New Hampshire Judicial branch seal
Image: Find Your Court!
Circuit Court District Division - Criminal - What to do before court

After reviewing the information on these pages, if you need further assistance please contact the District Court Service Center at:

1-877-641-0966 (toll free in N.H.)
603-271-6545 (out of state callers)
districtservice@courts.state.nh.us (e-mail)

Definitions

What to do before court

What to bring

What to do when you arrive

What to do before court

MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE DATE AND TIME YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO APPEAR!!!! Failing to appear on the correct date and time could result in the issuance of a warrant for your arrest, as well as the loss of you drivers' license or right to drive.

If you have lost your paperwork, or need to be sure you have the correct date, call the court.

MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW TO GET TO THE COURT. Directions to each court location may be found on the judicial branch website.

Be sure to make your travel arrangements ahead of time and leave home early enough to be in court on time. Prepare for traffic, weather, etc.

IF YOU SPEAK TO A LAWYER, MAKE SURE THE LAWYER KNOWS THE DAY AND TIME YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE IN COURT.

DRESS APPROPRIATELY. Court proceedings are dignified events and should be treated as such. Garments such as shorts and tank tops are not permitted.

NO DRINKING!!! This should go without saying, but if you appear in court under the influence of alcohol you may be held in contempt and jailed. Even if not under the influence, if the judge believes that alcohol is an issue he/she will probably make you return on another day. Alcohol can stay with you, so if consuming it the evening before court (unless you are under a bail order NOT to consume alcohol) do so in moderation.

BRING NO WEAPONS. Firearms are prohibited. Other weapons, such as knives, pepper spray, etc. will be confiscated. You will be searched before entering the courtroom.

CELL PHONES - cell phone usage in the courtroom is PROHIBITED and a cell phone which rings while in court may be confiscated. BE SURE YOUR CELL PHONE IS OFF OR ON VIBRATE WHILE IN THE COURTROOM!

CHILDREN - the courtroom is not an appropriate place for kids. We understand that it is sometimes necessary to bring children to court; however every effort should be made to avoid this.

CHANGING THE DATE - you may not call the court if the date of your appearance is inconvenient and simply change it. A document called a "Motion to Continue" must be filed at least 10 days in advance (if possible) of your hearing and you must contact the prosecutor to see if he/she agrees. If you have an emergency that prohibits you from attending then by all means call, however the court will likely not reschedule an appearance based upon a non-emergency event.

What to bring »

Accessibility Options | FAQ | Site Map | Contact Us | N.H. Legislative Branch | N.H. Executive Branch | NH.Gov | Revised Statutes Online