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What should I know about expungements?

It is sometimes possible to have a criminal record expunged in New Hampshire. If you want to have this done, you should know some basic points about the process and what you will need to do in order to get your record expunged.

What does an expungement do?

If you successfully petition to have your criminal record expunged, your record won't be available except in limited circumstances. Your attorney will be able to access it, law enforcement officers might be able to access it if it is necessary for law enforcement purposes and courts can access it for sentencing. Other access might be granted if it is in accordance with the law.

Is there a time frame for expungements?

Unless your case was no prossed, discharged or resulted in a not guilty finding, you will have to wait a minimum time period to file for the expungement. Many charges have a one-year waiting period. This period starts after you complete the sentence for the conviction. If one of the three prior outcomes occurred in your case, you can file immediately. A class A misdemeanor has a three-year waiting period. A class B misdemeanor has a two-year waiting period.

What is the cost of having a record annulled?

Expungements come at a cost. At a minimum, you would have to pay $125 to file, $100 for the Department of Corrections and $100 for the Department of Safety. While you have to file a separate petition for each charge you are seeking to have annulled, you would only have to pay one filing fee if you file all the petitions together.

With this cost and the effects in mind, you might opt to seek out assistance with your petition. An attorney can answer any questions you may have about expungements.

Source: Court Service Center: New Hampshire Trial Courts, "Annulment of Criminal Records," accessed Dec. 29, 2016

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