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What Happens After The Arrest

Understanding The Criminal Process

Your arrest may have felt like the end of the world, but it’s only the beginning of a process that could end in a number of ways ranging from dismissal to sentencing. Understanding what you’re about to go through can help to reduce some of the stress and confusion around what is likely already an overwhelming experience.

Talk To A Lawyer

After you’ve been arrested, you have the right to
speak to a defense attorney before you make any statements to the police. This is true even if you’ve already started talking to police. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to you. While a court-appointed lawyer can save you money, however, they are often overburdened, meaning your case may take longer to resolve than it needs to.


At the police station, officers will take your picture, fingerprint you and take your information in a process known as booking.

The Prosecutor’s Office

The New Hampshire prosecutor assigned to your case will determine what charges will be filed against you. These charges may or may not align with the original charges.


After the prosecutor finalizes the charges, you will go to court where the judge will read the charges against you. You can then plead guilty, not guilty or no contest.


The court will set an amount of bail that you must pay as a promise to return for a later trial. If you pay bail, you will be released, but must return for your hearings and court dates.

Call To Protect Your Rights

If you’ve been arrested in Rockingham County, it’s crucial that you contact a lawyer who can help protect your rights and ensure that your case gets resolved in the most favorable manner possible. Schedule your appointment at our Portsmouth office by calling 603-436-5566
by emailing us.

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Harry N. Starbranch
Harry Starbranch
Our Office
  • Portsmouth Office
    Nathaniel Walker House
    171 Middle Street
    Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801
    Phone: 603-436-5566
    Fax: 603-373-8421