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legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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Is it legal touse Mace in self defense in Laconia, NH? Not

Customer Question

Is it legal touse Mace in self defense in Laconia, NH?
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Not yet
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: my gf was preventedaccess to her apartment by the downstairs tenant who is twice her size and has been harrasing her by stealing things from her , my gf's , side of the basement.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: New Hampshire City of Laconia
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legalgems replied 2 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 2 months ago.

I am very sorry to hear she has been experiencing this;

fortunately the legislature in chapter 627 is very clear in that self defense, when used reasonably, is legal. The idea is that a person has the right to protect themselves, so long as the reaction is in line with the threat presented (so one could not kill a person, for example, if they only feared being mugged; one could not hit a person, if they only feared being verbally harassed).

Here are the relevant statutes:

627:1 General Rule. – Conduct which is justifiable under this chapter constitutes a defense to any offense. The fact that such conduct is justifiable shall constitute a complete defense to any civil action based on such conduct.

627:1-a Civil Immunity. – A person who uses force in self-protection or in the protection of other persons pursuant to RSA 627:4, in the protection of premises and property pursuant to RSA 627:7 and 627:8, in law enforcement pursuant to RSA 627:5, or in the care or welfare of a minor pursuant to RSA 627:6, is justified in using such force and shall be immune from civil liability for personal injuries sustained by a perpetrator which were caused by the acts or omissions of the person as a result of the use of force. In a civil action initiated by or on behalf of a perpetrator against the person, the court shall award the person reasonable attorney's fees, and costs, including but not limited to, expert witness fees, court costs, and compensation for loss of income.

627:3 Competing Harms. –
I. Conduct which the actor believes to be necessary to avoid harm to himself or another is justifiable if the desirability and urgency of avoiding such harm outweigh, according to ordinary standards of reasonableness, the harm sought to be prevented by the statute defining the offense charged. The desirability and urgency of such conduct may not rest upon considerations pertaining to the morality and advisability of such statute, either in its general or particular application.
II. When the actor was reckless or negligent in bringing about the circumstances requiring a choice of harms or in appraising the necessity of his conduct, the justification provided in paragraph I does not apply in a prosecution for any offense for which recklessness or negligence, as the case may be, suffices to establish criminal liability.

627:4 Physical Force in Defense of a Person. –
I. A person is justified in using non-deadly force upon another person in order to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonmably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful, non-deadly force by such other person, and he may use a degree of such force which he reasonably believes to be necessary for such purpose. However, such force is not justifiable if:
(a) With a purpose to cause physical harm to another person, he provoked the use of unlawful, non-deadly force by such other person; or
(b) He was the initial aggressor, unless after such aggression he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to such other person his intent to do so, but the latter notwithstanding continues the use or threat of unlawful, non-deadly force; or
(c) The force involved was the product of a combat by agreement not authorized by law.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  legalgems replied 2 months ago.

Hi- just checking in to see if you needed clarification on any of the above information. If so please post here (there is no additional charge for this) and I will do my best to get you the requested information.

Thank you!