New Hampshire v. BluntAnnotate this Case
Defendant Matthew Blunt appealed a circuit court order that denied his motion to strike the imposition of class A misdemeanor sentences following his conviction of simple assault and resisting arrest. On appeal to the Supreme Court, defendant argued that the trial court's sentences were unlawful because the complaints under which he was convicted alleged only class B misdemeanors. Specifically, he contended that the trial court was required to treat both complaints as alleging class B misdemeanors because: (1) neither complaint alleged a crime that involved as an element an act of violence or a threat of violence; and (2) the State did not file notice of its intent to seek class A penalties on or before the date of his arraignment on a form approved for this purpose by the judicial branch administrative council. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that neither the simple assault complaint nor the resisting arrest complaint required that an act of violence be involved as an element of the offense. Furthermore, the Court held that merely checking the "class A misdemeanor" box on the standard complaint form did not constitute compliance with statute, and that defendant's two convictions were actually class B misdemeanors. Accordingly, the Court vacated the sentences imposed and remanded the case back to the district division for resentencing.