NH DUI Conviction – A New Hampshire DUI conviction is recorded on both your criminal history and your motor vehicle history. Although often confused, these records are maintained in different agencies and can be accessed by different sets of people for different reasons.
Your criminal history is maintained by the New Hampshire State Police Criminal Records Repository. This is a private database that can be accessed by you at any time or to the police for certain law enforcement purposes. You may elect, however, to have a copy of your criminal history sent to a prospective employer or landlord. If you do, the criminal records repository will send that person only a record of your criminal convictions, not arrests or non-criminal convictions.
Motor Vehicle History
Your motor vehicle history is maintained by the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles. This is only available to you for any reason and the police for law enforcement purposes. It is protected by the New Hampshire Driver Privacy Act. You may authorize others to view it, but is generally not the subject of an employment background check (unless you’re applying for a commercial driving job).
DUI Law Provision
There is a little-discussed provision in the DUI law that allows a person convicted of a first-offense DUI to ask the court to reduce the conviction from a misdemeanor to a non-criminal violation, which will remove it from the criminal history even though it will remain on the motor vehicle history. This can be a major benefit to people who are asked whether they have been convicted of a “crime” because they will be able to answer “no” unless there has been some other conviction on their record.
To trigger this provision, the person must file a motion with the court at least one year from the date of conviction. In determining whether the request is appropriate, the court can consider any “subsequent driving record, the recommendation of the IDCMP, the hardship that having a criminal record may cause for the person, and any other factors that the court deems relevant.” It’s important to review your case and speak with the prosecutor beforehand to make sure there won’t be any obstacle to having your request granted.
If you’re wondering whether you can have your conviction removed from your criminal history, talk to someone with experience. To get started, call Jared Bedrick at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.