New Hampshire Prohibited Consensual Sexual Activity Laws

The sexual activities of consenting adults are none of the state's business, generally speaking, but that wasn't always the case. For instance, most states had sodomy laws that made it a crime for consenting homosexuals to have sex -- even in the privacy of their own homes -- but those laws were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003. However, certain consensual sexual acts are considered crimes when they involve third parties in an offensive or threatening manner, such as exposing one's genitals or engaging in public sex acts. These laws have changed through the years to reflect changes in accepted social norms.

New Hampshire Laws Prohibiting Certain Consensual Sexual Acts

Although the U.S. Supreme Court repealed anti-sodomy laws (as applied to consenting adults) in 2003, New Hampshire actually repealed its anti-sodomy laws in 1975. New Hampshire's public indecency statute is rather broad, charged when an individual "fornicates, exposes his or her genitals, or performs any other act of gross lewdness under circumstances which he or she should know will likely cause affront or alarm." The crime is a misdemeanor unless done in the presence of a child less than 16 years old (in which case it is a felony).

Additional provisions of New Hampshire laws prohibiting certain kinds of consensual sexual activities are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Sex Crimes section to learn about prohibited non-consensual sex acts.

Sodomy Laws Applicable to New Hampshire's anti-sodomy laws (as applied to consenting adults) were repealed in 1975
Penalty for Sodomy n/a
HIV Exposure and Compelled Testing for Offenders 632-A:10-b Any person convicted of offense under this chapter shall be administered an HIV test
Other Crimes Relating to Consensual Sex Acts 645:1 Indecent exposure: misdemeanor

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the enactment of new legislation, decisions from higher courts, and other means. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact a New Hampshire criminal defense attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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