is the possibility of fines and probation.
State prosecutors have the discretion to charge either a Class A or Class B Misdemeanor Simple Assault. A Class A Simple Assault conviction can result in:
- One year in jail; and
- A $2,000 fine.
- A Class B Simple Assault conviction can result in:
- A maximum fine of $1,200.
Although the charge has the word “simple” in it, this is not something to be taken lightly. Being convicted of misdemeanor assault – simple or otherwise – is a criminal offense and can have severe repercussions on your life. You can lose your job, get kicked out of school, ruin your reputation, and more. The penalty imposed if you are convicted often depends on the facts and severity of the conduct.
Simple Assault charges in New Hampshire can result from many types of actions. However little contact was made, and no matter if it was a first offense, the prosecutor could seek jail time. Do not make any decisions, comments, or deals until you have contacted an experienced simple assault defense lawyer at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. Having a qualified NH criminal defense attorney at your side is the best first step to protect you from harsh legal consequences.
The criminal defense attorneys at Tenn And Tenn understand that there may be extenuating circumstances that could greatly impact and influence the case. We will work tirelessly to prepare you for trial or work with you to design an appropriate plea bargain, if possible. We will use our experience with NH criminal cases to lessen the penalties and impact on your life. We will review the medical records – if there are any – of the victim to determine whether there was an injury. And, we will look at the circumstances of the incident. The law provides for self defense and other justifications for engaging in a fight.
If you have been charged with Simple Assault in NH, it is critical that you contact an attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal charges. The attorneys at Tenn And Tenn have defended many simple assault cases. They have the experience and the knowledge to mount the best possible defense on your behalf. If you are facing a Simple Assault charge in New Hampshire, we are here to help and can be reached on our Toll Free Helpline at 1-888-511-1010 or in NH at 603-624-3700.