TITLE LXII
CRIMINAL CODE

Chapter 631
ASSAULT AND RELATED OFFENSES

Section 631:1

    631:1 First Degree Assault. –
I. A person is guilty of a class A felony if he:
(a) Purposely causes serious bodily injury to another; or
(b) Purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another by means of a deadly weapon, except that if the deadly weapon is a firearm, he shall be sentenced in accordance with RSA 651:2, II-g; or
(c) Purposely or knowingly causes injury to another resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth; or
(d) Knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to a person under 13 years of age.
II. In this section:
(a) "Miscarriage" means the interruption of the normal development of the fetus other than by a live birth and not an induced abortion, resulting in the complete expulsion or extraction of a fetus; and
(b) "Stillbirth" means the death of a fetus prior to complete expulsion or extraction and not an induced abortion.
III. (a) Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as "first degree assault-domestic violence."
(b) In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, the court shall levy a fine of $50 for each conviction recorded as "first degree assault-domestic violence" under this paragraph. The court shall not reduce or suspend any sentence or the payment of any fine imposed under this paragraph and no fine imposed under this paragraph shall be subject to an additional penalty assessment. If the court determines that the defendant is unable to pay the fine on the date imposed, the court may defer payment or order periodic payments thereof. The clerk shall forward all fines collected under this paragraph to the department of health and human services for the purposes of RSA 173-B:15. The provisions of RSA 618:8 and RSA 618:9 shall not apply to a fine imposed under this paragraph.

Source. 1971, 518:1. 1979, 126:1. 1990, 95:2. 1991, 75:1. 1992, 71:1. 2014, 152:3, eff. Jan. 1, 2015. 2017, 90:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.

Section 631:2

    631:2 Second Degree Assault. –
I. A person is guilty of a class B felony if he or she:
(a) Knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to another; or
(b) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another by means of a deadly weapon, except that if the deadly weapon is a firearm, he or she shall be sentenced in accordance with RSA 651:2, II-g; or
(c) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; or
(d) Purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to a child under 13 years of age; or
(e) Recklessly or negligently causes injury to another resulting in miscarriage or stillbirth; or
(f) Purposely or knowingly engages in the strangulation of another.
II. In this section:
(a) " Miscarriage " means the interruption of the normal development of the fetus other than by a live birth and not an induced abortion, resulting in the complete expulsion or extraction of a fetus.
(b) " Stillbirth " means the death of a fetus prior to complete expulsion or extraction and not an induced abortion.
(c) " Strangulation " means the application of pressure to another person's throat or neck, or the blocking of the person's nose or mouth, that causes the person to experience impeded breathing or blood circulation or a change in voice.
III. (a) Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as "second degree assault-domestic violence."
(b) In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, the court shall levy a fine of $50 for each conviction recorded as "second degree assault-domestic violence" under this paragraph. The court shall not reduce or suspend any sentence or the payment of any fine imposed under this paragraph and no fine imposed under this paragraph shall be subject to an additional penalty assessment. If the court determines that the defendant is unable to pay the fine on the date imposed, the court may defer payment or order periodic payments thereof. The clerk shall forward all fines collected under this paragraph to the department of health and human services for the purposes of RSA 173-B:15. The provisions of RSA 618:8 and RSA 618:9 shall not apply to a fine imposed under this paragraph.

Source. 1971, 518:1. 1979, 126:2. 1985, 181:1. 1990, 95:3. 1991, 75:2. 2010, 8:1. 2014, 152:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2015. 2017, 90:5, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.

Section 631:2-a

    631:2-a Simple Assault. –
I. A person is guilty of simple assault if he:
(a) Purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury or unprivileged physical contact to another; or
(b) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or
(c) Negligently causes bodily injury to another by means of a deadly weapon.
II. Simple assault is a misdemeanor unless committed in a fight entered into by mutual consent, in which case it is a violation.

Source. 1979, 126:3, eff. Aug. 4, 1979.

Section 631:2-b

    631:2-b Domestic Violence. –
I. A person is guilty of domestic violence if the person commits any of the following against a family or household member or intimate partner:
(a) Purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury or unprivileged physical contact against another by use of physical force;
(b) Recklessly causes bodily injury to another by use of physical force;
(c) Negligently causes bodily injury to another by means of a deadly weapon;
(d) Uses or attempts to use physical force, or by physical conduct threatens to use a deadly weapon for the purpose of placing another in fear of imminent bodily injury;
(e) Threatens to use a deadly weapon against another person for the purpose to terrorize that person;
(f) Coerces or forces another to submit to sexual contact by using physical force or physical violence;
(g) Threatens to use physical force or physical violence to cause another to submit to sexual contact and the victim believes the actor has the present ability to execute the threat;
(h) Threatens to use a deadly weapon to cause another to submit to sexual contact and the victim believes the actor has the present ability to carry out the threat;
(i) Confines another unlawfully, as defined in RSA 633:2, by means of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon, so as to interfere substantially with his or her physical movement;
(j) Knowingly violates a term of a protective order issued pursuant to RSA 173-B:4, I by means of the use or attempted use of physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon;
(k) Uses physical force or the threatened use of a deadly weapon against another to block that person's access to any cell phone, telephone, or electronic communication device with the purpose of preventing, obstructing, or interfering with:
(1) The report of any criminal offense, bodily injury, or property damage to a law enforcement agency; or
(2) A request for an ambulance or emergency medical assistance to any law enforcement agency or emergency medical provider.
II. Domestic violence is a class A misdemeanor unless the person uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon as defined in RSA 625:11, V, in the commission of an offense, in which case it is a class B felony.
III. For purposes of this section:
(a) " Family or household member " means:
(1) The actor's spouse or former spouse;
(2) A person with whom the actor is cohabiting as a spouse, parent, or guardian;
(3) A person with whom the actor cohabited as a spouse, parent, or guardian but no longer shares the same residence;
(4) An adult with whom the actor is related by blood or marriage; or
(5) A person with whom the actor shares a child in common.
(b) " Intimate partner " means a person with whom the actor is currently or was formerly involved in a romantic relationship, regardless of whether or not the relationship was sexually consummated.
IV. Upon conviction and sentencing, the court shall document on the sentencing form the specific nature of the relationship between the defendant and the victim, by reference to subparagraphs III(a)(1)-(5) and III(b).
V. In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, the court shall levy a fine of $50 for each conviction under this section. The court shall not reduce or suspend any sentence or the payment of any fine imposed under this section. If the court determines that the defendant is unable to pay the fine on the date imposed, the court may defer payment or order periodic payments thereof. Fines imposed under this section shall not be subject to an additional penalty assessment and shall not be subject to the provisions of RSA 618:8 or 618:9. The clerk shall forward all fines collected under this paragraph to the department of health and human services for the purposes of RSA 173-B:15.

Source. 2014, 152:2. 2015, 244:1, eff. July 1, 2015. 2017, 90:6, eff. Jan. 1, 2018.

Section 631:3

    631:3 Reckless Conduct. –
I. A person is guilty of reckless conduct if he recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another in danger of serious bodily injury.
II. Reckless conduct is a class B felony if the person uses a deadly weapon as defined in RSA 625:11, V. All other reckless conduct is a misdemeanor.
III. A person convicted of a class B felony offense under this section shall not be subject to the provisions of RSA 651:2, II-g.
IV. (a) Upon proof that the victim and defendant were intimate partners or family or household members, as those terms are defined in RSA 631:2-b, III, a conviction under this section shall be recorded as "reckless conduct-domestic violence."
(b) In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, the court shall levy a fine of $50 for each conviction recorded as "reckless conduct-domestic violence" under this paragraph. The court shall not reduce or suspend any sentence or the payment of any fine imposed under this paragraph and no fine imposed under this paragraph shall be subject to an additional penalty assessment. If the court determines that the defendant is unable to pay the fine on the date imposed, the court may defer payment or order periodic payments thereof. The clerk shall forward all fines collected under this paragraph to the department of health and human services for the purposes of RSA 173-B:15. The provisions of RSA 618:8 and RSA 618:9 shall not apply to a fine imposed under this paragraph.
V. The act of displaying a firearm shall not, in and of itself and without additional circumstances, constitute reckless conduct under this section.

Source. 1971, 518:1. 1994, 187:1. 2006, 163:2. 2014, 152:5, eff. Jan. 1, 2015. 2017, 90:7, eff. Jan. 1, 2018. 2021, 130:1, eff. Sept. 21, 2021.

Section 631:3-a

    631:3-a Conduct Involving Laser Pointing Devices. –
I. As used in this section:
(a) " Government " means the federal government, the state government or any political subdivision thereof, or a state or municipal agency or department, including any employee or agent.
(b) " Person " means any individual, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, or any other organization, including a for-profit and not-for-profit entity, but excluding government.
II. (a) Any person in direct or remote control of a laser pointing device who knowingly shines the beam of a laser pointing device at an occupied motor vehicle, off highway recreational vehicle, snowmobile, vessel, window, or structure, or at a person shall be guilty of a violation and the laser pointing device shall be seized and forfeited upon conviction.
(b) Any person in direct or remote control of a laser pointing device who knowingly shines the beam of a laser pointing device at an occupied aircraft shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and the laser pointing device shall be seized and forfeited upon conviction.
III. Any person in direct or remote control of a laser pointing device who knowingly shines the beam of a laser pointing device at a law enforcement officer or law enforcement vehicle, off highway recreational vehicle, or snowmobile shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor and the laser pointing device shall be seized and forfeited upon conviction.
IV. This section shall not prohibit aiming a beam of a laser pointing device at a motor vehicle, aircraft, vessel, window, structure, or at a person by any of the following:
(a) An authorized person in the conduct of research and development or flight test operations conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, the Federal Aviation Administration, or any other person authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct such research and development or flight test operations.
(b) The government or persons authorized by the government, including defense and aerospace contractors, engaged in research, development, operations, testing, or training.
(c) An individual using a laser emergency signaling device to send an emergency distress signal, in an organized meeting or training class by the instructor or speaker, the use of medical lasers by qualified medical personnel, sporting use related only to calibrate distance without violating the prohibitions set forth in paragraph III, agricultural use, use related to land surveying, construction lasers used by construction personnel in the course of their work or other use of lasers for lawful business purposes, or lawful laser devices utilized by law enforcement personnel in the performance of their official duties.
(d) Vehicle sensors, including those used for navigational aids, and research, development, test, evaluation, and operation of autonomous vehicles, as permitted by law.
(e) An individual authorized by the owner of the motor vehicle, aircraft, vessel, window, or structure.
(f) An individual authorized by the person, or the parent or guardian of the person.

Source. 1999, 230:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2000. 2016, 92:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2017. 2021, 206:2, Pt. I, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 2022.

Section 631:4

    631:4 Criminal Threatening. –
I. A person is guilty of criminal threatening when:
(a) By physical conduct, the person purposely places or attempts to place another in fear of imminent bodily injury or physical contact; or
(b) The person places any object or graffiti on the property of another with a purpose to coerce or terrorize any person; or
(c) The person threatens to commit any crime against the property of another with a purpose to coerce or terrorize any person; or
(d) The person threatens to commit any crime against the person of another with a purpose to terrorize any person; or
(e) The person threatens to commit any crime of violence, or threatens the delivery or use of a biological or chemical substance, with a purpose to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, facility of public transportation or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of causing such fear, terror or inconvenience; or
(f) The person delivers, threatens to deliver, or causes the delivery of any substance the actor knows could be perceived as a biological or chemical substance, to another person with the purpose of causing fear or terror, or in reckless disregard of causing such fear or terror.
II. (a) Criminal threatening is a class B felony if the person:
(1) Violates the provisions of subparagraph I(e); or
(2) Uses a deadly weapon as defined in RSA 625:11, V in the violation of the provisions of subparagraph I(a), I(b), I(c), or I(d).
(b) All other criminal threatening is a misdemeanor.
III. (a) As used in this section, "property" has the same meaning as in RSA 637:2, I; "property of another" has the same meaning as in RSA 637:2, IV.
(b) As used in this section, " terrorize " means to cause alarm, fright, or dread; the state of mind induced by the apprehension of hurt from some hostile or threatening event or manifestation.
IV. A person who responds to a threat which would be considered by a reasonable person as likely to cause serious bodily injury or death to the person or to another by displaying a firearm or other means of self-defense with the intent to warn away the person making the threat shall not have committed a criminal act under this section.

Source. 1971, 518:1. 1983, 338:1. 1994, 187:2. 1996, 92:1. 2002, 222:7. 2003, 69:1. 2010, 361:2, eff. Jan. 1, 2011.

Section 631:4-a

    631:4-a Harm or Threats to Certain Government Officials. –
I. A person is guilty of a class A felony if he or she causes bodily injury to, or commits any other crime against, a sitting member of the general court, an executive councilor, a past or present governor, member of the judiciary, marital master, or member of their immediate family, for the purpose of influencing such official's action or in retaliation for action taken as a part of an official's government duties.
II. A person is guilty of a class B felony if he or she threatens bodily injury or threatens to commit any other crime against a sitting member of the general court, an executive councilor, a past or present governor, member of the judiciary, marital master, or member of their immediate family, for the purpose of influencing such official's action or in retaliation for action taken as a part of an official's government duties.
III. Violations of this statute shall be prosecuted by the office of the attorney general.

Source. 2006, 47:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2007.

Section 631:5

    631:5 Repealed by 1992, 257:22, II, eff. Jan. 1, 1993. –

Section 631:6

    631:6 Failure to Report Injuries. –
I. Except as provided in paragraph II, a person is guilty of a misdemeanor if, having knowingly treated or assisted another for a gunshot wound or for any other injury he believes to have been caused by a criminal act, he fails immediately to notify a law enforcement official of all the information he possesses concerning the injury.
II. A person who has rendered treatment or assistance is excepted from the reporting provisions of paragraph I if the person seeking or receiving treatment or other assistance: (a) is 18 years of age or older, (b) has been a victim of a sexual assault offense or abuse as defined in RSA 173-B:1, and (c) objects to the release of any information to law enforcement officials. This exception shall not apply if the sexual assault or abuse victim is also being treated for a gunshot wound or other serious bodily injury.
III. [Repealed.]

Source. 1971, 518:1. 1991, 59:1. 1993, 95:1, 3, eff. Jan. 1, 1994.

Section 631:7

    631:7 Student Hazing. –
I. For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Educational institution" means any public or private high school, college, university, or other secondary or postsecondary educational establishment.
(b) "Organization" means a fraternity, sorority, association, corporation, order, society, corps, athletic group, cooperative, club, or service, social or similar group, whose members are or include students, operating at or in conjunction with an educational institution.
(c) "Student" means any person regularly enrolled on a full-time or part-time basis as a student in an educational institution.
(d) "Student hazing" means any act directed toward a student, or any coercion or intimidation of a student to act or to participate in or submit to any act, when:
(1) Such act is likely or would be perceived by a reasonable person as likely to cause physical or psychological injury to any person; and
(2) Such act is a condition of initiation into, admission into, continued membership in or association with any organization.
II. (a) A natural person is guilty of a class B misdemeanor if such person:
(1) Knowingly participates as actor in any student hazing; or
(2) Being a student, knowingly submits to hazing and fails to report such hazing to law enforcement or educational institution authorities; or
(3) Is present at or otherwise has direct knowledge of any student hazing and fails to report such hazing to law enforcement or educational institution authorities.
(b) An educational institution or an organization operating at or in conjunction with an educational institution is guilty of a misdemeanor if it:
(1) Knowingly permits or condones student hazing; or
(2) Knowingly or negligently fails to take reasonable measures within the scope of its authority to prevent student hazing; or
(3) Fails to report to law enforcement authorities any hazing reported to it by others or of which it otherwise has knowledge.
III. The implied or express consent of any person toward whom an act of hazing is directed shall not be a defense in any action brought under this section.

Source. 1993, 155:1, eff. July 1, 1993.

Section 631:8

    631:8 Criminal Neglect of Elderly, Disabled, or Impaired Adults. –
I. In this section:
(a) " Adult " means any person who is 18 years of age or older.
(b) " Caregiver " means any person who has been entrusted with, or has assumed the responsibility voluntarily, by contract, or by order of the court, for frequent and regular care of or services to an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, including subsistence, medical, custodial, personal or other care, on a temporary or permanent basis. A caregiver shall not include an uncompensated volunteer, unless such person has agreed to provide care and is aware that the person receiving the care is dependent upon the care provided.
(c) " Disabled adult " means an adult who has a diagnosed physical or mental impairment.
(d) " Elderly adult " means an individual who is 60 years of age or older.
(e) " Impaired adult " means any adult who suffers from an impairment by reason of mental illness, developmental disability, organic brain disorder, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, memory loss, or other cause, that causes an adult to lack sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate reasonable decisions concerning the adult's person or property or exhibits the functional limitations as defined in RSA 464-A:2, VII. Impaired adult includes a person determined to be vulnerable under RSA 161-F or incapacitated under RSA 464-A.
(f) " Neglect " means the failure or omission on the part of the caregiver to provide the care, supervision, and services which he or she has voluntarily, or by contract, or by order of the court agreed to provide and which are necessary to maintain the health of an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, including, but not limited to, food, clothing, medicine, shelter, supervision, and medical services, that a prudent person would consider necessary for the well-being of an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult. "Neglect" may be repeated conduct or a single incident.
(g) " Person " means any natural person, corporation, trust, partnership, unincorporated association, or any other legal entity.
(h) " Serious bodily injury " means serious bodily injury as defined in RSA 625:11, VI.
(i) " Undue influence " means the intentional use, by a person in a position of trust and confidence with an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, of that position to obtain an unfair advantage over the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, through actions or tactics, including, but not limited to, emotional, psychological, and legal manipulation.
II. Any caregiver who purposely causes serious bodily injury to an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult by neglect shall be guilty of a class A felony.
III. Any caregiver who knowingly or recklessly causes serious bodily injury to an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult by neglect shall be guilty of a class B felony.
IV. Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter or impair a person's right to self-determination or right to refuse medical treatment as described in RSA 151:21 and RSA 151:21-b.
V. Nothing in this section shall be construed to mean a person is abused, neglected, exploited, or in need of protective services for the sole reason that such person relies on or is being furnished treatment by spiritual means alone through prayer, in accordance with the tenets and practices of a church or religious denomination of which such person is a member or an adherent.
VI. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose criminal liability on a person who has made a good faith effort to provide for the care of an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, but through no fault of his or her own, has been unable to provide such care, or on a person who is carrying out the lawful request of an elderly or disabled adult who is competent to make his or her own decisions.

Source. 2002, 226:1. 2014, 151:2, 3, eff. Jan. 1, 2015. 2016, 59:8, eff. July 4, 2016.

Section 631:9

    631:9 Financial Exploitation of an Elderly, Disabled, or Impaired Adult. –
I. Whoever commits any of the following acts against an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult, as defined in RSA 631:8, shall be guilty of financial exploitation and penalized pursuant to RSA 631:10 if:
(a) In breach of a fiduciary obligation recognized in law, including pertinent regulations, contractual obligations, documented consent by a competent person, including, but not limited to, an agent under a durable power of attorney, guardian, conservator, or trustee, a person, knowingly or recklessly, for his or her own profit or advantage:
(1) Fails to use the real or personal property or other financial resources of the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult to provide food, clothing, shelter, health care, therapeutic conduct, or supervision for the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult when under a duty to do so; or
(2) Unless authorized by the instrument establishing fiduciary obligation, deprives, uses, manages, or takes either temporarily or permanently the real or personal property or other financial resources of the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult for the benefit of someone other than the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult; or
(b) In the absence of legal authority a person knowingly or recklessly through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, force, compulsion, coercion, or under any circumstances where the person knew that the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult lacked capacity to consent, or consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult lacked capacity to consent:
(1) Acquires possession or control of an interest in real or personal property or other financial resources of an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult;
(2) Induces an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult against the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult's will to perform services for the profit or advantage of another; or
(3) Establishes a relationship with a fiduciary obligation to an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult that gives the person control of an interest in real or personal property or other financial resources of an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult.
II. State and local law enforcement agencies shall have concurrent jurisdiction to investigate reports of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults as defined in RSA 161-F or incapacitated adults under RSA 464-A and all other crimes against elderly, disabled, or impaired adult victims including, but not limited to, the crimes set forth in RSA 631:8 and this section. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to alter the duties and responsibilities of the commissioner of the department of health and human services, or his or her designees, relative to investigating reports of abuse, neglect, self-neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults pursuant to RSA 161-F.
III. Nothing in this section requires a health or residential care facility, licensed under RSA 151, or any person to provide financial management or supervise financial management for an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult except as otherwise required by law.
IV. If the person knew or had reason to know that the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult lacked capacity to consent, consent is not a defense to a violation of this section.
V. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose criminal liability on a person who makes a good faith effort to assist an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult in the management of funds, assets, or property which effort fails through no fault of the person.

Source. 2014, 151:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2015. 2016, 59:9, eff. July 4, 2016. 2018, 308:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2019.

Section 631:10

    631:10 Penalties. –
I. Any person who violates RSA 631:9 and who knows or reasonably should know that the victim is an elderly, disabled, or impaired adult shall be guilty of:
(a) A class A felony if the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult is valued at $1,500 or more; or
(b) A class B felony if the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult is valued at $1,000 or more, but less than $1,500; or
(c) A misdemeanor if the funds, assets, or property involved in the exploitation of the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult is valued at less than $1,000.
II. A person convicted of financial exploitation shall be sentenced to make restitution of the full value of the fund, assets, or property involved in the exploitation to the elderly, disabled, or impaired adult or the adult's estate in accordance with RSA 651:63.

Source. 2014, 151:4, eff. Jan. 1, 2015.