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What evidence is required for a conviction in a Simple Assault Domestic charge?

1 Answers. Asked on Mar 04th, 2012 on Criminal Law - New Hampshire
More details to this question:
My daughter who does not live with me was at my house having a severe temper tantrum so I pushed her out the door and locked her out after several warnings. It got really bad with her fast and I can not have that display at my house anymore. I live with my grandfather who has a heart condition and if he came home it would of been bad not to mention that I really don''t need her taking a swing at me either. It was an easy going push backwards out the door that she did not even resist, she just walked backwards with me while yelling that I was going to jail because she can have me arrested for just touching her even in a non violent manner such as that. She has a history of serious temper outbursts.This charge and this whole situation with me facing charges is pathetic.
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Answered on Mar 05th, 2012 at 1:15 AM

Domestic violence and assault laws vary from state to state.

In New Hampshire, where you are from, the crime of simple assault applies to one who causes bodily injury to or has "unprivileged physical contact" with another person. "Unprivileged physical contact" essentially means all physical contact not justified by law or consent. The offense is a misdemeanor unless the act was committed in a fight entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is only a violation. The misdemeanor offense carries a maximum jail sentence of 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,000. A violation is not punished by jail time but can result in a fine of up to $1,200.

To obtain a conviction, the state will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you either (1) Purposely or knowingly caused bodily injury or unprivileged physical contact to another person; (2) Recklessly caused bodily injury to another person or (3) Negligently caused bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon. "Purposely", "knowingly" and "recklessly" refer to state of mind and are legally defined terms. The crime can be proved by circumstantial rather than direct evidence, such as statements you may have made as recounted by a witness or the victim's injuries,

New Hampshire does not have a separate criminal domestic violence statute. It does have a domestic violence protection law. Thus, domestic violence is not an element of the simple assault crime. Rather, if included in the charge, it is a circumstance the court can find. Criminal complaint forms may include a "domestic violence-related" box which can be checked to alert the court. If the assault is by a family or household member, or by a current or former sexual or intimate partner, and the conduct is found to be a credible present threat to the person's safety, it is considered to be abuse under the domestic violence statute.

There are serious collateral consequences to a conviction found to involve domestic violence. Under federal law, you can lose your right to possess a firearm. It can affect your employment. If you are not a citizen, it can have immigration consequences. You may be entered in a national database of domestic violence offenders. A no contact order can be entered, which if violated, can result in jail time. You can be ordered to undergo counseling or a batterer's program.

You should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney in New Hampshire who can review the language of the charge and the police reports with you, listen to your version of events and advise you as to possible defenses. He or she can also advise you as to possible plea resolutions that would avoid a conviction and permanent record.

Jeralyn Merritt, Ask a Lawyer Panelist since 1998


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