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Charles J. Keefe

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Areas of Practice: Criminal Defense
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A partner at Wilson, Bush & Keefe, Chuck’s practice focuses on criminal defense in all state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Chuck is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, as well as the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston and the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.

Chuck graduated from Boston University School of Law, cum laude, where he received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Academic Performance on a Graduate Thesis, as well as the Spencer R. Koch Memorial Award. In addition to being an editor on one of the school’s law journals, Chuck also represented defendants in the Boston Municipal Court through the school’s student-attorney program.

Chuck began his legal career defending professionals and organizations against claims involving death and serious bodily injury. In that capacity, he litigated and negotiated intricate cases and settlements involving large demands and claims. He then began his career in criminal law when he became an Assistant County Attorney at the Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office in Nashua. While there, he handled hundreds of criminal cases of all varieties – drunk driving to homicide – and he successfully tried dozens of those cases before juries.

Chuck continued his career in criminal law when he joined the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office. As an Assistant Attorney General, Chuck was responsible for handling high profile and complex criminal cases. He tried homicide and white-collar theft cases in superior courts all over the State of New Hampshire. Those cases included the following successful trial verdicts:

  • Charge of first degree murder in gang/drug-related shooting involving defense of another claim
  • Charge of first degree murder in stabbing murder where defendant disposed of body out of state and argued provocation manslaughter
  • Charge of first degree murder in murder with a hammer where defendant fled New Hampshire immediately after the murder and disposed of evidence Multiple charges of theft where defendant embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars through various means

Chuck also acted as lead counsel during the investigation, charging, and litigation of one of the only two capital murder cases brought in New Hampshire in the last decade. Additionally, Chuck has argued many cases before the New Hampshire Supreme Court. These have included the following cases which required extensive legal research, the preparation of a lengthy legal brief, and oral argument before the Supreme Court:

  • State of New Hampshire v. Robert Lopez, 155 N.H. 193 (2007): doctrine of verbal completeness; opening the door doctrine
  • State of New Hampshire v. Anthony O’Leary, 153 N.H. 710 (2006): defining the provocation manslaughter statute and burden of proof
  • State of New Hampshire v. Joseph Sawtell, 152 N.H. 177 (2005): prior bad acts evidence
  • State of New Hampshire v. Matthew Sconsa, 161 N.H. 113 (2010): illegal search of a hotel room
  • State of New Hampshire v. James Mello, 162 N.H. 115 (2011): illegla search warrant for internet service provider information

Building on these experiences as a prosecutor and trial attorney, Chuck has put them to use fighting for people charged with crimes throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He now defends people charged with crimes ranging from driving offenses to murder and multi-million dollar frauds, and he has defended such people from their first appearance in court through trial and appeal. Chuck has successfully defended clients charged with varying crimes including DWI/DUI (Drunk Driving), murder, drug offenses, theft, sexual assault, physical assault, computer crimes, financial crimes, and many other types of crimes before judges, juries, and appellate courts.  Chuck has been recognized as an expert in criminal defense law, and he has been consulted by other criminal defense attorneys to review their cases.  His experience and representation of these clients has allowed him to be a legal analyst for ABC’s WMUR-TV, appear on several national news shows to discuss cases he has handled, be elected the New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ board of directors, and be invited to lecture at the University of New Hampshire Law School.  You are able to view Chuck’s results via the homepage of our website under the “Results” tab.

CJKTrialEducation:

  • Boston University School of Law, 1999
  • Holy Cross College, B.A., History, 1996

Bar Admissions:

  • New Hampshire, 1999
  • United States District Court (New Hampshire), 1999
  • United States Court of Appeals (1st Circuit) 2004
  • United States Supreme Court, 2005
  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts 2012

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • New Hampshire Bar Association
  • Nashua Bar Association
  • New Hampshire Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (Board of Directors, 2011-present)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Catholic Lawyers Guild
  • Daniel Webster-Batchelder American Inns of Court (Program Co-Chair, 2005-08)

Professional News:

  • Winner of 2008 Robert E. Kirby Award given by the New Hampshire Bar Foundation to one attorney each year that is 35 years old or younger who demonstrates the traits of civility, courtesy, perspective and excellent advocacy.
  • Among small group of New Hampshire lawyers invited to each author a chapter in the soon-to-be-released A Practical Guide to Evidence in New Hampshire.

Watch Attorney Keefe during oral arguments before the New Hampshire Supreme Court:


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State of New Hampshire v. Matthew Scontsas


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State of New Hampshire v. James Mello

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By Charles Keefe
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