Browse Previous PageTable of ContentsBrowse Next Page


Rules of Evidence Table of Contents

RULES OF EVIDENCE

ARTICLE IV. RELEVANCY AND ITS LIMITS

Rule 404. Character Evidence Not Admissible To Prove Conduct; Exceptions; Other Crimes


    (a) Character Evidence Generally. - Evidence of a person's character or a trait of character is not admissible for the purpose of proving that the person acted in conformity therewith on a particular occasion, except:

        (1) Character of Accused. - Evidence of a pertinent trait of character offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the same;

        (2) Character of Victim. - Evidence of a pertinent trait of character of the victim of the crime offered by an accused, or by the prosecution to rebut the same, or evidence of a character trait of peacefulness of the victim offered by the prosecution in a homicide case to rebut evidence that the victim was the first aggressor;

        (3) Character of Witness. - Evidence of the character of a witness, as provided in rules 607, 608, and 609.

    (b) Other Crimes, Wrongs, or Acts. - Evidence of other crimes, wrongs, or acts is not admissible to prove the character of a person in order to show that the person acted in conformity therewith. It may, however, be admissible for other purposes, such as proof of motive, opportunity, intent, preparation, plan, knowledge, identity, or absence of mistake or accident.

 

2016 NHRE Update Committee Note

No change was made to New Hampshire Rule of Evidence 404 to mirror the federal rule. The current New Hampshire rule mirrors the language of Federal Rule 404 as it existed in 1985. Federal Rule of Evidence 404 has been amended four times since New Hampshire adopted the rule. The 1987 amendment to Federal Rule of Evidence 404 was technical, but the three subsequent amendments were substantive. The 1991 amendment added a pretrial notice requirement to 404(b). The 2000 amendment provides that when the accused attacks the character of an alleged victim the door is open to an attack on the same character trait of the accused. The 2006 amendment was added to clarify that in a civil case evidence of a person’s character is never admissible to prove that the person acted in conformity with the character trait. Because New Hampshire has a body of case law that has clarified and limited this rule as applied in New Hampshire, the changes made to Federal Rule 404 have not been made to New Hampshire Rule of Evidence 404.

Browse Previous PageTable of ContentsBrowse Next Page


Rules of Evidence Table of Contents