Expunging or Annulling Adult Criminal Records in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, the process of expunging a criminal record is called “annulment.” Your criminal record may be annulled under the circumstances described below. If your record is annulled, in most cases, you will be treated as though you were never arrested, convicted, or sentenced.

If You Were Not Convicted of a Crime

If you were arrested but not convicted of a crime, you may petition for annulment of your arrest record if:

  • you were not prosecuted
  • the case against you was dismissed, or
  • you were found not guilty.

(N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 651:5.)

If You Were Convicted of a Crime

If you have successfully completed your sentence and satisfied the required waiting period, you may petition for annulment of any of the convictions listed below. You cannot, however, annul a violent crime, a crime of obstruction of justice, or any offense for which you were sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment.

Waiting period. For most violations, the waiting period is one year, except for the following:

  • Class A or B misdemeanor, excluding sexual assault, after three years.
  • Class B felony other than incest or endangering the welfare of a child by solicitation, after 5 years.
  • Class A felony, after 10 years.
  • Felony indecent exposure or lewdness, after 10 years.

 (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 651:5.)

DNA Evidence. You may petition to have your DNA record expunged from the state DNA database if the case against you is dismissed or your conviction is reversed. (N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 651-C:5.)

Getting Legal Help

Cleaning up a criminal record can be complicated. If you are not sure whether your record qualifies for annulment in New Hampshire -- or for advice about your personal situation -- you should contact a qualified criminal law attorney. A good lawyer can guide you each step of the way.

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