What is Hindering Apprehension and Prosecution in New Hampshire
Within the category of a criminal mischief charge is the crime of hindering apprehension and prosecution. This is commonly associated with harboring or concealing someone whom you know is wanted by law enforcement. If you have been charged with this offense, immediately contact a New Hampshire criminal defense attorney.
Hindering apprehension, though, also includes providing that individual with transportation, a weapon, or a disguise to elude detection. Warning the wanted person that police are coming is included under this offense.
Further violations include concealing, altering or destroying any evidence that police could use in finding, apprehending or convicting the person at large; and by deceiving the police or obstructing an officer from performing any act that could lead to the apprehension or conviction of that person.
Wiretaps are sometimes used in discovering a wanted person or in gathering evidence against him or her. If you know that any communication, including emails or phones, are being tapped or traced and you alert the person of this, you can be charged with hindering apprehension.
Hindering apprehension is generally charged as a misdemeanor, unless the accused had reason to know that the person he or she is harboring or assisting under the elements of this offense committed a Class A felony. In this case, the accused can be charged with a Class B felony.
A Class B felony carries possible state prison time of 3 and one-half to 7 years.
Examples of hindering prosecution include:
• Concealing evidence that could be used to convict someone
• Laundering money or exchanging it for other bills if you know or suspect the bills are marked is a chargeable offense, as is keeping stolen goods in your possession until they can be distributed.
• Destroying evidence such as discarding a weapon that you knew was used in committing a crime could be charged as a Class B felony.
Criminal Defense for Hindering Apprehension and Prosecution
A person must obviously have been aware that the person being hid or concealed is wanted by the police. Merely having that person stay the night or by giving them funds for a bus is not sufficient without the intent to help the person elude capture.
One of the more famous examples was that of Dr. Samuel Mudd who treated Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, while Booth was fleeing, and allowed him and his cohorts to stay at his residence, but probably was unaware of Booth's act.
Although hindering apprehension or prosecution in New Hampshire is typically a misdemeanor offense, this should not dissuade anyone charged with this offense from retaining the best possible NH criminal defense attorney. Misdemeanor convictions are included on your criminal record and will be seen by any potential employer or landlord.
Also, your misdemeanor could be upgraded to a Class B felony if evidence reveals that the underlying crime becomes murder or a Class A felony. Felonies involve serious prison time and a conviction can drastically affect your life for years, if not permanently, unless you retain a New Hampshire criminal defense lawyer with experience and knowledge to ensure all your rights are protected and all viable defenses and alternatives researched and presented.
Ryan Russman is one of New Hampshire's premiere criminal defense attorneys who has successfully represented persons charged with hindering apprehension and prosecution throughout New Hampshire. Contact him today for a free consultation.