New Hampshire Stalking Lawyer

When most people think of stalking, they think of a person who sneakily follows someone else around all day. However, under New Hampshire law, many different types of behaviors and activities may constitute stalking.  

In New Hampshire, stalking may be treated as a civil offense or as a crime. If you have been served with a civil order of protection or been criminally charged with stalking, you need a New Hampshire stalking lawyer. An experienced domestic violence attorney can devote the time and resources necessary to defend your case.

Civil Orders of Protection

In the civil context, a person accused of stalking may be served with a civil stalking order. A stalking accuser can seek a civil protective order under the New Hampshire Stalking Statute.  

These civil protective orders are similar to restraining orders that are issued in domestic violence cases. However, the difference is that in stalking cases, the defendant and the accuser need not be family members or in an intimate relationship with one another at the time the alleged stalking incident occurred.  

In order to obtain a civil stalking order under the New Hampshire Stalking Statute, the accuser must first file a stalking petition with the court. Once a petition is filed, a New Hampshire court will ordinarily schedule a hearing within 30 days of the filing date. During that interim time period, a temporary order may be placed into effect.  

Final Hearing

At a final stalking hearing, the accuser has the burden of proving that the stalking incident occurred and that the defendant was the stalker. During the hearing, both parties (i.e. the accuser and the defendant) can testify, along with any other individuals who were witnesses to the incident.  

If the court finds that stalking did, in fact, occur, the defendant will be ordered to have no contact with the plaintiff. The court may also order the defendant to do one or both of the following: 

  • Pay child support 
  • Begin counseling sessions 

A court’s Final Stalking Order typically remains in effect for one year, after which the plaintiff could move to extend the order upon a showing of good cause. 

Criminal Stalking Cases

Under New Hampshire criminal law, a person could be criminally charged with stalking under one or more of the following circumstances: 

  • Purposely or knowingly engaging in conduct toward an individual which the defendant knows will place that individual in fear for personal safety – or for the safety of an immediate family member 
  • Purposely, knowingly, or recklessly engaging in two or more acts toward an individual which would cause a reasonable person to fear for personal safety – or for the safety of an immediate family member – and the victim is actually placed in such fear. 
  • Knowingly or recklessly violating a protective order (after having been notified and/or served with it) and threatening the safety and well-being of the individual who is the subject of the protective order. Activities that may amount to violating a protective order include following the individual, confronting the individual, approaching the individual, communicating with the individual, damaging the individual’s home or residence, or coming to the individual’s workplace, job, or school.  

Under New Hampshire law, stalking is considered a misdemeanor. As such, it is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $2,000 fine. These penalties may increase, depending upon the defendant’s criminal record and conviction history. A  New Hampshire stalking lawyer can attempt to mitigate potential penalties that an individual may face.

Talk to a New Hampshire Stalking Attorney Today

New Hampshire does not treat stalking charges or convictions lightly. If you have been charged with stalking, you need experienced legal representation on your side throughout your case. 

Contact an experienced New Hampshire stalking lawyer at any time, and know that you are in good hands.