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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

GENERAL RULES

Rule 2.23. Appointment and Presence of Counsel at Arraignment

    
    A. In any case where the defendant is charged with a class A misdemeanor or felony and appears at arraignment without counsel, the court shall inform the defendant, in writing or on the record, of his or her privilege against self-incrimination, his or her right to be represented by counsel throughout the case, and that if he or she is unable to afford counsel, counsel will be appointed, if requested, subject to the state's right to reimbursement for expenses related thereto. Except as provided in subsection D or E of this rule, unless the defendant waives the presence of counsel at the arraignment in writing or on the record, the court shall take no other action at the arraignment aside from (1) advising the defendant of the charges against him or her and entering a pro forma plea of not guilty (or no plea in a felony case) on the defendant's behalf, and (2) informing the defendant that the issue of bail and any other issue requiring an adversary hearing will not be addressed until his or her counsel is present.

    B. If a defendant who is not detained indicates a financial inability to obtain counsel and a desire for appointed counsel, the court shall instruct the defendant to complete a financial affidavit prior to leaving the courthouse and, if eligible, counsel shall be appointed no later than 24 hours from the date of the request. The court shall inform counsel of the appointment as soon as reasonably possible by telephone, facsimile or electronically. A bail hearing shall be scheduled at the request of the defendant.

    C. If a defendant who is detained indicates a financial inability to obtain counsel and a desire for appointed counsel, the court shall instruct the defendant to complete a financial affidavit immediately and, if eligible, counsel shall be appointed immediately. The court shall inform counsel of the appointment immediately in person, if present, or by telephone if counsel for the detained defendant is unavailable at the court at the time of the arraignment. A bail hearing, at which the defendant's counsel is present, shall be held within 24 hours of a written or oral request for same made by the defendant's counsel, weekends and holidays excluded.

    D. Nothing in this rule shall prevent the court from reducing a detained or non-detained defendant's bail or conditions of bail without his or her counsel present, but if the state opposes such reduction, it shall have the right to be heard in argument before the court makes a decision. Any such reduction shall be without prejudice to the defendant's right to a further bail hearing, with counsel present, as specified in subsections B or C of this rule.


    E. Nothing in this rule shall prevent the court from increasing a detained or non-detained defendant's bail or conditions of bail without the presence of counsel when the court makes a specific finding that such increase is necessary to reasonably assure the appearance of the defendant as required or that release without such increase will endanger the safety of the defendant or any other person or the community. Any such increase in bail or conditions of bail shall be without prejudice to the defendant's right to a further bail hearing, with counsel present, as specified in subsections B or C of this rule.

    

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Circuit Court District Division Rules Table of Contents