New Hampshire Publisher Handed $620 Fine For Failing To Label Political Ads

Debra A. Paul will not be going to jail for failing to properly label political ads as such. 

Instead, Paul was handed a $620 fine by Derry District Court Judge Kerry Steckowych last week.

Steckowych convicted Paul of five out of six counts after a one-day trial in November. In theory, Paul could have faced up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine on each count. 

The improperly labeled ads ran in the Londonderry Times and Nutfield News. 

New Hampshire is unusual in that it criminalizes what would normally be deemed a civil matter. 

Paul’s lawyers argued during the trial that she never intended to break the law and that the prosecution didn’t prove that she did so knowingly, according to 

However, prosecutors argued that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Paul has a deadline of Jan. 5 for paying the fine.



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