NH Law About... Annulment of Criminal Records

Introduction to... Annulment of Criminal Records

Posted December 28, 2012. Revised December 14, 2013; March 6, 2015; April 6, 2015; January 30, 2017

There are many consequences of criminal convictions that go beyond serving a sentence or paying a fine. These are called the "collateral consequences of conviction." According to the National Institute of Justice "Collateral consequences tend to last indefinitely, long after an individual is fully rehabilitated. Many collateral consequences affect a convicted person's employment and business opportunities; others deny access to government benefits and program participation, including student loans, housing, contracting and other forms of participation in civic life." (NIJ Journal No. 272, posted May 2013. (See link below))

One way of mitigating these collateral consequences is the annulment of a criminal record. This may also be referred to the "expunction," "expungement" or "sealing" of criminal records*, but the term used in the New Hampshire statutes and most frequently in New Hampshire case law is "annulment."

Chapter 38 of Criminal Practice and Procedure by Richard McNamara describes the purpose of annulment, and when and how an annulment may be obtained. Only some defendants and some sentences are eligible for annulment, so it is important to research thoroughly.

Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive. It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. NH Law About ... is not a substitute for the services of an attorney.

*These terms are not necessarily interchangeable; it depends upon the state.


Read about... Annulment of Criminal Records

WEBSITES

Circuit Court. District Division - Annulment of Criminal Records

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

This website has a note referring to a 2013 amendment of RSA 651:5. This statute is amended frequently; there have been several changes since 2013.   GO>

New Hampshire Legal Aid. How to Annul, The Process

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

You must ask a court to remove an entry from your criminal record. Which court you ask depends on what you are looking to remove. You must ask the court in which you were convicted, or if no conviction resulted, the court where the case was resolved. For an arrest or charge that was dismissed or not prosecuted, you must ask the court that dismissed the charge. For an arrest or charge with a not guilty finding, you must ask the court that issued the not guilty finding. For a conviction and sentence, you must ask the court that issued the conviction and sentence.   GO>

New Hampshire. Dept. of Corrections. Policy and Procedure Directive. Annulment/Pardon Investigations

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

It is the policy of the DOC to conduct annulment investigations assigned by the Court in accordance with RSA 651:5. The criteria for eligibility is listed in RSA 651:5, 265-A:21, 262:19 IV and 318-B:28-a. The Department of Corrections shall conduct pardon investigations assigned by the New Hampshire Office of the Attorney General in accordance with RSA 4:22.   GO>

New Hampshire. Dept. of Safety. Support Services Bureau. Criminal Records Unit. Frequently Asked Questions  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017


PRINT

Criminal practice and procedure / by Richard B. McNamara. New Providence, NJ : LexisNexis Matthew Bender, 2010. 5th ed.   GO>

Link verified on: February 23, 2017

Collateral consequences of criminal conviction : law, policy and practice / by Margaret Colgate Love, Jenny Roberts, and Cecelia Klingele.

Introduction, historical background, and overview of issues -- Types of collaterial consequences -- Constitutional challenges -- Collateral consequences and the right to counsel -- Access to and use of criminal records -- Regulation of employment and occupational licensing -- Restoration of rights and status after conviction -- Practice issues for the criminal case: advocacy and administration -- The future of collateral consequences -- Appendix A: Comparison charts and state profiles -- Appendix B: Model rules and standards -- Bibliography -- Table of laws and rules -- Table of cases -- Index.   GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

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Read the law about... Annulment of Criminal Records

NEW HAMPSHIRE STATUTES

Laws 2015, ch. 260

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

Provides for annulment of a criminal conviction if the criminal offense was based on conduct that occurred between May 14, 2014 and July 1, 2015, while the person was 17 years of age   GO>

RSA 106-K. Criminal Justice Information System  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

RSA 262:19. Habitual Offenders  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

RSA 265-A:21. Alcohol or Drug Impairment. Annulment; Plea Bargaining  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

RSA 318-B:28-a. Controlled Drug Act. Annulments of Criminal Records  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

RSA 651:5. Sentences. Annulment of Criminal Records  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated

Link verified on: March 24, 2017

Find the New Hampshire statutes in print at libraries throughout the state.   GO>

Learn About New Hampshire Statutes: New Hampshire statutes are the laws of the State of New Hampshire as enacted by the New Hampshire General Court. GO>
 

NEW HAMPSHIRE CASES

164 N.H. 296 (2012). State v. Baker

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

In deciding whether annulment is consistent with the public welfare, the trial court should weigh the factors in favor of annulment, such as evidence of the defendant's exemplary conduct and character since his last conviction, against the public interest in keeping his convictions a matter of public record. ￿ Thus, in exercising its discretion, the court may consider such factors as the number and circumstances of the convictions at issue, the defendant's age at the time of each conviction, the time span of the convictions, and the particular manner in which annulment would aid the defendant's rehabilitation ￿ for example, by allowing him to obtain a professional license or to pursue a calling otherwise prohibited to those convicted of a crime.   GO>

218-2015-CR-01774. Rockingham County Superior Court. State of New Hampshire v. S.T.  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Reports

Link verified on: March 24, 2017

Find the New Hampshire Reports in libraries throughout the state.   GO>

Learn About New Hampshire Cases: New Hampshire case law consists of the published opinions of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. GO>
 

NEW HAMPSHIRE COURT RULES

New Hampshire Rules of Criminal Procedure. Rule 31. Annulments  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

New Hampshire Rules of Evidence. Rule 609. Impeachment by Evidence of Conviction of Crime  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

Find it in a Library ... LexisNexis NH Court Rules Annotated  GO>

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

Find it in a Library ... West's NH Rules of Court. State  GO>

Link verified on: March 23, 2017

Learn About New Hampshire Court Rules: Follow this link to learn how to search court rules online as well as what court rules are and how they're published. GO>
 

FORMS

Annulment of Criminal Records Checklist  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

NHJB 2317-DS. Petition to Annul Record   GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

NHJB 2981-D. Juvenile Petition to Annul Record  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017


FOR MORE HELP ...

New Hampshire Law Library

Link verified on: March 24, 2017

The state's only public law library. Call, email, or visit, we'll be happy to help.   GO>

National Inventory of the Collateral Consequences of Conviction  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

NIJ Journal No. 272, posted May 2013. Beyond the Sentence - Understanding Collateral Consequences by Sarah B. Berson  GO>

Link verified on: January 30, 2017

Lawyer Referral Service of the New Hampshire Bar Association.

Link verified on: March 16, 2017

Contact the Lawyer Referral Service at (603) 229-0002, or submit an online referral request. Office hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM, and 9:00AM to 3:00 PM on Fridays.   GO>


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