Carrying a criminal record throughout your life is not easy. It follows you everywhere and can impact you in many negative ways. The justice system is focused on fairness, which is why in some cases you can expunge your criminal record in New Hampshire.
Before you begin working towards expungement, though, you need to understand the process. There are many misunderstandings about what an expungement is and what it can do for you. To help you understand it better, here are five things to know about expunging your criminal record from the New Hampshire Trial Courts.
- You must pay fees
As with any court process, the court will charge you fees for filing for expungement. You will pay a fee for each petition you file, along with possible additional fees for referrals and investigations.
- You must complete the terms of your sentence
Before you can apply for expungement, you have to finish all probation, parole and other requirements set forth in your sentence. This includes reaching the end of any suspended sentence.
- The final decision is up to the judge
Even if you meet all the requirements and do everything you are supposed to, this does not guarantee your expungement is going to happen. The judge makes the final ruling.
- A violent crime may not qualify
If the record you want the court to expunge is a violent crime, then you may not qualify for an expungement. This is also true for any crime with an extended prison term or obstruction of justice charges.
- If your conviction occurred before January 1, 2019, be careful
The process and requirements changed on this date. So, if your conviction was prior to this, you will need to make sure you are following the correct process.
Qualifying for a record expungement can change your life. For many with records, it is worth looking into the process.