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» Criminal Defense

Does the thing stolen have to be a "thing" to be a crime in New Hampshire?

No. The Definitions Section of the New Hampshire law has a very expansive definition of property: "anything of value," that is "property of another," and which does not have to be a thing, as it can be "tangible or intangible."

How can I be prosecuted for taking property that actually partly belongs to me in the first place?

The Definitions Section of the New Hampshire law on theft casts a wide net so as to include property that the accused has a partial ownership in. Thus, if two people live together and bought a flat screen TV together, and then one moves out and takes it with her without the other's permission, that could potentially be charged as a theft. 

Does Lothstein Guerriero, PLLC defend serious NH theft cases?

First of all, to us, all criminal prosecutions are serious — a serious threat to our client's reputation, livelihood, and even their freedom — regardless of whether charged as a felony or misdemeanor, and regardless of whether our client says she is guilty or not guilty. That being said, we have handled many significant New Hampshire felony cases involving theft and/or embezzlement from private business and nonprofit organizations, including cases in New Hampshire Superior Courts, and in the United States District Court for NH (federal court). 

If the accused only stole or shoplifted relatively inexpensive things from several stores, how can it be a felony?

New Hampshire law allows the police and prosecutor to aggregate - add together - the value of multiple items or things of value taken in a single "scheme or course of conduct."  NH RSA 637:2,, V(a). This is true even if there are multiple victims — that is, if the property was taken from a number of different individuals or businesses. Whether a series of criminal acts falls within a single "scheme or course of conduct" will be determined based on the accused's mental intent, which is a question for the judge or jury deciding the case. State v. Sampson, 120 N.H. 251 (1980). 

Can I be charged with larceny, embezzlement or false pretenses in NH?

In New Hampshire, our laws don't use the terms "larceny," "embezzlement" and "false pretenses," but the theft laws cover all of those categories. For example, Massachusetts has many offenses that are designated as "larceny," which mirror similar offenses that we call "theft" in New Hampshire.

What are the most common winning defenses against Restraining Orders?

The most common winning defenses against restraining orders, based on our actual experience with clients and according to New Hampshire case decisions, are:

  1. Defendant's conduct did not amount to a crime.
  2. Defendant's conduct, even if inappropriate or even illegal, does not present a credible threat to petitioner's safety.
  3. Defendant's conduct, even if inappropriate or even illegal, occurred in the past -- there is no present threat to petitioner's safety.
  4. Petitioner tried to prove her case by testifying to facts that were not in her petition.  New Hampshire case decisions do not allow petitioner to present such facts, so district courts routinely exclude such testimony.
  5. Cross-examination of the petitioner - and confronting petitioner with her text messages, social networking posts, emails, voicemails, and letters - disproves petitioner's claim that she actually fears for her safety.
  6. Witness testimony contradicts and undermines petitioner's testimony.
  7. Defendant's testimony establishes an innocent purpose or innocuous explanation for an unwanted visit, telephone call, email or other act that petitioner claims constitutes an act of abuse.

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