In the state of New Hampshire, persons who have been convicted of a crime may be able to have their criminal record annulled in certain specific cases. If you would like to know whether or not you qualify for an annulment, contact us to discuss your case.
Who Qualifies for an Annulment?
It is much easier to answer the question of who does not qualify for annulment than it is to answer the question of who does qualify. This is because even if a person technically qualifies for an annulment, the decision of whether or not to grant the request is still left to the discretion of the court. You should consult with a Merrimack criminal defense lawyer prior to filing a petition for annulment to make sure that your offense is one that qualifies.
In the state of New Hampshire, only two classes of people are never qualified for an annulment: 1) persons who have been convicted of violent criminal offenses and 2) persons who have been convicted of obstruction of justice offenses. Examples of violent crime include murder, aggravated sexual assault, kidnapping, robbery, first degree assault, and a variety of other offenses. Examples of obstruction of justice crimes include falsifying evidence and witness tampering.
How Does the Court Make a Decision?
Once a person has consulted with us and has been informed that their offense is one that can be annulled from their criminal record, they must then file a petition for annulment. Once the petition is filed, the sentencing court will review it and make a decision. The court will only grant an annulment if they believe doing so will assist the criminal defendant with rehabilitation. Persons who have continued to engage in criminal behavior will likely not be given an annulment. The court will not grant an annulment in cases where there is reason to believe that the petitioner poses a threat to the safety and well-being of the public at large.
When Can I Petition to Have My Criminal Record Annulled?
The amount of time a person has to wait to request an annulment will vary based on the offense. The waiting time period does not begin until the completion of the sentence. For example, a person who is convicted of shoplifting, which is a misdemeanor, must complete the entire sentence then wait another 3 years before petitioning the court for an annulment. The standard waiting periods are listed below.
- Persons convicted of a violation or offense must wait 1 year.
- Persons convicted of a Class B misdemeanor must wait 2 years.
- Persons convicted of a Class A misdemeanor must wait 3 years.
- Persons convicted of a Class B felony must wait 5 years.
- Persons convicted of a Class A felony must wait 10 years.
- For felony indecent exposure or lewdness under RSA 645:1, II, 10 years.
- For any misdemeanor where the victim was, at the time of the offense, a family or household member or intimate partner as those terms are defined in RSA 173-B:1, 3 years.
- For a class A misdemeanor under RSA 318-B:26, II(d) or (e), 2 years.
Costs associated with an annulment
- There will be a court fee of $125.00 which is applicable for all annulments. This fee can be waived by filing an appropriate motion if an applicant is indigent.
- There will a fee from the department of corrections of $100.00. This fee will not apply if the petitioner can demonstrate that he or she is indigent, or has been found not guilty, or the case has been dismissed or not prosecuted.
- There will be a fee from the department of safety of $100.00. This fee will not apply if the petitioner can demonstrate that he or she is indigent, or has been found not guilty, or the case has been dismissed or not prosecuted.
If you would like to have your criminal record annulled but are not sure if you qualify, contact our lawyers to discuss your case. We will review your case to help you determine whether or not you qualify and will advise you as to whether it is a good investment of your time to petition the court for annulment. Should you choose to proceed, we will assist you with petitioning the court for an annulment. Call our office at (603) 880-6100 to schedule an initial consultation with us.