It is both the policy of the University as well as the Durham Police Department that all violations of local ordinances/statutes will generally result in the custodial arrest of the involved parties. This serves as both a deterrent as well as provides the Bail Commissioner the opportunity to make the determination for your release. The Bail Commissioner is an Officer of the Court who, at your request will be contacted for you. A non-refundable fee of $40.00, payable directly to the Court, is required to arrange for your release from custody.
An ordinance is a local rule – similar to that of a parking ticket – where there is only a fine which someone can incur. These are typically found in those transgressions directly affecting the quality of life of the University or Town (e.g. urinating in public, open containers or alcohol.)
A violation is an offense, often made more serious by the age of the party involved, and is NOT a criminal offense. The most frequent violation(s) we find is Transportation of Alcohol and Unlawful Possession of Alcohol/Underage Intoxication. A violation results in a fine being assessed by the Court at the recommendation of the State. If you are under 21 years of age and are convicted of an alcohol –related violation, you may petition the Court for an annulment of your record after one (1) year. The event may remain on a motor vehicle record, however until you have reached your 21st birthday.
A misdemeanor is a criminal offense and they are typically charged as Class B misdemeanors for which no period of incarceration may be imposed. However, a fine may be assessed. A Class A misdemeanor exposes one not only to a fine but also to the possibility of being incarcerated. To petition the Court for an annulment for a conviction of a misdemeanor, one must wait three (3) years from the date of conviction.
For those person(s) charged with a felony level offense, your case will be directed to the Strafford County Attorney's Office for prosecution before the Strafford Superior Court. You may contact this Department with general questions; however, basic information will be forwarded to their Office.
When our Officers happen upon a person whose faculties are impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, to the extent that our officers cannot be assured of their safety, the Officers place the person in Protective Custody. Protective Custody is NOT a criminal charge. It is a civil custody of a person requiring them to be taken to the House of Corrections in order to be monitored until such time as they are able to adequately take care of themselves. There is no criminal charge filed against a person for having been placed into Protective Custody, unless he/she is under 21 years of age and was found to be intoxicated in which case he/she would have received paperwork charging them with a violation-level offense for Unlawful Possession of Alcohol/Underage Intoxication. In addition, regardless of the age of the person having been placed into Protective Custody, if he/she vomits, etc., in any of the Police Department’s vehicles and/or facilities, he/she will be charged with Criminal Mischief and restitution will be sought by the Department for the cleaning costs.
It is the opinion of the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office as well as the policy of the UNH Police Department that vehicles operated by persons under the age of 21 which contain alcoholic beverages shall be towed and impounded for 24 (twenty-four) hours. The owner of the vehicle is responsible for all charges relative to their vehicle having to be impounded subsequent to their arrest.
If, based on the determination of medical personnel, your condition requires hospitalization, and your condition is attributed to the illicit consumption of alcoholic beverages and you are under the age of 21, the Officer will issue you a citation for being intoxicated while under the age of 21. This is not an allegation of “internal possession,” but rather a statutory provision precluding those not yet 21 years of age from being intoxicated by means of an alcoholic beverage. In this instance, your release is determined by medical personnel and, unless more serious charges warrant otherwise, an Officer of the Court is not contacted. It is entirely possible, however, that once you are deemed to no longer be in medical distress, you may then be transported to the House of Corrections pursuant to the provisions set forth in the Protective Custody statutes.
The court date you were given has been scheduled by the 7th Circuit Court -Dover District Division and is for their arraignment. At their arraignment you will have the opportunity to speak to the Prosecutor(s), if you have not already done so, and a plea offer will be made to you. If you find the plea offer palatable, you may plea accordingly. If you would prefer, you may plea not guilty and a trial before the court will be schedule.
Please send a letter to the UNH Prosecutor’s office advising us of the conflict, and they will contact you to see if there is a better date/time for the Hearing to be scheduled. During those discussions, a decision will be made as to who makes the request. This Department will try to be as understanding as possible with regard to academic conflicts which arise.
Will I be sanctioned by the UNH Office of Conduct & Mediation in addition to being prosecuted in Court?
While the UNH Police Department reserves the right to bring forward charges through the Office of Conduct & Mediation, generally these matters are addressed by the Residential Life staff members.
What if I have been charged with an offense barring me from the UNH Campus and/or ordering me to have no contact with persons on campus?
If you are in need of retrieving items, scheduling and/or attending disciplinary hearings, or any other business which could be construed as being in violation of the bail conditions and/or general orders of the Court, you should come directly to the University Police Department and seek an escort to wherever you may need to go on campus.