Facing a criminal charge can be a terrifying experience, but perhaps none is as terrifying as a charge of sexual assault. The mere allegation is enough to negatively affect employment prospects, cause grave damage to personal relationships, and destroy a person’s reputation. The consequences of a conviction of sexual assault in New Hampshire can include a very lengthy prison sentence, forced registration as a sexual offender, mandated treatment and polygraph testing, and harsh restrictions on housing.
Reis & O'Keefe's Portsmouth criminal defense attorneys have defended thousands of clients against criminal charges. We work throughout the seacoast area and are available to travel elsewhere in the State. If you are facing New Hampshire sexual assault charges, we know what you are going through. We encourage you to contact us now.
Sexual assault cases often involve issues that are infrequently encountered in other types of criminal cases. Repressed memory evidence, prior sexual assault evidence, delayed “disclosures” of the alleged assault, and DNA testing are but a few of the issues that we routinely encounter when we defend our clients against these allegations. The use of “pattern” indictments permit the government to charge someone with a crime even when the accusation lacks the specificity demanded in all other types of cases. Under New Hampshire law, the pattern must occur over at least two months and within a period of five years. Finally, judges instruct juries that an accuser’s claims need not be corroborated by other evidence in order for the jury to convict. Attorney James Reis’s appellate qualifications, a rarity amongst New Hampshire practitioners, give him advanced knowledge of how to frame legal issues through pretrial motions, trial objections, and jury instructions.
Against these complexities, we will construct your defense with determination and resolve. We will first listen to your story, and then we will critically analyze the government’s evidence. These cases frequently demand that we investigate every aspect of the accuser’s claims, and we begin that investigation as early in the process as possible. This is critical, as memories can fade and evidence is lost over time. Once we have a solid understanding of all of the facts, we will pursue pretrial litigation to ensure that you have the best possible chance of prevailing at trial.
Rigorous preparation has a twofold purpose. First, and most obvious, is that it is absolutely necessary for trial success. Second, attaining a mastery of the facts and the law allows us to be in the best possible position to negotiate with the government if that is your desire.
We recognize that it is in these cases where the public often rushes to judgement as soon as they hear about the accusation. It is this very same public from which juries are drawn. For that reason, Attorney Kevin O’Keefe’s mastery of the voir dire process is essential to our overall defense strategy. De-selecting biased or harmful jurors from the outset helps to ensure what our constitution guarantees and what you are unquestionably entitled to – a fair trial.
Certainly, no lawyer can guarantee results, and every situation is different. Nevertheless, time and time again, we have prevailed in difficult sexual assault cases. In some, the government has entered a nolle prosequi (dismissal) prior to trial because we were able to convince the prosecutor that the government’s case was weak. In others, we have been able to negotiate exceptional resolutions that saved our clients many years in prison. In others, judges dismissed charges even before the case was sent to the jury because, according to the legal standard, “no reasonable jury could find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” And in many others, juries have acquitted our clients.