NH Criminal Annulment – A criminal record can make it hard to get a new job or rent an apartment. New Hampshire law allows a person convicted of a crime to leave the events leading to an arrest or conviction in the past. Depending on the level of the offense and how it resolved, you could be eligible immediately, or after more than ten years. But there’s one hitch: your record doesn’t clear itself. The records of an arrest or conviction will remain in the court records forever unless you take action.
What is an Annulment?
The procedure to clear a New Hampshire criminal record is called “annulment.” To get the process started, you would file a petition with the court that processed the case asking that you be “treated in all respects as if [you] had never been arrested, convicted, or sentenced” unless you find yourself in front of a criminal court sometime in the future. The court will give the prosecutor and Department of Corrections an opportunity to object, and you will be able to respond to that objection. Examples of objections could be that you’ve filed too early, that you’ve misstated something in your petition, or that you don’t deserve annulment for some other reason.
If your petition makes it through the court, it will seal its records and order the Department of Safety to do the same. More importantly, it will issue to you an official proclamation of its decision. From that day forward, if a future employer asks whether “you have ever been arrested for or convicted of a crime that has not been annulled by a court?” (the only permissible question in any application for employment, license, or other civil right or privilege) you can confidently answer “no.”
Am I Eligible to Annul My Criminal Record?
Sometimes, an annulment can be trickier than anticipated. Hiring our knowledgeable attorneys can help. To get started, call Jared Bedrick at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.