The state official who represents the government in the prosecution of criminal offenses is typically referred to as the "District Attorney" (D.A.) or prosecuting attorney and serves a county or group of counties. When the D.A. files the "information," the suspect is officially charged with the crime. In other cases, usually more-serious felonies, the D.A. might refer the case to a grand jury before charges are filed.
In New Hampshire, the D.A. is called a "County Attorney." The state has ten County Attorneys who represent the state in criminal filings. Learn about their role and how to get in touch with them below.
When to Speak With the Prosecuting Attorney
Communicating with a prosecuting attorney can be an important part of mounting an effective defense. A district attorney may be able to reduce or even drop charges in certain circumstances. Communicating important details about your case may impact their decision whether to prosecute a crime or offer a favorable plea agreement. However, you should also be aware that their job is to successfully prosecute crimes and, as such, they should be approached with caution. A defense attorney can often communicate with a prosecutor with less risk and better results.
A prosecutor may refuse to speak with you altogether, since some prosecutors and jurisdictions attempt to avoid exchanges between district attorneys and non-attorneys because of the potential legal issues that can arise from these exchanges. But even when a prosecutor is willing to discuss a case with the defendant, there are reasons why you may want to avoid this. For instance, it may result in unintentional admissions or you may reveal information that the prosecution is unaware of.
You're also likely to be unfamiliar with the prosecutor and the court. A prosecutor or prosecutor's office often have attitudes about different kinds of crimes or circumstances that influence negotiations such as the court's caseload or a judge's reputation. A local attorney will be aware of these considerations and will know how to take advantage of them when they ask for a deal.
Negotiating a Plea Deal
Finally, a thorough case assessment is wise before deciding to negotiate a plea since there may be grounds to have the case against you dismissed. The rules of evidence and proof are very complicated and, depending on the circumstances of your particular case, there may be a procedural error or a lack of evidence that could result in charges being dropped without having to communicate with a prosecutor at all.
New Hampshire Attorney General's Office
The New Hampshire Attorney General is the chief legal officer and law enforcement officer for the state, representing New Hampshire in matters of litigation. The A.G.'s office also represents state residents regarding consumer rights and other legal matters.
Directory of New Hampshire County Attorneys
Each of New Hampshire's ten counties comprises a judicial district, where the prosecuting attorney is responsible for filing criminal charges on behalf of the state. The following directory will help you better understand their role and how to contact them.
Note: Although we strive to provide the most current contact and website information available for the D.A. offices in this state, this information is subject to change. If you have found contact or website information that is not current, please contact us.
Get Legal Advice Before Talking to a District Attorney in New Hampshire
Before approaching the district attorney it may be helpful to discuss your case with competent local counsel. In addition to reducing risk in communicating with the district attorney, a local lawyer can also let you know about the kinds of plea agreements typically available and what aspects of your case might provide the best advantages or pose the greatest risks. Contact a local criminal defense attorney to learn more about how he or she can help communicate with the prosecutor on your behalf.