Should I Annul My Record?
Annulment is a legal process that gives people a second chance by eliminating public records of a person’s arrest, conviction, and sentence. At first glance, annulment sounds like a great thing, but annulment in New Hampshire is an unusual process with some limitations. This article will walk you through whether annulment is right for you. Here is the statute to refer to while reading this post.
Limits on Annulment
In New Hampshire, figuring out if you can annul a charge is usually the most difficult part of the process. First, not all convictions can be annuled. Some, like sex offenses, are specifically excluded. Second, there is a waiting period on all convictions. Finally, there are some instances when other charges impact whether something can be annulled. See State v. Bobola, 168 NH 771 (2016).
If you can annul a charge, there are a few limitations on its effect that you need to know before going through the process. While annuling a charge can remove it from public government databases, it cannot remove it from non-government databases. This is a big deal because many employers use private databases. Furthermore, non-government databases start with government records, they are not regularly culled for annulled convictions. As a result, even annulled charges can appear in internet searches. Additionally, annulled charges, while not publicly accessible, are still accessible by law enforcement and courts. Finally, annulled charges can still be used for charge upgrades and sentence enhancements if you are convicted of new crimes in the future.
Benefits of Annulment
All of these concerns aside, annulment can be a tremendous help, especially if you are looking for a job or applying for professional licenses. Once annulled you can truthfully claim that you have no convictions on your record. Ridding your records of convictions can also help in all sorts of legal proceedings, giving your opponents less leverage than they would have otherwise.