Defense Attorney Helps Reverse Consolidation of Charges

11/30/2007. 4 Drug Sales, 4 Trials.

When can separate charges against the same defendant be consolidated into a single jury trial?

The Hillsborough County Grand Jury indicted Brown for selling drugs to two confidential informants on four separate dates, but all involving the same drug in the same intersection in downtown Nashua. The Hillsborough County Superior Court (South) in Nashua consolidated the charges for trial, over defense objection. On appeal, Attorney Ted Lothstein won a reversal of these convictions, based on his argument that consolidation of these charges resulted in an unfair trial.

In reversing Brown's convictions and remanding for the charges to be tried to separate juries, the New Hampshire Supreme Court relied primarily on another appellate victory by Ted Lothstein, Petition of State of N.H. (State v. San Giovanni), 154 N.H. 671 (2007).

Litigators take note, while the Brown case was pending, the Superior Court announced a new Superior Court Rule on consolidation, Rule 97-A. Since then, there has not been any authoritative interpretation of the rule change.

Read State v. Sean Brown

Categories: Appeals