I have a friend who has been charged with criminal threatening. This kind of law is not supposed to be applied when a person makes a threat against someone attacking them. In NH the phraseology is as follows:
631:4:IV. A person who responds to a threat which would be considered by a reasonable person as likely to cause serious bodily injury or death to the person or to another by displaying a firearm or other means of self-defense with the intent to warn away the person making the threat shall not have committed a criminal act under this section.
The situation was that the accused had his house broken into by the police doing a "wellness check", and he was unaware that they were police and he threatened them verbally thinking they were intruders. The case would clearly seem to be covered by the exception to the law above.
So, the question is: when an exception like this is explicitly called out in the statute, is it still necessary for the case to be heard by jury, or can a judge simply dismiss the charges on the grounds of IV above?
If such a dismissal is moved by the defendant's attorney, does it need to be done at the arraignment or can it be done later, for example, in a pre-trial brief?