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Circuit Court District Division Rules Table of Contents

RULES OF THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE -- DISTRICT DIVISION

CRIMINAL RULES

Rule 2.20. Pre-Arraignment Notice Regarding Availability of Counsel at Arraignment

    
A. In any case where a person is arrested for a class A misdemeanor or felony and appears before a bail commissioner, prior to the defendant's release or detention, the bail commissioner shall provide the defendant with oral and written notice that, if he or she is unable to afford counsel, counsel will be appointed prior to that arraignment, if requested, subject to the state's right of reimbursement for expenses related thereto.

In any case where a person arrested for a class A misdemeanor or felony is released with a written summons, the summons shall provide the defendant with written notice that, if he or she is unable to afford counsel, counsel will be appointed prior to the arraignment, if requested, subject to the state's right of reimbursement for expenses related thereto. The summons shall also provide the person with written notice of the process for obtaining court-appointed counsel.


B. In any case in which a defendant appears before a bail commissioner pursuant to paragraph A, the defendant shall also be provided with a financial affidavit in order to apply for counsel at arraignment. The bail commissioner shall request the defendant to complete the financial affidavit prior to his or her release or detention, in which case the bail commissioner shall forward the affidavit to the court along with the memorandum required by Rule 2.2(A), or the defendant may return the affidavit directly to the circuit court in which his or her arraignment is scheduled. If the defendant is financially eligible, counsel shall be appointed within 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, from the date of the receipt of the request by the circuit court but not later than the filing of the complaint. The court shall inform appointed counsel immediately of the appointment (1) by telephone, facsimile or electronically if the defendant is detained or (2) by telephone, electronically or by first-class mail if the defendant is not detained.

Nothing herein shall prevent a defendant charged with a class A misdemeanor or felony and who is unable to afford counsel from requesting counsel at any time after arrest by completing a financial affidavit and submitting it to the court having jurisdiction over the matter. The court shall act on the request for counsel within 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays, from the date the request is submitted but not later than the filing of the complaint. If the defendant is financially eligible, the court shall inform counsel immediately of the appointment (1) by telephone, facsimile or electronically if the defendant is detained or (2) by telephone, electronically or by first-class mail if the defendant is not detained.

 

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Circuit Court District Division Rules Table of Contents