Information For Victims

Victim/Witness Program

The Victim/Witness Program assists victims and witnesses through the criminal justice process. Some of the services available to you are as follows:

  • Orientation to the criminal justice system and explanation of court procedures.
  • Notification regarding the status of the case.
  • Assistance with school and/or employer issues when attending court hearings, depositions, or trial.
  • Assistance in obtaining the return of property held as evidence.
  • Support at court appearances and notification of case activity.
  • Referrals to community agencies to assist with specific issues.
  • Assistance with attendance at parole hearings.

Trial Schedule

Grafton County Superior Court – Daily Docket

New Hampshire Supreme Court Oral Argument Calendar


The State of New Hampshire has what is known as a “truth in sentencing.” This means that when a defendant is sentenced to a term in the State Prison, he must serve the minimum of the sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

There is no “time off for good behavior.” Instead, 150 days of “bad time” are added to each year of an inmate’s minimum sentence, and the good time earned is used to erase those days. If an inmate does not get into trouble, he will be eligible for parole after serving his minimum sentence. Otherwise, the parole date is delayed according to how many disciplinary problems there have been.

For example, an inmate sentenced to 10 to 20 years, begins with a minimum sentence of 10 years plus 1500 days (10 years X 150 days). A good time is subtracted from the 1500 days and after 10 years an inmate becomes eligible for parole.

The only way a defendant can change the minimum sentence he must serve is:

  1. By successfully appealing the case to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
  2. By applying for a Sentence Review Hearing
  3. By petitioning for a Sentence Reduction Hearing.

The defendant is usually unsuccessful in the vast majority of homicide cases and serves the full minimum sentence imposed by the original sentencing judge.


After a defendant is convicted of a crime, he has thirty days in which to file a “Notice of Appeal” to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. A defendant gives up his right to appeal when he pleads guilty instead of going to trial.

A “Notice of Appeal” outlines the legal issues to be appealed. Once a “notice of appeal” is filed, the Supreme Court makes a determination whether or not to accept the case. Appeals are filed in the majority of violent crime cases and they are usually accepted by the court. It may take up to three months before the case is officially accepted.

After the Supreme Court accepts the case, the following “steps occur”:

  1. The Supreme Court will order transcripts of the trial to be prepared for their review.
  2. The Appellate Counsel for the defendant will submit a “brief” on the legal issues being appealed.
  3. The State, represented by the Department of Justice, responds to the appellate issues in their own written brief.
  4. A public hearing is scheduled before the five Justices of the Supreme Court at the Supreme Court House on Noble Drive in Concord. Each side is given 15 minutes to present an oral argument outlining their positions.

After the hearing, it may take six months or longer for the court to render its written decision on the appeal. If the Supreme Court “affirms” the conviction, the defendant’s sentence is upheld and it remains the same. If the Court “overturns” the verdict, the conviction is set aside and a new trial must be held in order to reconvict the defendant.


At the sentencing hearing, the defendant is informed orally and in writing of his right, according to RSA 651:58, to apply for a “sentence review.” This is when the defendant “contests” the sentence imposed by the Superior Court. The defendant has 30 days in which to file his application.

If a request for a “sentence review” is made, a hearing is scheduled before the Sentence Review Division at the New Hampshire State Prison. The Division is a Board of three Superior Court Justices appointed by the Chief Justice to review such application. At the hearing the Board may do any of the following:

  1. They may decide the sentence should remain the same.
  2. They may decrease the sentence imposed by the judge.
  3. They may increase the sentence imposed by the judge.

It is rare for the Board to change the original sentence imposed by the sentencing judge.

If a hearing is scheduled you will be notified by an advocate who will accompany you to the hearing if you choose to attend. A prosecutor will represent the State at the hearing. Only the prosecutor, defense attorney, and defendant are allowed to address the Board. The Board will then review the facts and make their decision you will be notified as soon as the decision is made.


According to RSA 651:20, any defendant sentenced to the State Prison has the right to petition the court to have his sentence reduced. If the crime occurred before January 1, 1993, they may petition the court every two years: if the crime occurred between January 1, 1993, and July 22, 1994, they must serve 2/3 of their minimum sentence before filing a petition. If the court accepts the petition, a hearing is scheduled before the original sentencing judge.

The hearings are public and you are welcome to attend. A prosecutor will represent the State in opposition to any reduction in the sentence. An advocate will notify you of the scheduled hearing and will accompany you if you choose to attend. If you wish to address the court, the prosecutor will request that your input be heard. An advocate can assist you with any written or oral statement you wish to make.


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NH Victims Bill Of Rights

Victims of felonious crimes committed by an adult offender are entitled to the following rights under NHRSA 21-M:8-K.

I. As used in this section:(a) ” Victims ” means a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, emotional, psychological or financial harm as a result of the commission or the attempted commission of a crime. “Victim” also includes the immediate family of any victim who is a minor or who is incompetent, or the immediate family of a homicide victim, or the surviving partner in a civil union.(b) ” Crime ” means a violation of a penal law of this state for which the offender, upon conviction, may be punished by imprisonment for more than one year or an offense expressly designated by law to be a felony; a misdemeanor sexual offense; an offense listed in RSA 173-B:1, I; a violation of a protective order under RSA 458:16, III; or after arraignment, a violation of a protective order issued under RSA 173-B.II. To the extent that they can be reasonably guaranteed by the courts and by law enforcement and correctional authorities, and are not inconsistent with the constitutional or statutory rights of the accused, crime victims are entitled to the following rights:(a) The right to be treated with fairness and respect for the victim’s safety, dignity, and privacy throughout the criminal justice process.(b) The right to be informed about the criminal justice process and how it progresses.(c) The right to be free from intimidation and to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process, including the right to relocate for the victim’s safety.(d) The right to reasonable and timely notice of all court proceedings, including post-conviction proceedings, and administrative proceedings including parole and probation.(e) The right on the same basis as the accused to attend trial and all other court proceedings, including post-conviction proceedings.(f) The right to confer with the prosecution and to be consulted about the disposition of the case, including plea bargaining.(g) The right to have inconveniences associated with participation in the criminal justice process minimized.(h) The right to be notified if presence in court is not required.(i) The right to be informed about available resources, financial assistance, and social services.(j) The right to full and timely restitution, as granted under RSA 651:62-67 or any other applicable state law, or victim’s compensation, under RSA 21-M:8-h or any other applicable state law, for their losses.(k) The right to be provided a secure, but not necessarily separate, waiting area during court proceedings.(l) The right to be advised of case progress and final disposition.(m) The right of confidentiality of the victim’s address, place of employment, and other personal information.(n) The right to the prompt return of property when no longer needed as evidence.(o) The right to have input in the probation presentence report impact statement.(p) The right to appear and be heard at any disposition and any proceeding involving the release, plea, sentencing, or parole of the accused, including the right to be notified of, to attend, and to make a written or oral impact statement at the sentence review hearings and sentence reduction hearings. No victim shall be subject to questioning by counsel when being heard.(q) The right to be notified of an appeal, an explanation of the appeal process, the time, place and result of the appeal, and the right to attend the appeal hearing.(r) The right to be notified of, to attend, and to make a written or oral victim impact statement at the sentence review hearings and sentence reduction hearings. No victim shall be subject to questioning by counsel when giving an impact statement.(s) The right to be notified of any change of status such as prison release, permanent interstate transfer, or escape, and the date of the parole board hearing, when requested by the victim.(t) The right to address or submit a written statement for consideration by the parole board on the defendant’s release and to be notified of the decision of the board, when requested by the victim.(u) The right to all federal and state constitutional rights guaranteed to all victims of crime on an equal basis, and notwithstanding the provisions of any laws on capital punishment, the right not to be discriminated against or have their rights as a victim denied, diminished, expanded, or enhanced on the basis of the victim’s support for, opposition to, or neutrality on the death penalty.(v) The right to access to restorative justice programs, including victim-initiated victim-offender dialogue programs offered through the department of corrections.(w) The right to be informed of the filing of a petition for post-conviction DNA testing under RSA 651-D.(x) The right to have the prosecuting attorney notify the victim’s employer, if requested by the victim, of the necessity of the victim’s cooperation and testimony in a court proceeding that may necessitate the absence of the victim from work for good cause.II-a. (a) In any case where the victim informs the court that he or she requires assistance in making an oral or written impact statement permitted under this section, the court shall allow the victim to designate a representative to write or speak on the victim’s behalf.(b) The victim’s impact statement shall not be limited to the injuries, harm, or damages noted in the information or indictment, but may include all injuries, harm, and damages suffered as a result of the commission or attempted commission of the crime whether or not the injuries, harm, or damages were fully determined or discovered at the time the information or indictment was filed.III. Nothing in this section shall be construed as creating a cause of action against the state, a county or municipality, or any of their agencies, instrumentalities, or employees. Nothing in this section shall be construed as creating any new cause of action or new remedy or right for a criminal defendant.


In addition to the rights listed above under RSA 21-M:8, a new subdivision regarding Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights were added under RSA 21-M:18.


21-M:18 Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights. –I. In addition to the rights of a crime victim provided in RSA 21-M:8-k, a sexual assault survivor shall have the following rights:(a) The right not to be prevented from, or charged for, receiving a medical examination.(b) The right to:(1) Have a sexual assault evidence collection kit or its probative contents preserved, without charge, for the duration of the maximum applicable statute of limitations or 20 years, whichever is shorter;(2) Be informed of any result of a sexual assault evidence collection kit, including a DNA profile match, toxicology report, or other information collected as part of a medical forensic examination, if such disclosure would not impede or compromise an ongoing investigation; and(3) Be informed in writing of policies governing the collection and preservation of a sexual assault evidence collection kit.(c) The right, if the state intends to destroy or dispose of a sexual assault evidence collection kit or its probative contents before the expiration date of the maximum applicable statute of limitations, to:(1) Upon written request, receive written notification from the prosecutor or appropriate state official with custody not later than 60 days before the date of the intended destruction or disposal; and(2) Upon written request, be granted further preservation of the kit or its probative contents.(d) The right to be informed of the rights under this section.II. In this subdivision, “sexual assault survivor” includes a deceased victim of sexual assault.



This is a new program starting Monday, April 29th, 2019.

VINE is a free service that offers peace of mind to victims of crime by providing access to timely and reliable offender information. Victims have the ability to call a toll-free number, visit, or use the VINELink mobile app to anonymously check on an offender’s custody status. Victims can also register to receive automated notifications about changes in custody status via their choice of delivery method: in-app, phone, email, or text. TTY (hearing impaired) service is also available.

WISE Of Lebanon

wiselogofinallogo38 Bank Street, Lebanon, NH 03766 24-hour Crisis Line Local: 603-448-5525 Toll-Free: 866-348-9473 (WISE)

The mission of WISE is to empower victims of domestic and sexual violence and stalking to become safe and self-reliant through crisis intervention and support services. WISE advances social justice through community education, training, and public policy. WISE provides services to victims/survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence, and stalking regardless of gender or gender identity/expression, age, health status (including HIV-positive), physical, mental or emotional ability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, race, national origin, immigration status, or religious or political affiliation.

New Hampshire Victims’ Assistance Commission

Helps innocent victims of violent crime with expenses directly related to crime injuries. The costs of this program are paid by motor vehicle and criminal fine assessments and federal Victims Of Crime Act (VOCA) grants, and not by New Hampshire Taxpayers. Application forms are located under the forms tab.

National Center For Missing & Exploited Children

Official site for current information on Missing and Exploited Children, search for missing children, view wanted posters, submit child “sightings”, …

New Hampshire State Prison Inmate Locator

Location and status of inmates incarcerated within the New Hampshire prison system.

Voices Against Violence & Support Center