New Hampshire Expungement
Rather than give expungement or the sealing of records for all past convictions or arrests, New Hampshire provides annulment of records. Particular stipulations follow an annulment and only a few are eligible. Expungement is only possible for certain crimes.
The state of New Hampshire allows the annulment of arrest, conviction, or sentencing records for any individual in a response to a petitioning for annulment. Annulment is then granted if it is found in favor of the court after a hearing and will assist in an individual's rehabilitation into public society. Any individual who has been arrested and was found not guilty or whose case was not prosecuted or was dismissed may petition for annulment at any time.
An individual who has been convicted of an offense may petition for annulment after all convictions, terms, and sentences have been fully completed. He or she must not be convicted of any other crime, with the exception of motor vehicle offenses that are classified as violations, other than driving under the influence, for certain periods of time. These time periods include waiting one year after a violation; waiting three years for a Class B Misdemeanor; waiting three years for a Class A Misdemeanor; waiting five years for a Class B Felony; waiting ten years for a Class A Felony; waiting ten years for sexual assault; and waiting ten years for a felony of indecent exposure or lewdness.
If an annulment petition is denied, another petition can be filed three years later, but no sooner. Petitions will not be granted for violent crimes, any crimes that are the obstruction of justice, or any offense where an individual was sentenced to an extended imprisonment term. If an individual has been convicted of more than one offense, he or she will not be granted annulment immediately. With each offense the specific time requirements of waiting must be met before an annulment can be petitioned.
Annulled records cannot be accessed for general law enforcement usage or any civil usage. An individual is legally able to state that an arrest, sentence, or conviction never took place. Only when another offense has occurred can an annulled record reappear. In these circumstances the annulled record will serve as a prior and will most likely elevate the new sentence at hand. Law enforcement officers may maintain conviction and arrest records for communication in future investigations.
New Hampshire Expungement
Only in the cases of loitering and prowling may arrest records be expunged in the state of New Hampshire. These two crimes can only be expunged if the individual was not given the opportunity to explain the circumstances or if a credible explanation was offered and the arrest was unjustifiable. DNA records may also be expunged upon request. All other crimes are to be annulled instead.
When the convictions for loitering or prowling have been dismissed or reversed, the records will automatically be expunged without the filing of a petition. In comparison a petition for annulment must be filed in order for the procedure to be consider. See also:
New Hampshire Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
New Hampshire Felony External link (opens in new window)
New Hampshire Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)