Under the so-called “Felonies First” law, which became law in July of 2015, felony cases will be brought directly in the superior court, as opposed to the local circuit court where these charges were traditionally filed.
This change eliminates preliminary “probable cause” hearings as a matter of right, and instead places with a superior court judge the determination of whether such a hearing is necessary.
The Strafford and Cheshire county superior courts were the first courts to implement this significant change in court procedure. Felonies First will expand to Belknap County Superior Court in July of 2016. The program will then rollout statewide.
Attorney Richard Samdperil, formerly a co-chair of the NH Bar Association Criminal Law Section, represented the section on an attorney working group convened by the Chief Justice of the New Hampshire Superior Court. For the New Hampshire Bar News article, click here.