Author Archives for Jonathan Cohen

A stop for a faulty tail light that went too far

April 23, 2014 4:15 pm Published by - 4 Comments

In State v Hillman Blesdell-Moore the NH Supreme Court ruled that Mr. Blesdell-Moore’s conviction for possession of marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms with the intent to distribute must be reversed. The Court reversed the decision of the trial court (Vaughn, J.) who ruled the search that ultimately lead to discovery of the drugs was constitutional. Blesdell-Moore was pulled over by Officer...




Texting and driving a crime?

February 28, 2014 10:33 am Published by - Leave your thoughts

In State v. Belleville, the defendant was driving his SUV on Route 28 in Pittsfield when he decided to read a text on his phone. While he was reading the text his vehicle drifted over two travel lanes and collided with a car traveling in the opposite direction resulting in serious injuries to a child and others. The defendant quickly...




It’s not a taser!

October 23, 2013 12:45 pm Published by - Leave your thoughts

In State v. Tabaldi the NH Supreme Court ruled that the State had produced insufficient evidence that Mr. Tabaldi was a felon in possession of an electronic defense weapon commonly referred to as a “taser.” RSA 159:21 defines an electronic defense weapon as “an electronically activated non-lethal device which is designed for or capable of producing an electrical charge of...




Amnesia does not necessarily render a defendant incompetent to stand trial

September 16, 2013 8:44 am Published by - Leave your thoughts

In State v. Decato, the New Hampshire Supreme Court recently addressed the issue of whether a defendant who cannot remember what happened at the time of his alleged crime is competent to stand trial? The Court answered that even though Decato suffered from amnesia and could not remember what he did he was competent to stand trial. In New Hampshire competency...




New Hampshire Self Defense Statute

NH Self Defense Statute

July 16, 2013 3:25 pm Published by - 3 Comments

In the wake of the verdict in the George Zimmerman case, it makes sense to examine New Hampshire’s self defense law. In 2011 the New Hampshire Legislature voted to expand the so-called “Castle Doctrine” to allow people to use deadly force to protect themselves in public spaces. This law is codified in RSA 627:4. Prior to 2011, under New Hampshire law,...




Search warrant required for blood draw.

April 17, 2013 10:10 pm Published by - Leave your thoughts

  On April 17, 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court issued the opinion of Missouri v McNeely and ruled that it violates the Fourth Amendment for a police officer to forcefully take a driver’s blood as part of a routine DWI investigation. Tyler McNeely was stopped for speeding and crossing the center line at about 2:00 AM. McNeely did poorly on field sobriety tests and...




Return of Firearms

Return of firearms

March 16, 2013 9:19 pm Published by - 3 Comments

When a court issues a restraining order in New Hampshire the restrained party cannot possess a firearm. This means if the restrained party owns firearms, he must relinquish them, most often to the police. RSA 173-B:5(X) states that when one has relinquished his firearm to the police, he may request the return of his firearm 15 days prior to the...